Missouri State Standards for Science — Grade 6

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Objects, and the materials they are made of, have properties that can be used to describe and classify them


Identify matter is anything that has mass and volume


Describe and compare the volumes (the amount of space an object occupies) of objects or substances directly, using a graduated cylinder, and/or indirectly, using displacement methods


Describe and compare the masses (amounts of matter) of objects to the nearest gram using a balance


Classify the types of matter in an object into pure substances or mixtures using their specific physical properties


Properties of mixtures depend upon the concentrations, properties, and interactions of particles


Describe the properties of each component in a mixture/solution and their distinguishing properties (e.g., salt water, oil and vinegar, pond water, Kool-Aid)


Describe appropriate ways to separate the components of different types of mixtures (sorting, evaporation, filtration, magnets, boiling, chromatography, screening)


Predict how various solids (soluble/insoluble) behave (e.g., dissolve, settle, float) when mixed with water


Properties of matter can be explained in terms of moving particles too small to be seen without tremendous magnification


Describe evidence (e.g., diffusion of food coloring in water, light reflecting off of dust particles in the air, condensation of water vapor by increased pressure or decreased temperature) that supports the theory that matter is composed of small particles (atoms, molecules) that are in constant, random motion


Physical changes in the state of matter that result from thermal changes can be explained by the Kinetic Theory of Matter


Describe the relationship between the change in the volume of water and changes in temperature as it relates to the properties of water (i.e., water expands and becomes less dense when frozen)


Properties of objects and states of matter can change chemically and/or physically


Identify and classify changes in matter as chemical and/or physical


Identify chemical changes (i.e., rusting, oxidation, burning, decomposition by acids, decaying, baking) in common objects (i.e., rocks such as limestone, minerals, wood, steel wool, plants) as a result of interactions with sources of energy or other matter that form new substances with different characteristic properties


Identify physical changes in common objects (e.g., rocks, minerals, wood, water, steel wool, plants) and describe the processes which caused the change (e.g., weathering, erosion, cutting, dissolving)


Mass is conserved during any physical or chemical change


Demonstrate and provide evidence that mass is conserved during a physical change


Forms of energy have a source, a means of transfer (work and heat), and a receiver


Identify sources of visible light (e.g., the Sun and other stars, flint, bulb, flames, lightning)


Describe evidence (i.e., cannot bend around walls) that visible light travels in a straight line, using the appropriate tools (i.e., pinhole viewer, ray box, laser pointer)


Compare the reflection of visible light by various surfaces (i.e., mirror, smooth and rough surfaces, shiny and dull surfaces, Moon)


Compare the refraction of visible light passing through different transparent and translucent materials (e.g., prisms, water, a lens)


Predict how different surfaces (transparent, translucent, opaque) and lenses (convex, concave) affect the behavior of visible light rays and the resulting image of an object


Identify receivers of visible light energy (e.g., eye, photocell)


Recognize and explain that an object is seen only when the object emits or reflects light to the eye


Recognize differences in wavelength and energy levels within that range of visible light that can be seen by the human eye are perceived as differences in color


Describe how sound energy is transferred by wave-like disturbances that spread away from the source through a medium


Describe how changes in energy cause changes in loudness and pitch of a sound


Predict how the properties of the medium (e.g., air, water, empty space, rock) affect the speed of different types of mechanical waves (i.e., earthquake, sound)


Electromagnetic energy from the Sun (solar radiation) is a major source of energy on Earth


Recognize and describe how energy from the Sun is transferred to Earth in a range of wavelengths and energy levels, including visible light, infrared radiation, and ultraviolet radiation


Recognize and apply the fact that energy from the Sun is the source of almost all energy used to produce the food for living organisms


Organisms have basic needs for survival


Describe the common life processes necessary to the survival of organisms (i.e., growth, reproduction, life span, response to stimuli, energy use, exchange of gases, use of water, elimination of waste)


Cells are the fundamental units of structure and function of all living things


Recognize all organisms are composed of cells, the fundamental units of life, which carry on all life processes


Biological classifications are based on how organisms are related


Recognize most of the organisms on Earth are unicellular (e.g., bacteria, protists) and other organisms, including humans, are multicellular


Identify examples of unicellular (e.g., bacteria, some protists, fungi) and multicellular organisms (e.g., some fungi, plants, animals)


The cell contains a set of structures called organelles that interact to carry out life processes through physical and chemical means


Compare and contrast the following plant and animal cell structures: cell membrane, nucleus, cell wall, chloroplast, and cytoplasm


Recognize the chloroplast as the cell structure where food is produced in plants and some unicellular organisms (e.g., algae, some protists)


