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Science - Kindergarten-Grade 2

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Science As Inquiry

Essential Concepts and/or Skills

Ask questions about objects, organisms, and events in the environment
Students should answer their questions by seeking information from their own observations, investigations and from reliable sources of scientific information.

Plan and conduct simple investigations
In earliest years, investigations are largely based on direct observations.  As students develop, they design and conduct simple investigations to answer questions.

It is important to follow appropriate safety procedures when conducting investigations.

Use tools to gather data and extend the senses
Students use tools such as rulers, thermometers, watches, balances, spring scales, magnifiers and microscopes to extend their senses and their abilities to gather data.

Use mathematics in scientific inquiry
Mathematics is used to gather, organize and present data and to construct convincing explanations.

Use data to construct reasonable explanations
Students should learn what constitutes evidence.

Students’ explanations should reflect the evidence they have obtained.

Communicate investigations and explanations
Students should begin to develop the abilities to communicate, critique, and analyze their work and the work of other students.

Students should communicate orally, through writing or through drawings.

Follow appropriate safety procedures when conducting investigations

 

Earth and Space

Earth and space science is the field of study concerned with the planet Earth or one or more of its parts. Earth and space science includes the science used to study the lithosphere (the solid portion of the earth), the atmosphere (the gaseous envelope surrounding the earth), the hydrosphere (the ice, water, and water vapor at or near the earth’s surface), the biosphere (the zone at or near the earth’s surface that supports life), and space beyond the atmosphere. It is the interactions between these parts, how they impact life on the planet and how we can use observations today to discover what forces created the surface features of the planet centuries ago that form a central portion of this study. Climate, weather, environmental issues, soil science and water quality are all open areas of inquiry in this field.

Earth and space science instruction must include the inquiry knowledge and skills described in the inquiry section of the Iowa Core Curriculum for Science. Instruction should be engaging and relevant and strong connections must be made to students' lives.

Essential Concepts and/or Skills

Understand and apply knowledge of properties of earth materials
Earth materials are solid rocks and soils, water and the gases of the atmosphere. The varied materials have different physical and chemical properties. 

Soils have properties of color and texture, capacity to retain water, and ability to support the growth of many kinds of plants, including those in our food supply. 

Understand and apply knowledge of observable information about daily and seasonal weather conditions
Weather changes from day to day and over the seasons.

The sun provides the light and heat necessary to maintain the temperature of the earth.

Understand and apply knowledge of events that have repeating patterns
Seasons of the year, day and night are events that are repeated in regular patterns.

The sun’s position in the sky can be observed and described.

The sun can only be seen during our daylight hours. We are unable to see the sun at night because of the rotation of the earth.

 

Life Science

Life science is concerned with the study of living organisms and their interactions with each other and their environments. Life science examines the structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and classification of living things. Specialized disciplines of life sciences are grouped by the type of organism being studied: botany is the study of plants, zoology the study of animals, microbiology the study of microscopic organisms.

Life science instruction must include the inquiry knowledge and skills described in the inquiry section of the Science Core Curriculum. Instruction should be engaging and relevant and strong connections must be made to students’ lives.

Essential Concepts and/or Skills

Understand and apply knowledge of the characteristics of living things and how living things are both similar to and different from each other and from non-living things
Living things share some common characteristics that are both similar to and different from non-living things.

Different species of plants and animals have different observable characteristics by which they can be classified.

Understand and apply knowledge of life cycles of plants and animals
Plants and animals have life cycles that include being born, developing into adults, reproducing, and eventually dying.

Plants and animals closely resemble their parents.

Understand and apply knowledge of the basic needs of plants and animals and how they interact with each other and their physical environment
Organisms have basic needs. For example, animals need air, water, and food; plants require air, water, nutrients, and light.

Organisms interact with each other and their physical environment.

Organisms can survive only in environments in which their needs can be met. 

The world has many different environments, and distinct environments support the life of different types of organisms.

Understand and apply knowledge of ways to help take care of the environment

Chapter 12 of the Iowa Administrative Code states that science instruction shall include conservation of natural resources; and environmental awareness.

Humans depend on their natural and constructed environments.

Humans change environments in ways that can be either beneficial or detrimental to themselves or other organisms.

Understand and apply knowledge of basic human body structures (human body parts and their functions)
Humans have distinct body structures for functions including but not limited to thinking, walking, holding, seeing and talking.

Understand and apply knowledge of good health habits
See 21st Century Skills of the Iowa Core

 

Physical Science

Physical science is the term for the study of non-living systems, and includes physics and chemistry. The foundations of physical science rest upon key concepts and theories, each of which explains and/or models a particular aspect of the behavior of nature.

Physics includes describing and measuring motion; the theory of gravity; energy, work, and power; energy forms; kinetic molecular theory; the principles of waves and sound; the principles of electricity, magnetism, and electromagnetism; and the principles, sources, and properties of light.

Chemistry is the science of matter. Its studies include atomic theory; water and its properties; chemical elements, chemical reactions, and energy transformations; nuclear chemistry; and organic chemistry. In all areas of physical science the focus is on the application of the knowledge to solve real life problems. It is the use of the conceptual knowledge and not simply the knowledge itself that should form the core of this discipline. Physical science instruction must include the inquiry knowledge and skills described in the inquiry section of the Science Core Curriculum. Instruction should be engaging and relevant and strong connections must be made to students' lives.

Essential Concepts and/or Skills

Understand and apply knowledge of observable and measurable properties of objects
Objects have many observable properties including size, weight, shape, color, temperature and the ability to react with other substances. Those properties can be measured using tools such as rulers, balances and thermometers.

Objects are made of one or more materials.

Objects can be described by the properties of the materials from which they are made. Properties can be used to separate or sort a group of objects or materials.

Understand and apply knowledge of characteristics of liquids and solids
Materials can exist in different states – solid, liquid, and gas.

Some common materials, such as water, can be changed from one state to another by heating or cooling.

Understand and apply knowledge of the positions and motions of objects.
The position of an object can be described by locating it relative to its background.

An object’s motion can be described by observing and measuring its position over time.

An object’s position or movement can be changed by pushing or pulling.

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on April 19, 2014 at 11:39am.