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List of Benchmarks for Science

Standard 6.Understands relationships among organisms and their physical environment
  Level Pre-K (Grade Pre-K)
   1. Understands that living things have similar needs (e.g., water, food)
  Level I (Grade K-2)
   1. Knows that plants and animals need certain resources for energy and growth (e.g., food, water, light, air)  A 
   2. Knows that living things are found almost everywhere in the world and that distinct environments support the life of different types of plants and animals  A 
  Level II (Grade 3-5)
   1. Knows the organization of simple food chains and food webs (e.g., green plants make their own food with sunlight, water, and air; some animals eat the plants; some animals eat the animals that eat the plants)  A 
   2. Knows that the transfer of energy (e.g., through the consumption of food) is essential to all living organisms  A 
   3. Knows that an organism’s patterns of behavior are related to the nature of that organism’s environment (e.g., kinds and numbers of other organisms present, availability of food and resources, physical characteristics of the environment)  A 
   4. Knows that changes in the environment can have different effects on different organisms (e.g., some organisms move in, others move out; some organisms survive and reproduce, others die)  A 
   5. Knows that all organisms (including humans) cause changes in their environments, and these changes can be beneficial or detrimental  A 
  Level III (Grade 6-8)
   1. Knows that all individuals of a species that exist together at a given place and time make up a population, and all populations living together and the physical factors with which they interact compose an ecosystem
   2. Knows factors that affect the number and types of organisms an ecosystem can support (e.g., available resources; abiotic factors such as quantity of light and water, range of temperatures, and soil composition; disease; competition from other organisms within the ecosystem; predation)  A 
   3. Knows ways in which organisms interact and depend on one another through food chains and food webs in an ecosystem (e.g., producer/consumer, predator/prey, parasite/host, relationships that are mutually beneficial or competitive)  A 
   4. Knows how energy is transferred through food webs in an ecosystem (e.g., energy enters ecosystems as sunlight, and green plants transfer this energy into chemical energy through photosynthesis; this chemical energy is passed from organism to organism; animals get energy from oxidizing their food, releasing some of this energy as heat)  A 
   5. Knows how matter is recycled within ecosystems (e.g., matter is transferred from one organism to another repeatedly, and between organisms and their physical environment; the total amount of matter remains constant, even though its form and location change)  A 
  Level IV (Grade 9-12)
   1. Knows how the interrelationships and interdependencies among organisms generate stable ecosystems that fluctuate around a state of rough equilibrium for hundreds or thousands of years (e.g., growth of a population is held in check by environmental factors such as depletion of food or nesting sites, increased loss due to larger numbers of predators or parasites)
   2. Knows how the amount of life an environment can support is limited by the availability of matter and energy and the ability of the ecosystem to recycle materials
   3. Knows that as matter and energy flow through different levels of organization in living systems and between living systems and the physical environment, chemical elements (e.g., carbon, nitrogen) are recombined in different ways  A 
   4. Knows that because all matter tends toward more disorganized states, living systems require a continuous input of energy to maintain their chemical and physical organizations
   5. Knows ways in which humans can alter the equilibrium of ecosystems, causing potentially irreversible effects (e.g., human population growth, technology, and consumption; human destruction of habitats through direct harvesting, pollution, and atmospheric changes)  A 
    

 A  = Assessment items available