Alabama Course of Study: Science — Grade 11

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Plan and conduct experiments that demonstrate how changes in a system (e.g., phase changes, pressure of a gas) validate the kinetic molecular theory.


Develop a model to explain the relationship between the average kinetic energy of the particles in a substance and the temperature of the substance (e.g., no kinetic energy equaling absolute zero [0K or -273.15oC]).


Construct an explanation that describes how the release or absorption of energy from a system depends upon changes in the components of the system.


Develop a model to illustrate how the changes in total bond energy determine whether a chemical reaction is endothermic or exothermic.


Plan and conduct an investigation that demonstrates the transfer of thermal energy in a closed system (e.g., using heat capacities of two components of differing temperatures).


Construct models that illustrate how energy is related to work performed on or by an object and explain how different forms of energy are transformed from one form to another (e.g., distinguishing between kinetic, potential, and other forms of energy such as thermal and sound; applying both the work-energy theorem and the law of conservation of energy to systems such as roller coasters, falling objects, and spring-mass systems; discussing the effect of frictional forces on energy conservation and how it affects the motion of an object).


Investigate collisions, both elastic and inelastic, to evaluate the effects on momentum and energy conservation.


Plan and carry out investigations to provide evidence that the first and second laws of thermodynamics relate work and heat transfers to the change in internal energy of a system with limits on the ability to do useful work (e.g., heat engine transforming heat at high temperature into mechanical energy and low-temperature waste heat, refrigerator absorbing heat from the cold reservoir and giving off heat to the hot reservoir with work being done).


Develop models to illustrate methods of heat transfer by conduction (e.g., an ice cube in water), convection (e.g., currents that transfer heat from the interior up to the surface), and radiation (e.g., an object in sunlight).


Engage in argument from evidence regarding how the second law of thermodynamics applies to the entropy of open and closed systems.


Design and conduct investigations to verify the law of conservation of energy, including transformations of potential energy, kinetic energy, thermal energy, and the effect of any work performed on or by the system.


Design, build, and test the ability of a device (e.g., Rube Goldberg devices, wind turbines, solar cells, solar ovens) to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.


Construct an explanation and design a real-world solution to address changing conditions and ecological succession caused by density-dependent and/or density-independent factors.


Develop and use models to illustrate examples of ecological hierarchy levels, including biosphere, biome, ecosystem, community, population, and organism.


Develop and use models to describe the cycling of matter (e.g., carbon, nitrogen, water) and flow of energy (e.g., food chains, food webs, biomass pyramids, ten percent law) between abiotic and biotic factors in ecosystems.


Use mathematical comparisons and visual representations to support or refute explanations of factors that affect population growth (e.g., exponential, linear, logistic).


Construct an explanation from evidence for the processes that generate the transformation of rocks in Earths crust, including chemical composition of minerals and characteristics of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks.


Obtain and communicate information about significant geologic characteristics (e.g., types of rocks and geologic ages, earthquake zones, sinkholes, caves, abundant fossil fauna, mineral and energy resources) that impact life in Alabama and the southeastern United States.


Develop a model of Earths layers using available evidence to explain the role of thermal convection in the movement of Earths materials (e.g., seismic waves, movement of tectonic plates).


Analyze and interpret data of interactions between the hydrologic and rock cycles to explain the mechanical impacts (e.g., stream transportation and deposition, erosion, frost-wedging) and chemical impacts (e.g., oxidation, hydrolysis, carbonation) of Earth materials by waters properties.


Construct explanations from evidence to describe how changes in the flow of energy through Earths systems (e.g., volcanic eruptions, solar output, ocean circulation, surface temperatures, precipitation patterns, glacial ice volumes, sea levels, Coriolis effect) impact the climate.


Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to verify that weather (e.g., temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, dew point, adiabatic cooling, condensation, precipitation, winds, ocean currents, barometric pressure, wind velocity) is influenced by energy transfer within and among the atmosphere, lithosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere.


Analyze patterns in weather data to predict various systems, including fronts and severe storms.