Photosynthesis and cellular respiration are complementary processes necessary to the survival of most organisms on Earth


Describe how plants use energy from the Sun to produce food and oxygen through the process of photosynthesis


All populations living together within a community interact with one another and with their environment in order to survive and maintain a balanced ecosystem


Identify the biotic factors (populations of organisms) and abiotic factors (e.g., quantity of light and water, range of temperatures, soil composition) that make up an ecosystem


Living organisms have the capacity to produce populations of infinite size, but environments and resources are finite


Identify populations within a community that are in competition with one another for resources


Identify the factors that affect the number and types of organisms an ecosystem can support (e.g., food availability, abiotic factors such as quantity of light and water, temperature and temperature range, soil composition, disease, competitions from other organisms, predation)


Predict the possible effects of changes in the number and types of organisms in an ecosystem on the populations of other organisms within that ecosystem


The diversity of species within an ecosystem is affected by changes in the environment, which can be caused by other organisms or outside processes


Describe beneficial and harmful activities of organisms, including humans (e.g., deforestation, overpopulation, water and air pollution, global warming, restoration of natural environments, river bank/coastal stabilization, recycling, channelization, reintroduction of species, depletion of resources), and explain how these activities affect organisms within an ecosystem


Predict the impact (beneficial or harmful) of a natural environmental change (e.g., forest fire, flood, volcanic eruption, avalanche) on the organisms in an ecosystem


Describe possible solutions to potentially harmful environmental changes within an ecosystem


As energy flows through the ecosystem, all organisms capture a portion of that energy and transform it to a form they can use


Diagram and describe the transfer of energy in an aquatic food web and a land food web with reference to producers, consumers, decomposers, scavengers, and predator/prey relationships


Classify populations of unicellular and multicellular organisms as producers, consumers, and decomposers by the role they serve in the ecosystem


Evidence for the nature and rates of evolution can be found in anatomical and molecular characteristics of organisms and in the fossil record


Identify fossils as evidence some types of organisms (e.g., dinosaurs, trilobites, mammoths, giant tree ferns) that once lived in the past, and have since become extinct, have similarities with and differences from organisms living today


Natural selection is the process of sorting individuals based on their ability to survive and reproduce within their ecosystem


Relate examples of adaptations (specialized structures or behaviors) within a species to its ability to survive in a specific environment (e.g., hollow bones/flight, hollow hair/insulation, dense root structure/compact soil, seeds/food, protection for plant embryo vs. spores, fins/movement in water)


Predict how certain adaptations, such as behavior, body structure, or coloration, may offer a survival advantage to an organism in a particular environment


The Earths crust is composed of various materials, including soil, minerals, and rocks, with characteristic properties


Describe the components of soil and other factors that influence soil texture, fertility, and resistance to erosion (e.g., plant roots and debris, bacteria, fungi, worms, rodents)


The hydrosphere is composed of water (a material with unique properties), gases, and other materials


Identify and describe the properties of water that make it an essential component of the Earth system (e.g., its ability to act as a solvent, its ability to remain as a liquid at most Earth temperatures)


The Earths materials and surface features are changed through a variety of external processes


Make inferences about the formation of sedimentary rocks from their physical properties (e.g., layering and the presence of fossils indicate sedimentation)


Explain how the formation of sedimentary rocks depends on weathering and erosion


Describe how weathering agents and erosional processes (i.e., force of water as it freezes or flows, expansion/contraction due to temperature, force of wind, force of plant roots, action of gravity, chemical decomposition) slowly cause surface changes that create and/or change landforms


Describe how the Earths surface and surface materials can change abruptly through the activity of floods, rock/mudslides, or volcanoes


There are internal processes and sources of energy within the geosphere that cause changes in Earth's crustal plates


Identify events (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions) and the landforms created by them on the Earths surface that occur at different plate boundaries


Changes in the Earth over time can be inferred through rock and fossil evidence


Explain the types of fossils and the processes by which they are formed (i.e., replacement, mold and cast, preservation, trace)


Use fossil evidence to make inferences about changes on Earth and in its environment (i.e., superposition of rock layers, similarities between fossils in different geographical locations, fossils of seashells indicate the area was once underwater)


Earths materials are limited natural resources affected by human activity


Relate the comparative amounts of freshwater and salt water on the Earth to the availability of water as a resource for living organisms and human activity


Describe the effect of human activities (e.g., landfills, use of fertilizers and herbicides, farming, septic systems) on the quality of water


Analyze the ways humans affect the erosion and deposition of soil and rock materials (e.g., clearing of land, planting vegetation, paving land, construction of new buildings, building or removal of dams) and propose possible solutions


