Standards Database Logo
Home | Browse | Search | Purpose | History | Process | Acknowledgment| Reference



List of Benchmarks for Science

Standard 8.Understands the structure and properties of matter
  Level Pre-K (Grade Pre-K)
   1. Knows vocabulary used to describe some observable properties (e.g., color, shape, size) of objects
   2. Sorts objects based on observable properties
   3. Knows that the physical properties of things can change
  Level I (Grade K-2)
   1. Knows that different objects are made up of many different types of materials (e.g., cloth, paper, wood, metal) and have many different observable properties (e.g., color, size, shape, weight)  A 
   2. Knows that things can be done to materials to change some of their properties (e.g., heating, freezing, mixing, cutting, dissolving, bending), but not all materials respond the same way to what is done to them  A 
  Level II (Grade 3-5)
   1. Knows that matter has different states (i.e., solid, liquid, gas) and that each state has distinct physical properties; some common materials such as water can be changed from one state to another by heating or cooling  A 
   2. Knows that the mass of a material remains constant whether it is together, in parts, or in a different state  A 
   3. Knows that substances can be classified by their physical and chemical properties (e.g., magnetism, conductivity, density, solubility, boiling and melting points)  A 
   4. Knows that materials may be composed of parts that are too small to be seen without magnification
  Level III (Grade 6-8)
   1. Knows that matter is made up of tiny particles called atoms, and different arrangements of atoms into groups compose all substances  A 
   2. Knows that elements often combine to form compounds (e.g., molecules, crystals)  A 
   3. Knows that states of matter depend on molecular arrangement and motion (e.g., molecules in solids are packed tightly together and their movement is restricted to vibrations; molecules in liquids are loosely packed and move easily past each other; molecules in gases are quite far apart and move about freely)  A 
   4. Knows that substances containing only one kind of atom are elements and do not break down by normal laboratory reactions (e.g., heating, exposure to electric current, reaction with acids); over 100 different elements exist  A 
   5. Knows that many elements can be grouped according to similar properties (e.g., highly reactive metals, less-reactive metals, highly reactive nonmetals, almost completely nonreactive gases)
   6. Understands the conservation of mass in physical and chemical change (e.g., no matter how substances within a closed system interact with one another, the total weight of the system remains the same; the same number of atoms of a single element weighs the same, no matter how the atoms are arranged)  A 
   7. Knows methods used to separate mixtures into their component parts (boiling, filtering, chromatography, screening)  A 
   8. Knows that substances react chemically in characteristic ways with other substances to form new substances (compounds) with different characteristic properties  A 
   9. Knows factors that influence reaction rates (e.g., types of substances involved, temperature, concentration of reactant molecules, amount of contact between reactant molecules)  A 
   10. Knows that oxidation is the loss of electrons, and commonly involves the combining of oxygen with another substance (e.g., the processes of burning and rusting)   A 
  Level IV (Grade 9-12)
   1. Knows the structure of an atom (e.g., negative electrons occupy most of the space in the atom; neutrons and positive protons make up the nucleus of the atom; protons and neutrons are almost two thousand times heavier than an electron; the electric force between the nucleus and electrons holds the atom together)  A 
   2. Understands how elements are arranged in the periodic table, and how this arrangement shows repeating patterns among elements with similar properties (e.g., numbers of protons, neutrons, and electrons; relation between atomic number and atomic mass)
   3. Knows how the electron configuration of atoms governs the chemical properties of an element as atoms interact with one another by transferring or sharing the outermost electrons
   4. Knows that atoms may be bonded together into molecules or crystalline solids, and compounds are formed from chemical bonds between two or more different kinds of atoms  A 
   5. Knows that the physical properties of a compound are determined by its molecular structure (e.g., constituent atoms, distances and angles between them) and the interactions among these molecules
   6. Knows that the number of electrons in an atom determines whether the atom is electrically neutral or an ion (i.e., electrically neutral atoms contain equal numbers of protons and electrons; a positively charged atom has lost one or more electrons; a negatively charged atom has gained one or more electrons)  A 
   7. Knows that most elements have two or more isotopes (i.e., atoms that differ in the number of neutrons in the nucleus); although the number of neutrons has little effect on how the atom interacts with others, it does affect the mass and stability of the nucleus
   8. Knows how radioactive isotopes can be used to estimate the age of materials that contain them because radioactive isotopes undergo spontaneous nuclear reactions and emit particles and/or wavelike radiation; the decay of any one nucleus cannot be predicted, but a large group of identical nuclei decay at a predictable rate, which can be used to estimate the material’s age  A 
   9. Knows that neutrons and protons are made up of even smaller constituents
   10. Understands that chemical reactions either release or consume energy (i.e., some changes of atomic or molecular configuration require an input of energy; others release energy)  A 
   11. Knows that chemical reactions can take place at vastly different rates (e.g., from the few femtoseconds required for an atom to move a fraction of a chemical bond distance to geologic times scales of billions of years) and reaction rates depend on a variety of factors that influence the frequency of collision of reactant molecules (e.g., shape and surface area of the reacting species, temperature, pressure, the presence or absence of a catalyst)
   12. Knows that chemical reactions can be accelerated by catalysts (e.g., metallic surfaces, enzymes)
   13. Understands the complete mole concept and ways in which it can be used (e.g., actual mass vs. relative mass; relationship between the mole and the volume of a mole of molecules; relevance of molar volume and Avogadro’s hypothesis)  A 
   14. Knows the variety of structures that may be formed from the bonding of carbon atoms (e.g., synthetic polymers, oils, the large molecules essential to life) and their roles in various chemical reactions, including those required for life processes
   15. Knows that a large number of important reactions involve the transfer of either electrons (oxidation/reduction reactions) or hydrogen ions (acid/base reactions) between reacting ions, molecules, or atoms  A 
   16. Understands radical reactions and their role in natural and human processes (e.g., ozone and green house gases in the atmosphere; burning and processing of fossil fuels; formation of polymers; explosions)  A 
   17. Understands the properties of solutions and mixtures (e.g., saturation, concentration, solubility)  A 
  Level V (Grade (College Readiness))
   1. Understands how the model of atomic structure has changed over time
   2. Understands the principles of kinetic molecular theory
   3. Understands the principles of ideal gas behavior
   4. Understands chemical equilibrium (i.e., it is a dynamic state in which the amounts of reactants and products appear constant)
   5. Understands chemical kinetics (e.g., for a chemical reaction to occur, reacting particles must collide in the appropriate orientation with enough energy to overcome the activation energy barrier)

 A  = Assessment items available