Use maps and other visualizations to analyze large data sets that illustrate the frequency, magnitude, and resulting damage from severe weather events in order to predict the likelihood and severity of future events.


Analyze and interpret evidence regarding the theory of plate tectonics, including geologic activity along plate boundaries and magnetic patterns in undersea rocks, to explain the ages and movements of continental and oceanic crusts.


Develop a time scale model of Earths biological and geological history to establish relative and absolute age of major events in Earths history (e.g., radiometric dating, models of geologic cross sections, sedimentary layering, fossilization, early life forms, folding, faulting, igneous intrusions).


Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to explain how constructive and destructive processes (e.g., weathering, erosion, volcanism, orogeny, plate tectonics, tectonic uplift) shape Earths land features (e.g., mountains, valleys, plateaus) and sea features (e.g., trenches, ridges, seamounts).


Develop and use models to illustrate the lifespan of the sun, including energy released during nuclear fusion that eventually reaches Earth through radiation.


Engage in argument from evidence to compare various theories for the formation and changing nature of the universe and our solar system (e.g., Big Bang Theory, Hubbles law, steady state theory, light spectra, motion of distant galaxies, composition of matter in the universe).


Evaluate and communicate scientific information (e.g., Hertzsprung-Russell diagram) in reference to the life cycle of stars using data of both atomic emission and absorption spectra of stars to make inferences about the presence of certain elements.


Apply mathematics and computational thinking in reference to Keplers laws, Newtons laws of motion, and Newtons gravitational laws to predict the orbital motion of natural and man-made objects in the solar system.


Use mathematics to explain the relationship of the seasons to the tilt of Earths axis (e.g., zenith angle, solar angle, surface area) and its revolution about the sun, addressing intensity and distribution of sunlight on Earths surface.


Obtain and evaluate information about Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, and Einstein to communicate how their findings challenged conventional thinking and allowed for academic advancements and space exploration.


Analyze and interpret data collected from probability calculations to explain the variation of expressed traits within a population.


Use mathematics and computation to predict phenotypic and genotypic ratios and percentages by constructing Punnett squares, including using both homozygous and heterozygous allele pairs.


Develop and use models to demonstrate codominance, incomplete dominance, and Mendels laws of segregation and independent assortment.


Analyze and interpret data (e.g., pedigree charts, family and population studies) regarding Mendelian and complex genetic disorders (e.g., sickle-cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, type 2 diabetes) to determine patterns of genetic inheritance and disease risks from both genetic and environmental factors.


Develop and use a model to analyze the structure of chromosomes and how new genetic combinations occur through the process of meiosis.


Analyze data to draw conclusions about genetic disorders caused by errors in meiosis (e.g., Down syndrome, Turner syndrome).


Investigate and analyze the use of nonrenewable energy sources (e.g., fossil fuels, nuclear, natural gas) and renewable energy sources (e.g., solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal) and propose solutions for their impact on the environment.


Design solutions for protection of natural water resources (e.g., bioassessment, methods of water treatment and conservation) considering properties, uses, and pollutants (e.g., eutrophication, industrial effluents, agricultural runoffs, point and nonpoint pollution resources).


Engage in argument from evidence to defend how coastal, marine, and freshwater sources (e.g., estuaries, marshes, tidal pools, wetlands, beaches, inlets, rivers, lakes, oceans, coral reefs) support biodiversity, economic stability, and human recreation.


Analyze and interpret data and climate models to predict how global or regional climate change can affect Earths systems (e.g., precipitation and temperature and their associated impacts on sea level, glacial ice volumes, and atmosphere and ocean composition).


Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information based on evidence to explain how key natural resources (e.g., water sources, fertile soils, concentrations of minerals and fossil fuels), natural hazards, and climate changes influence human activity (e.g., mass migrations).


Analyze cost-benefit ratios of competing solutions for developing, conserving, managing, recycling, and reusing energy and mineral resources to minimize impacts in natural systems (e.g., determining best practices for agricultural soil use, mining for coal, and exploring for petroleum and natural gas sources).


