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List of Benchmarks for Science

Standard 12.Understands the nature of scientific inquiry
  Level Pre-K (Grade Pre-K)
   1. Uses the senses to make observations about living things, nonliving objects, and events
   2. Records information collected about the physical world (e.g., in drawings, simple data charts)
   3. Uses simple tools (e.g., eyedropper, magnifying glasses) to gather information
   4. Conducts simple investigations to solve a problem or answer a question
   5. Asks questions about observations
   6. Develops predictions and explanations based on previous experience  A 
   7. Understands simple cause-and-effect relationships based on previous experience
  Level I (Grade K-2)
   1. Knows that learning can come from careful observations and simple experiments
   2. Knows that tools (e.g., thermometers, magnifiers, rulers, balances) can be used to gather information and extend the senses  A 
   3. Makes predictions based on patterns  A 
  Level II (Grade 3-5)
   1. Knows that scientific investigations involve asking and answering a question and comparing the answer to what scientists already know about the world
   2. Knows that scientists use different kinds of investigations (e.g., naturalistic observation of things or events, data collection, controlled experiments), depending on the questions they are trying to answer
   3. Plans and conducts simple investigations (e.g., formulates a testable question, plans a fair test, makes systematic observations, develops logical conclusions)  A 
   4. Uses appropriate tools and simple equipment (e.g., thermometers, magnifiers, microscopes, calculators, graduated cylinders) to gather scientific data and extend the senses  A 
   5. Knows that scientists’ explanations about what happens in the world come partly from what they observe (evidence), and partly from how they interpret (inference) their observations  A 
   6. Knows the reasons why similar investigations may not produce similar results (e.g., differences in the things being investigated, methods being used, uncertainty in the observation)
  Level III (Grade 6-8)
   1. Knows that there is no fixed procedure called "the scientific method," but that investigations involve systematic observations, carefully collected, relevant evidence, logical reasoning, and some imagination in developing hypotheses and explanations
   2. Understands that questioning, response to criticism, and open communication are integral to the process of science (e.g., scientists often differ with one another about the interpretation of evidence or theory in areas where there is not a great deal of understanding; scientists acknowledge conflicting interpretations and work towards finding evidence that will resolve the disagreement)
   3. Designs and conducts a scientific investigation (e.g., formulates hypotheses, designs and executes investigations, interprets data, synthesizes evidence into explanations)  A 
   4. Identifies variables (e.g., independent, dependant, control) in a scientific investigation
   5. Understands why only one variable (independent) can be manipulated at a time and that all other variables must be controlled during the investigation
   6. Uses appropriate tools (including computer hardware and software) and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret scientific data  A 
   7. Establishes relationships based on evidence and logical argument (e.g., provides causes for effects)  A 
   8. Evaluates the results of scientific investigations, experiments, observations, theoretical and mathematical models, and explanations proposed by other scientists (e.g., reviewing experimental procedures, examining evidence, identifying faulty reasoning, identifying statements that go beyond the evidence, suggesting alternative explanations)  A 
   9. Knows possible outcomes of scientific investigations (e.g., some may result in new ideas and phenomena for study; some may generate new methods or procedures for an investigation; some may result in the development of new technologies to improve the collection of data; some may lead to new investigations)
  Level IV (Grade 9-12)
   1. Understands the use of hypotheses in scientific investigations (e.g., selecting and narrowing the focus of data, determining additional data to be gathered, guiding the interpretation of data)
   2. Designs and conducts scientific investigations (e.g., formulates testable hypotheses; identifies and clarifies the method, controls, and variables; analyzes, organizes, and displays data; revises methods and explanations; presents results; receives critical response from others)  A 
   3. Evaluates the results of scientific investigations, experiments, observations, theoretical and mathematical models, and explanations proposed by other scientists (e.g., reviewing current scientific understanding, using evidence to validate conclusions, examining the logic to determine which explanations and models are the best, examining the involvement of control groups, examining the adequacy of the sample)  A 
   4. Uses technology (e.g., hand tools, measuring instruments, calculators, computers) and mathematics (e.g., measurement, formulas, charts, graphs) to perform accurate scientific investigations and communications
   5. Knows that conceptual principles and knowledge guide scientific inquiries; historical and current scientific knowledge influence the design and interpretation of investigations and the evaluation of proposed explanations made by other scientists
   6. Knows that scientists conduct investigations for a variety of reasons (e.g., to discover new aspects of the natural world, to explain recently observed phenomena, to test the conclusions of prior investigations, to test the predictions of current theories)
   7. Knows that investigations and public communication among scientists must meet certain criteria in order to result in new knowledge and methods (e.g., arguments must be logical and demonstrate connections between natural phenomena, investigations, and the historical body of scientific knowledge; the methods and procedures used to obtain evidence must be clearly reported to enhance opportunities for further investigation)

 A  = Assessment items available