Missouri State Standards for Science (2010) — Grade 8

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


Identify elements (unique atoms) and compounds (molecules or crystals) are pure substances that have characteristic properties


Describe the physical and chemical properties (e.g., magnetic attraction, conductivity, melting point and boiling point, reactivity) of pure substances (elements or compounds) (e.g., copper wire, aluminum wire, iron, charcoal, sulfur, water, salt, sugar, sodium bicarbonate, galena, quartz, magnetite, pyrite) using appropriate senses and tools


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 colored material into clear material such as water; light reflecting off of dust particles in air; changes in physical properties and reactivity such as gold hammered into foil, oil spreading on the surface of water, decay of organic matter, condensation of water vapor by increased pressure) that supports the theory that matter is composed of moving particles too small to be seen (atoms, molecules


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


Using the Kinetic Theory model, illustrate and account for the physical properties (i.e., shape, volume, malleability, viscosity) of a solid, liquid, or gas in terms of the arrangement and motion of molecules in a substance


Use the Kinetic Theory model to explain changes in the volume, shape, and viscosity of materials in response to temperature changes during a phase change


Predict the effect of energy transfer on the physical properties of a substance as it changes to or from a solid, liquid, or gas (i.e., phase changes that occur during freezing, melting, evaporation, boiling, condensation)


The periodic table organizes the elements according to their atomic structure and chemical reactivity


Identify more than 100 known elements (unique atoms) exist that may be combined in nature or by man to produce compounds that make up the living and nonliving substances in the environment (Do NOT assess memorization of the Periodic Table)


Mass is conserved during any physical or chemical change


Provide evidence that mass is conserved during a chemical change in a closed system (e.g., vinegar + baking soda, mold growing in a closed container, steel wool rusting)


Explain that the amount of matter remains constant while being recycled through the rock cycle


Explain that the amount of matter remains constant while being recycled through food chains and food webs


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


Recognize and describe how chemical energy is stored in chemical compounds (e.g., energy stored in and released from food molecules, batteries, nitrogen explosives, fireworks, organic fuels)


Energy can be transferred within a system as the total amount of energy remains constant (i.e., Law of Conservation of Energy)


Identify the evidence of different energy transformations (e.g., explosion of light, heat, and sound, temperature change, electrical charge) that may occur as chemical energy is released during a chemical reaction


Organisms have basic needs for survival


Recognize that most plants and animals require food and oxygen (needed to release the energy from that food)


Plants and animals have different structures that serve similar functions necessary for the survival of the organism


Identify and contrast the structures of plants and animals that serve similar functions (e.g., taking in water and oxygen, support, response to stimuli, obtaining energy, circulation, digestion, excretion, reproduction)


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


Describe how the cell membrane helps regulate the transfer of materials in and out of the cell


Identify the function of the chloroplast during photosynthesis


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


Describe photosynthesis is a chemical change with reactants (water and carbon dioxide) and products (energy-rich sugar molecules and oxygen) that takes place in the presence of light and chlorophyll


Describe how oxygen is needed by all cells of most organisms for the release of energy from nutrient (sugar) molecules (Do NOT assess the term cellular respiration)


Describe the importance of the transport and exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide to the survival of the organism


Complex multicellular organisms have systems that interact to carry out life processes through physical and chemical means


Identify and give examples of each level of organization (cell, tissue, organ, organ system) in multicellular organisms (plants, animals)


Illustrate and explain the path water and nutrients take as they move through the transport system of a plant


Explain the interactions between the circulatory and digestive systems as nutrients are processed by the digestive system, passed into the bloodstream, and transported in and out of the cell


Compare and contrast the processes of mechanical and chemical digestion, and their role in providing materials necessary for survival of the cell and organism


Identify the importance of the transport and exchange of nutrient and waste molecules to the survival of the cell and organism


Explain the interactions between the circulatory and respiratory systems in exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide between cells and the atmosphere (when oxygen enters the body, passes into the bloodstream, and is transported into the cell; carbon dioxide is transported out of the cell, passes into the blood stream, and exits the body)


Explain the interactions between the nervous and muscular systems when an organism responds to a stimulus


Cellular activities and responses can maintain stability internally while external conditions are changing (homeostasis)


Predict the response the body may take to maintain internal balance during an environmental change (e.g., shivering when cold, slowing metabolism when food supply decreases or when dehydrated, adrenaline rush when frightened)