Construct an explanation based on evidence to determine the relationships among management of natural resources, human sustainability, and biodiversity (e.g., resources, waste management, per capita consumption, agricultural efficiency, urban planning).


Obtain and evaluate information from published results of scientific computational models to illustrate the relationships among Earths systems and how these relationships may be impacted by human activity (e.g., effects of an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide on photosynthetic biomass, effect of ocean acidification on marine populations).


Obtain, evaluate, and communicate geological and biological information to determine the types of organisms that live in major biomes.


Analyze and interpret data collected through geographic research and field investigations (e.g., relief, topographic, and physiographic maps; rivers; forest types; watersheds) to describe the biodiversity by region for the state of Alabama (e.g., terrestrial, freshwater, marine, endangered, invasive).


Use models to illustrate and communicate the role of photosynthesis and cellular respiration as carbon cycles through the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.


Use mathematics and graphic models to compare factors affecting biodiversity and populations in ecosystems.


Engage in argument from evidence to evaluate how biological or physical changes within ecosystems (e.g., ecological succession, seasonal flooding, volcanic eruptions) affect the number and types of organisms, and that changing conditions may result in a new or altered ecosystem.


Engage in argument from evidence to compare how individual versus group behavior (e.g., flocking; cooperative behaviors such as hunting, migrating, and swarming) may affect a species chance to survive and reproduce over time.


Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to describe how human activity may affect biodiversity and genetic variation of organisms, including threatened and endangered species.


Analyze and interpret data to investigate how a single change on Earths surface may cause changes to other Earth systems (e.g., loss of ground vegetation causing an increase in water runoff and soil erosion).


Engage in an evidence-based argument to explain how over time Earths systems affect the biosphere and the biosphere affects Earths systems (e.g., microbial life increasing the formation of soil; corals creating reefs that alter patterns of erosion and deposition along coastlines).


Develop and use models to trace the flow of water, nitrogen, and phosphorus through the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere.


Obtain and communicate information from historical experiments (e.g., work by Mendeleev and Moseley, Rutherfords gold foil experiment, Thomsons cathode ray experiment, Millikans oil drop experiment, Bohrs interpretation of bright line spectra) to determine the structure and function of an atom and to analyze the patterns represented in the periodic table.


Develop and use models of atomic nuclei to explain why the abundance-weighted average of isotopes of an element yields the published atomic mass.


Use the periodic table as a systematic representation to predict properties of elements based on their valence electron arrangement.


Analyze data such as physical properties to explain periodic trends of the elements, including metal/nonmetal/metalloid behavior, electrical/heat conductivity, electronegativity and electron affinity, ionization energy, and atomic-covalent/ionic radii, and how they relate to position in the periodic table.


Develop and use models (e.g., Lewis dot, 3-D ball-and-stick, space-filling, valence-shell electron-pair repulsion [VSEPR]) to predict the type of bonding and shape of simple compounds.


Use the periodic table as a model to derive formulas and names of ionic and covalent compounds.


Plan and conduct an investigation to classify properties of matter as intensive (e.g., density, viscosity, specific heat, melting point, boiling point) or extensive (e.g., mass, volume, heat) and demonstrate how intensive properties can be used to identify a compound.


Plan and conduct investigations to demonstrate different types of simple chemical reactions based on valence electron arrangements of the reactants and determine the quantity of products and reactants.


Use mathematics and computational thinking to represent the ratio of reactants and products in terms of masses, molecules, and moles.


Use mathematics and computational thinking to support the claim that atoms, and therefore mass, are conserved during a chemical reaction.


Use mathematics and computational thinking to express the concentrations of solutions quantitatively using molarity.


Develop and use models to explain how solutes are dissolved in solvents.


Analyze and interpret data to explain effects of temperature on the solubility of solid, liquid, and gaseous solutes in a solvent and the effects of pressure on the solubility of gaseous solutes.