Scientific inquiry includes the ability of students to formulate a testable question and explanation, and to select appropriate investigative methods in order to obtain evidence relevant to the explanation


Formulate testable questions and hypotheses


Identify and describe the importance of the independent variable, dependent variables, control of constants, and multiple trials to the design of a valid experiment


Design and conduct a valid experiment


Evaluate the design of an experiment and make suggestions for reasonable improvements or extensions of an experiment


Recognize different kinds of questions suggest different kinds of scientific investigations (e.g., some involve observing and describing objects, organisms, or events; some involve collecting specimens; some involve experiments; some involve making observations in nature; some involve discovery of new objects and phenomena; some involve making models)


Scientific inquiry relies upon gathering evidence from qualitative and quantitative observations


Make qualitative observations using the five senses


Determine the appropriate tools and techniques to collect data


Use a variety of tools and equipment to gather data (e.g., microscopes, thermometers, computers, spring scales, balances, magnets, metric rulers, graduated cylinders, stopwatches)


Measure length to the nearest millimeter, mass to the nearest gram, volume to the nearest milliliter, temperature to the nearest degree Celsius, force (weight) to the nearest Newton, time to the nearest second


Compare amounts/measurements


Judge whether measurements and computation of quantities are reasonable


Scientific inquiry includes evaluation of explanations (laws/principles, theories/models) in light of evidence (data) and scientific principles (understandings)


Use quantitative and qualitative data as support for reasonable explanations (conclusions)


Use data as support for observed patterns and relationships, and to make predictions to be tested


Determine the possible effects of errors in observations, measurements, and calculations on the formulation of explanations (conclusions)


Evaluate the reasonableness of an explanation (conclusion)


Analyze whether evidence (data) and scientific principles support proposed explanations (hypotheses, laws, theories)


The nature of science relies upon communication of results and justification of explanations


Communicate the procedures and results of investigations and explanations through: oral presentations drawings and maps data tables (allowing for the recording and analysis of data relevant to the experiment, such as independent and dependent variables, multiple trials, beginning and ending times or temperatures, derived quantities) graphs (bar, single line, pictograph) writings


Designed objects are used to do things better or more easily and to do some things that could not otherwise be done at all


Explain how technological improvements, such as those developed for use in space exploration, the military, or medicine, have led to the invention of new products that may improve lives here on Earth (e.g., new materials, freeze-dried foods, infrared goggles, Velcro, satellite imagery, robotics, lasers)


Advances in technology often result in improved data collection and an increase in scientific information


Identify the link between technological developments and the scientific discoveries made possible through their development (e.g., Hubble telescope and stellar evolution, composition and structure of the universe; the electron microscope and cell organelles; sonar and the composition of the Earth; manned and unmanned space missions and space exploration; Doppler radar and weather conditions; MRI and CAT-scans and brain activity)


Technological solutions to problems often have drawbacks as well as benefits


Describe how technological solutions to problems (e.g., storm water runoff, fiber optics, windmills, efficient car design, electronic trains without conductors, sonar, robotics, Hubble telescope) can have both benefits and drawbacks (e.g., design constraints, unintended consequences, risks) (Assess Locally)


People of different gender and ethnicity have contributed to scientific discoveries and the invention of technological innovations


Describe how the contributions of scientists and inventors, representing different cultures, races, and gender, have contributed to science, technology and human activity (e.g., George Washington Carver, Thomas Edison, Thomas Jefferson, Isaac Newton, Marie Curie, Galileo, Albert Einstein, Mae Jemison, Edwin Hubble, Charles Darwin, Jonas Salk, Louis Pasteur, Jane Goodall, Tom Akers, John Wesley Powell, Rachel Carson) (Assess Locally)


Scientific theories are developed based on the body of knowledge that exists at any particular time and must be rigorously questioned and tested for validity


Describe the difficulty science innovators experience as they attempt to break through accepted ideas (hypotheses, laws, theories) of their time to reach conclusions that may lead to changes in those ideas and serve to advance scientific understanding (e.g., Darwin, Copernicus, Newton)


Describe explanations have changed over time as a result of new evidence


Social, political, economic, ethical and environmental factors strongly influence, and are influenced by, the direction of progress of science and technology


Describe ways in which science and society influence one another (e.g., scientific knowledge and the procedures used by scientists influence the way many individuals in society think about themselves, others, and the environment; societal challenges often inspire questions for scientific research; social priorities often influence research priorities through the availability of funding for research)


Identify and evaluate the physical, social, economic, and/or environmental problems that may be overcome using science and technology (e.g., the need for alternative fuels, human travel in space, AIDS)