Life processes can be disrupted by disease (intrinsic failures of the organ systems or by infection due to other organisms)


Explain the cause and effect of diseases (e.g., AIDS, cancer, diabetes, hypertension) on the human body (locally assessed)


Relate some common diseases (i.e., cold, influenza, strep throat, dysentery, fungal infections) to the organisms that cause them (bacteria, viruses, protests, fungi)


Differentiate between infectious and noninfectious diseases


Explain the role of antibiotics and vaccines in the treatment and prevention of diseases


Reproduction can occur asexually or sexually


Compare and contrast the processes of asexual and sexual reproduction, including the type and number of cells involved (one body cell in asexual, two sex cells in sexual), and the number of gene sets (body cell has two sets, sex cells have one set each) passed from parent(s) to offspring


Identify examples of asexual reproduction (i.e., plants budding, binary fission of single cell organisms)


Compare and contrast the reproductive mechanisms of classes of vertebrates (i.e., internal vs. external fertilization)


Describe how flowering plants reproduce sexually


Chromosomes are components of cells that occur in pairs and carry hereditary information from one cell to daughter cells and from parent to offspring during reproduction


Identify chromosomes as cellular structures that occur in pairs that carry hereditary information in units called genes


Recognize and describe how when asexual reproduction occurs, the same genetic information found in the parent cell is copied and passed on to each new daughter cell (Assess only the concept not the term or process of mitosis)


Recognize and describe how when sexual reproduction occurs, genetic material from both parents is passed on and combined to form the genetic code for the new organism (Assess only the concept not the term or process of meiosis)


There is heritable variation within every species of organism


Recognize and describe when asexual reproduction occurs, the daughter cell is identical to the parent cell (assuming no change in the parent genes)


Recognize and describe when sexual reproduction occurs, the offspring is not identical to either parent due to the combining of the different genetic codes contained in each sex cell


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


Explain the beneficial or detrimental impact that some organisms (i.e., viruses, bacteria, protists, fungi) may have on other organisms (e.g., diseases, antibiotics, breakdown of waste, fermentation)


Matter is recycled through an ecosystem


Illustrate the oxygen/carbon dioxide cycles (including the processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration)


Describe the processes involved in the recycling of matter in the oxygen/carbon dioxide cycles


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


Differentiate between minerals and rocks (which are composed of different kinds of minerals)


Describe the distinguishing properties that can be used to classify minerals (i.e., texture, smell, luster, hardness, crystal shape, streak, reaction to magnets and acids)


Describe the methods used to identify the distinguishing properties of minerals


Classify rocks as sedimentary, igneous, or metamorphic


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


Explain convection currents are the result of uneven heating inside the mantle resulting in the melting of rock materials, convection of magma, eruption/flow of magma, and movement of crustal plates


Explain how rock layers are affected by the folding, breaking, and uplifting of rock layers due to plate motion


Describe how the movement of crustal plates can cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that can result in mountain building and trench formation


Continual changes in Earths materials and surface that result from internal and external processes are described by the rock cycle


Explain how heating and cooling in the mantle layer leads to the formation of metamorphic rocks and some igneous rocks


Make inferences about the formation of igneous and metamorphic rocks from their physical properties (e.g., crystal size indicates rate of cooling, air pockets or glassy texture indicate volcanic activity)


Explain and diagram the external and internal processes of the rock cycle (e.g., weathering and erosion, sedimentation, compaction, heating, recrystallization, resurfacing due to forces that drive plate motion)


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


Describe the methods used to estimate geologic time and the age of the Earth (e.g., techniques used to date rocks and rock layers, presence of fossils)


Use rock and fossil evidence to make inferences about the age, history, and changing life forms and environment of the Earth (i.e., changes in successive layers of sedimentary rock and the fossils contained within them, similarities between fossils in different geographic locations, similarities between fossils and organisms present today, fossils of organisms indicating changes in climate, fossils of extinct organisms)

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


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)


Acknowledge there is no fixed procedure called the scientific method, but some investigations involve systematic observations, carefully collected and relevant evidence, logical reasoning, and imagination in developing hypotheses and other explanations


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, analog and digital meters, computers, spring scales, balances, metric rulers, graduated cylinders, stopwatches)


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


Compare amounts/measurements


Judge whether measurements and computation of quantities are reasonable


Calculate the range and average/mean of a set of data


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) equations and 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)


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)