Design and conduct experiments to test the conductivity of common ionic and covalent substances in a solution.


Use the concept of pH as a model to predict the relative properties of strong, weak, concentrated, and dilute acids and bases (e.g., Arrhenius and Brnsted-Lowry acids and bases).


Plan and carry out investigations to explain the behavior of ideal gases in terms of pressure, volume, temperature, and number of particles.


Use mathematics to describe the relationships among pressure, temperature, and volume of an enclosed gas when only the amount of gas is constant.


Use mathematical and computational thinking based on the ideal gas law to determine molar quantities.


Refine the design of a given chemical system to illustrate how LeChteliers principle affects a dynamic chemical equilibrium when subjected to an outside stress (e.g., heating and cooling a saturated sugar-water solution).


Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties and trends (e.g., reactivity of metals; types of bonds formed, including ionic, covalent, and polar covalent; numbers of bonds formed; reactions with oxygen) of main group elements based on the patterns of valence electrons in atoms.


Plan and carry out investigations (e.g., squeezing a balloon, placing a balloon on ice) to identify the relationships that exist among the pressure, volume, density, and temperature of a confined gas.


Analyze and interpret data from a simple chemical reaction or combustion reaction involving main group elements.


Analyze and interpret data using acid-base indicators (e.g., color-changing markers, pH paper) to distinguish between acids and bases, including comparisons between strong and weak acids and bases.


Use mathematical representations to support and verify the claim that atoms, and therefore mass, are conserved during a simple chemical reaction.


Develop models to illustrate the concept of half-life for radioactive decay.


Research and communicate information about types of naturally occurring radiation and their properties


Develop arguments for and against nuclear power generation compared to other types of power generation.


Use models to compare and contrast how the structural characteristics of carbohydrates, nucleic acids, proteins, and lipids define their function in organisms.


Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to describe the function and diversity of organelles and structures in various types of cells (e.g., muscle cells having a large amount of mitochondria, plasmids in bacteria, chloroplasts in plant cells).


Formulate an evidence-based explanation regarding how the composition of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) determines the structural organization of proteins.


Obtain and evaluate experiments of major scientists and communicate their contributions to the development of the structure of DNA and to the development of the central dogma of molecular biology.


Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information that explains how advancements in genetic technology (e.g., Human Genome Project, Encyclopedia of DNA Elements [ENCODE] project, 1000 Genomes Project) have contributed to the understanding as to how a genetic change at the DNA level may affect proteins and, in turn, influence the appearance of traits.


Obtain information to identify errors that occur during DNA replication (e.g., deletion, insertion, translocation, substitution, inversion, frame-shift, point mutations).


Develop and use models to explain the role of the cell cycle during growth and maintenance in multicellular organisms (e.g., normal growth and/or uncontrolled growth resulting in tumors).


Plan and carry out investigations to explain feedback mechanisms (e.g., sweating and shivering) and cellular processes (e.g., active and passive transport) that maintain homeostasis.


Plan and carry out investigations to explain how the unique properties of water (e.g., polarity, cohesion, adhesion) are vital to maintaining homeostasis in organisms.


Analyze and interpret data from investigations to explain the role of products and reactants of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cycling of matter and the flow of energy.


Plan and carry out investigations to explain the interactions among pigments, absorption of light, and reflection of light.


Develop and use models and appropriate terminology to identify regions, directions, planes, and cavities in the human body to locate organs and systems.


Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to differentiate between the male and female reproductive systems, including pathological conditions that affect each.


Use models to demonstrate what occurs in fetal development at each stage of pregnancy.


Use models to differentiate the structures of the urinary system and to describe their functions.


Analyze and interpret data related to the urinary system to show the relationship between homeostatic imbalances and disease (e.g., kidney stones, effects of pH imbalances).


Obtain and communicate information to explain the lymphatic organs and their structure and function.


Develop and use a model to explain the bodys lines of defense and immunity.


Obtain and communicate information to demonstrate an understanding of the disorders of the immune system (e.g., acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [AIDS], severe combined immunodeficiency [SCID]).


Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to support the claim that the endocrine glands secrete hormones that help the body maintain homeostasis through feedback loops.


Analyze the effects of pathological conditions (e.g., pituitary dwarfism, Addisons disease, diabetes mellitus) caused by imbalance of the hormones of the endocrine glands.


Analyze characteristics of tissue types (e.g., epithelial tissue) and construct an explanation of how the chemical and structural organizations of the cells that form these tissues are specialized to conduct the function of that tissue (e.g., lining, protecting).


Obtain and communicate information to explain the integumentary systems structure and function, including layers and accessories of skin and types of membranes.


Analyze the effects of pathological conditions (e.g., burns, skin cancer, bacterial and viral infections, chemical dermatitis) to determine the bodys attempt to maintain homeostasis.


Use models to identify the structure and function of the skeletal system (e.g., classification of bones by shape, classification of joints and the appendicular and axial skeletons).


Obtain and communicate information to demonstrate understanding of the growth and development of the skeletal system (e.g., bone growth and remodeling).


Obtain and communicate information to demonstrate understanding of the pathology of the skeletal system (e.g., types of bone fractures and their treatment, osteoporosis, rickets, other bone diseases).


Develop and use models to illustrate the anatomy of the muscular system, including muscle locations and groups, actions, origins and insertions.


Plan and conduct investigations to explain the physiology of the muscular system (e.g., muscle contraction/relaxation, muscle fatigue, muscle tone), including pathological conditions (e.g., muscular dystrophy).


Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information regarding how the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system interrelate, including how these systems affect all other body systems to maintain homeostasis.


Use scientific evidence to evaluate the effects of pathology on the nervous system (e.g., Parkinsons disease, Alzheimers disease, cerebral palsy, head trauma) and argue possible prevention and treatment options.


Design a medication to treat a disorder associated with neurotransmission, including mode of entry into the body, form of medication, and desired effects.


Use models to determine the relationship between the structures in and functions of the cardiovascular system (e.g., components of blood, blood circulation through the heart and systems of the body, ABO blood groups, anatomy of the heart, types of blood vessels).


Engage in argument from evidence regarding possible prevention and treatment options related to the pathology of the cardiovascular system (e.g., myocardial infarction, mitral valve prolapse, varicose veins, arteriosclerosis, anemia, high blood pressure).


Design and carry out an experiment to test various conditions that affect the heart (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure, electrocardiogram [ECG] output).


Communicate scientific information to explain the relationship between the structures and functions, both mechanical (e.g., chewing, churning in stomach) and chemical (e.g., enzymes, hydrochloric acid [HCl] in stomach), of the digestive system, including the accessory organs (e.g., salivary glands, pancreas).


Obtain and communicate information to demonstrate an understanding of the disorders of the digestive system (e.g., ulcers, Crohns disease, diverticulitis).


Develop and use a model to explain how the organs of the respiratory system function.


Engage in argument from evidence describing how environmental (e.g., cigarette smoke, polluted air) and genetic factors may affect the respiratory system, possibly leading to pathological conditions (e.g., cystic fibrosis).


Analyze and interpret data (e.g., melting point, boiling point, solubility, phase-change diagrams) to compare the strength of intermolecular forces and how these forces affect physical properties and changes.


Investigate and analyze, based on evidence obtained through observation or experimental design, the motion of an object using both graphical and mathematical models (e.g., creating or interpreting graphs of position, velocity, and acceleration versus time graphs for one- and twodimensional motion; solving problems using kinematic equations for the case of constant acceleration) that may include descriptors such as position, distance traveled, displacement, speed, velocity, and acceleration.


Identify external forces in a system and apply Newtons laws graphically by using models such as free-body diagrams to explain how the motion of an object is affected, ranging from simple to complex, and including circular motion.


Use mathematical computations to derive simple equations of motion for various systems using Newtons second law.


Use mathematical computations to explain the nature of forces (e.g., tension, friction, normal) related to Newtons second and third laws.


