Minnesota Science Learning Standards — Grade 8

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Evaluate the reasoning in arguments in which fact and opinion are intermingled or when conclusions do not follow logically from the evidence given. For example: Evaluate the use of pH in advertizing products such as body care and gardening.

Use logical reasoning and imagination to develop descriptions, explanations, predictions and models based on evidence.

Describe examples of important contributions to the advancement of science, engineering and technology made by individuals representing different groups and cultures at different times in history.

Explain how scientific laws and engineering principles, as well as economic, political, social,and ethical expectations, must be taken into account in designing engineering solutions or conducting scientific investigations.

Understand that scientific knowledge is always changing as new technologies and information enhance observations and analysis of data. For example: Analyze how new telescopes have provided new information about the universe.

Provide examples of how advances in technology have impacted how people live, work and interact.

Use maps, satellite images and other data sets to describe patterns and make predictions about local and global systems in Earth science contexts. For example: Use data or satellite images to identify locations of earthquakes and volcanoes, ocean surface temperatures, or weather patterns.

Determine and use appropriate safety procedures, tools, measurements, graphs and mathematical analyses to describe and investigate natural and designed systems in Earth and physical science contexts.

Distinguish between a mixture and a pure substance and use physical properties including color, solubility, density, melting point and boiling point to separate mixtures and identify pure substances.

Use physical properties to distinguish between metals and nonmetals.

Identify evidence of chemical changes, including color change, gas evolution, solid formation and temperature change.

Distinguish between chemical and physical changes in matter.

Use the particle model of matter to explain how mass is conserved during physical and chemical changes in a closed system.

Recognize that acids are compounds whose properties include a sour taste, characteristic color changes with litmus and other acid/base indicators, and the tendency to react with bases to produce a salt and water.

Explain how seismic waves transfer energy through the layers of the Earth and across its surface.

Recognize that the Earth is composed of layers, and describe the properties of the layers, including the lithosphere, mantle and core.

Correlate the distribution of ocean trenches, mid-ocean ridges and mountain ranges to volcanic and seismic activity.

Recognize that major geological events, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and mountain building, result from the slow movement of tectonic plates.

Explain how landforms result from the processes of crustal deformation, volcanic eruptions, weathering, erosion and deposition of sediment.

Explain the role of weathering, erosion and glacial activity in shaping Minnesota's current landscape.

Interpret successive layers of sedimentary rocks and their fossils to infer relative ages of rock sequences, past geologic events, changes in environmental conditions, and the appearance and extinction of life forms.

Classify and identify rocks and minerals using characteristics including, but not limited to, density, hardness and streak for minerals; and texture and composition for rocks.

Relate rock composition and texture to physical conditions at the time of formation of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rock.

Explain how the combination of the Earth's tilted axis and revolution around the sun causes the progression of seasons.

Recognize that oceans have a major effect on global climate because water in the oceans holds a large amount of heat.

Explain how heating of Earth's surface and atmosphere by the sun drives convection within the atmosphere and hydrosphere producing winds, ocean currents and the water cycle, as well as influencing global climate.

Describe how the composition and structure of the Earth's atmosphere affects energy absorption, climate, and the distribution of particulates and gases. For example: Certain gases contribute to the greenhouse effect.

Analyze changes in wind direction, temperature, humidity and air pressure and relate them to fronts and pressure systems.

Relate global weather patterns to patterns in regional and local weather.

Describe the location, composition and use of major water reservoirs on the Earth, and the transfer of water among them.

Describe how the water cycle distributes materials and purifies water. For example: Dissolved gases can change the chemical composition of substances on Earth. Another example: Waterborne disease.

Recognize that the sun is a medium sized star, one of billions of stars in the Milky Way galaxy, and the closest star to Earth.

Describe how gravity and inertia keep most objects in the solar system in regular and predictable motion.

Recognize that gravitational force exists between any two objects and describe how the masses of the objects and distance between them affect the force.

Compare and contrast the sizes, locations, and compositions of the planets and moons in our solar system.

Use the predictable motions of the Earth around its own axis and around the sun, and of the moon around the Earth, to explain day length, the phases of the moon, and eclipses.

Describe how mineral and fossil fuel resources have formed over millions of years, and explain why these resources are finite and non-renewable over human time frames.

Recognize that land and water use practices affect natural processes and that natural processes interfere and interact with human systems. For example: Levees change the natural flooding process of a river. Another example: Agricultural runoff influences natural systems far from the source.