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List of Benchmarks for Science

Standard 1.Understands atmospheric processes and the water cycle
  Level Pre-K (Grade Pre-K)
   1. Knows vocabulary (e.g., rainy, windy, sunny) for different types of weather
   2. Knows that weather conditions change over time
   3. Knows how the environment changes over the seasons  A 
  Level I (Grade K-2)
   1. Knows that short-term weather conditions (e.g., temperature, rain, snow) can change daily, and weather patterns change over the seasons  A 
   2. Knows that water can be a liquid or a solid and can be made to change from one form to the other, but the amount of water stays the same  A 
  Level II (Grade 3-5)
   1. Knows that water exists in the air in different forms (e.g., in clouds and fog as tiny droplets; in rain, snow, and hail) and changes from one form to another through various processes (e.g., freezing, condensation, precipitation, evaporation)  A 
   2. Knows that the Sun provides the light and heat necessary to maintain the temperature of the Earth
   3. Knows that air is a substance that surrounds us, takes up space, and moves around us as wind  A 
  Level III (Grade 6-8)
   1. Knows the composition and structure of the Earth’s atmosphere (e.g., temperature and pressure in different layers of the atmosphere, circulation of air masses)  A 
   2. Knows the processes involved in the water cycle (e.g., evaporation, condensation, precipitation, surface run-off, percolation) and their effects on climatic patterns  A 
   3. Knows that the Sun is the principle energy source for phenomena on the Earth’s surface (e.g., winds, ocean currents, the water cycle, plant growth)  A 
   4. Knows factors that can impact the Earth’s climate (e.g., changes in the composition of the atmosphere; changes in ocean temperature; geological shifts such as meteor impacts, the advance or retreat of glaciers, or a series of volcanic eruptions)  A 
   5. Knows how the tilt of the Earth’s axis and the Earth’s revolution around the Sun affect seasons and weather patterns (i.e., heat falls more intensely on one part or another of the Earth’s surface during its revolution around the Sun)  A 
   6. Knows ways in which clouds affect weather and climate (e.g., precipitation, reflection of light from the Sun, retention of heat energy emitted from the Earth’s surface)  A 
   7. Knows that most of Earth’s surface is covered by water, that most of that water is salt water in oceans, and that fresh water is found in rivers, lakes, underground sources, and glaciers  A 
  Level IV (Grade 9-12)
   1. Knows how winds and ocean currents are produced on the Earth’s surface (e.g., effects of unequal heating of the Earth’s land masses, oceans, and air by the Sun; effects of gravitational forces acting on layers of different temperatures and densities in the oceans and air; effects of the rotation of the Earth)
   2. Understands heat and energy transfer in and out of the atmosphere and its involvement in weather and climate (e.g., radiation, conduction, convection/advection)
   3. Knows the major external and internal sources of energy on Earth (e.g., the Sun is the major external source of energy; the decay of radioactive isotopes and gravitational energy from the Earth’s original formation are primary sources of internal energy)
   4. Knows how the evolution of life on Earth has dramatically changed the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere through time (e.g., the presence of one-celled organisms which produced the molecular oxygen in the atmosphere)
   5. Knows the properties that make water an essential component of the Earth system (e.g., its ability to act as a solvent, its ability to remain a liquid at most Earth temperatures)  A 

 A  = Assessment items available