Evaluate qualitatively and quantitatively the relationship between the force acting on an object, the time of interaction, and the change in momentum using the impulse-momentum theorem.


Identify and analyze forces responsible for changes in rotational motion and develop an understanding of the effect of rotational inertia on the motion of a rotating object (e.g., merry-goround, spinning toy, spinning figure skater, stellar collapse [supernova], rapidly spinning pulsar).


Construct simple series and parallel circuits containing resistors and batteries and apply Ohms law to solve typical problems demonstrating the effect of changing values of resistors and voltages.


Analyze and interpret data for one- and two-dimensional motion applying basic concepts of distance, displacement, speed, velocity, and acceleration (e.g., velocity versus time graphs, displacement versus time graphs, acceleration versus time graphs).


Apply Newtons laws to predict the motion of a system by constructing force diagrams that identify the external forces acting on the system, including friction (e.g., a book on a table, an object being pushed across a floor, an accelerating car).


Use mathematical equations (e.g., (m1v1 + m2v2) before = (m1v1 + m2v2) after) and diagrams to explain that the total momentum of a system of objects is conserved when there is no net external force on the system.


Use the laws of conservation of mechanical energy and momentum to predict the result of one-dimensional elastic collisions.


Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to explain how organisms are classified by physical characteristics, organized into levels of taxonomy, and identified by binomial nomenclature (e.g., taxonomic classification, dichotomous keys).


Engage in argument to justify the grouping of viruses in a category separate from living things.


Analyze and interpret data to evaluate adaptations resulting from natural and artificial selection that may cause changes in populations over time (e.g., antibiotic-resistant bacteria, beak types, peppered moths, pest-resistant crops).


Engage in argument from evidence (e.g., mathematical models such as distribution graphs) to explain how the diversity of organisms is affected by overpopulation of species, variation due to genetic mutations, and competition for limited resources.


Analyze scientific evidence (e.g., DNA, fossil records, cladograms, biogeography) to support hypotheses of common ancestry and biological evolution.


Plan and carry out investigations that evaluate the mathematical explanations of light as related to optical systems (e.g., reflection, refraction, diffraction, intensity, polarization, Snells law, the inverse square law).


Develop and use models to illustrate electric and magnetic fields, including how each is created (e.g., charging by either conduction or induction and polarizing; sketching field lines for situations such as point charges, a charged straight wire, or a current carrying wires such as solenoids; calculating the forces due to Coulombs laws), and predict the motion of charged particles in each field and the energy required to move a charge between two points in each field.


Use the principles of Ohms and Kirchhoffs laws to design, construct, and analyze combination circuits using typical components (e.g., resistors, capacitors, diodes, sources of power).


Investigate the nature of wave behavior to illustrate the concept of the superposition principle responsible for wave patterns, constructive and destructive interference, and standing waves (e.g., organ pipes, tuned exhaust systems).


Predict and explore how wave behavior is applied to scientific phenomena such as the Doppler effect and Sound Navigation and Ranging (SONAR).


Obtain and evaluate information regarding technical devices to describe wave propagation of electromagnetic radiation and compare it to sound propagation. (e.g., wireless telephones, magnetic resonance imaging [MRI], microwave systems, Radio Detection and Ranging [RADAR], SONAR, ultrasound).


Use mathematical representations to demonstrate the relationships among wavelength, frequency, and speed of waves (e.g., the relation v = f) traveling in various media (e.g., electromagnetic radiation traveling in a vacuum and glass, sound waves traveling through air and water, seismic waves traveling through Earth).


Propose and defend a hypothesis based on information gathered from published materials (e.g., trade books, magazines, Internet resources, videos) for and against various claims for the safety of electromagnetic radiation.


Obtain and communicate information from published materials to explain how transmitting and receiving devices (e.g., cellular telephones, medical-imaging technology, solar cells, wireless Internet, scanners, Sound Navigation and Ranging [SONAR]) use the principles of wave behavior and wave interactions with matter to transmit and capture information and energy.