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List of Benchmarks for Science

Standard 5.Understands the structure and function of cells and organisms
  Level Pre-K (Grade Pre-K)
   1. Knows that living things and nonliving objects are different  A 
   2. Knows that living things go through a process of growth and change
  Level I (Grade K-2)
   1. Knows the basic needs of plants and animals (e.g., air, water, nutrients, light or food, shelter)  A 
   2. Knows that plants and animals have features that help them live in different environments
  Level II (Grade 3-5)
   1. Knows that plants and animals progress through life cycles of birth, growth and development, reproduction, and death; the details of these life cycles are different for different organisms  A 
   2. Knows that living organisms have distinct structures and body systems that serve specific functions in growth, survival, and reproduction (e.g., various body structures for walking, flying, or swimming)  A 
   3. Knows that the behavior of individual organisms is influenced by internal cues (e.g., hunger) and external cues (e.g., changes in the environment), and that humans and other organisms have senses that help them to detect these cues  A 
  Level III (Grade 6-8)
   1. Knows that all organisms are composed of cells, which are the fundamental units of life; most organisms are single cells, but other organisms (including humans) are multicellular  A 
   2. Knows that cells convert energy obtained from food to carry on the many functions needed to sustain life (e.g., cell growth and division, production of materials that the cell or organism needs)  A 
   3. Knows the levels of organization in living systems, including cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, whole organisms, ecosystems, and the complementary nature of structure and function at each level  A 
   4. Knows that multicellular organisms have a variety of specialized cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems that perform specialized functions (e.g., digestion, respiration, reproduction, circulation, excretion, movement, control and coordination, protection from disease) and that the function of these systems affect one another  A 
   5. Knows that organisms have a great variety of body plans  A 
   6. Knows how an organism’s ability to regulate its internal environment enables the organism to obtain and use resources, grow, reproduce, and maintain stable internal conditions while living in a constantly changing external environment  A 
   7. Knows that organisms can react to internal and environmental stimuli through behavioral response (e.g., plants have tissues and organs that react to light, water, and other stimuli; animals have nervous systems that process and store information from the environment), which may be determined by heredity or from past experience  A 
   8. Knows that disease in organisms can be caused by intrinsic failures of the system or infection by other organisms  A 
   9. Knows that cells use inorganic compounds (e.g., vitamins, minerals, water) to make materials that the cell or organism needs   A 
  Level IV (Grade 9-12)
   1. Knows the structures of different types of cell parts (e.g., cell wall; cell membrane; cytoplasm; cell organelles such as the nucleus, chloroplast, mitochondrion, Golgi apparatus, vacuole) and the functions they perform (e.g., transport of materials, storage of genetic information, photosynthesis and respiration, synthesis of new molecules, waste disposal)  A 
   2. Understands the chemical reactions involved in cell functions (e.g., food molecules taken into cells are broken down to provide the chemical constituents needed to synthesize other molecules; enzymes facilitate the breakdown and synthesis of molecules)
   3. Understands the processes of photosynthesis and respiration in plants (e.g., chloroplasts in plant cells use energy from sunlight to combine molecules of carbon dioxide and water into complex, energy-rich organic compounds and release oxygen to the environment)  A 
   4. Knows how cell functions are regulated through changes in the activity of the functions performed by proteins and through the selective expression of individual genes, and how this regulation allows cells to respond to their environment and to control and coordinate cell growth and division
   5. Knows that the complexity and organization of organisms accommodates the need for obtaining, transforming, transporting, releasing, and eliminating the matter and energy used to sustain the organism
   6. Understands the processes of cell division and differentiation (e.g., meiosis, mitosis, embryo formation, cellular replication and differentiation into the many specialized cells, tissues, and organs that comprise the final organism; each cell retains the basic information needed to reproduce itself)
   7. Knows the structures of proteins (e.g., long, usually folded chain molecules made of specific sequences of amino acids coded by DNA) and the role of proteins in cell function
   8. Understands the structure and functions of nervous systems in multicellular animals (e.g., nervous systems are formed from specialized cells that conduct signals rapidly through the long cell extensions that make up nerves; nerve cells communicate with each other by secreting specific excitatory and inhibitory molecules)  A 
  Level V (Grade (College Readiness))
   1. Knows the categories of biological molecules (i.e., proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, lipids) and their functions within cells
   2. Understands the role of ATP in energy coupling transfer
   3. Knows that while all cells share basic features, they can be categorized into two major types (i.e., prokaryotic and eukaryotic)
   4. Knows how membrane structure influences permeability (e.g., diffusion, osmosis, transport involving specialized membrane proteins)

 A  = Assessment items available