Student work at the Meets Standards level demonstrates proficient knowledge and skills in science. Students effectively apply knowledge and skills to solve problems.
Students who meet the Standards formulate acceptable hypotheses and demonstrate an understanding of the basic concepts of design procedures to test hypotheses. They understand how systematic controlled experiments are designed and the basic concepts of applying statistical methods to assess results. These students identify major experimental design problems, select criteria for a successful solution, and choose the best of different potential design solutions. They modify a model to improve its design and identify some criteria to evaluate the design solution.
Students who meet the Standards demonstrate a basic understanding of how genetic combinations and mutations produce visible effects and variations to the physical features and cellular functions of organisms. They understand how organisms respond to external stimuli and identify basic structures and organization of living things. They understand the significance of evidence that organisms have evolved over time, including the fossil record, vestigial organs, and phylogenetic trees. They identify the abiotic and biotic factors that lead to extinction and speciation. They identify or predict basic mechanisms by which life forms adapt to changes in the environment and demonstrate a basic understanding of how adaptation affects the size and stability of a population.
Students who meet the Standards demonstrate a basic understanding of physical science concepts, such as atomic and nuclear theory, force, momentum and its conservation, mass, energy and its transformations, light, and sound. They analyze reactions, the properties of materials, the relative motion of objects or the effects of the fundamental forces on physical systems. They make connections between classroom activities and real life situations.
Earth and Space Sciences
Students who meet the Standards demonstrate a general understanding of most large-scale dynamic forces, events, and processes of Earth’s systems (for example, the origin and dynamic nature of Earth, such as plate tectonics and the related areas of earthquakes and volcanism; weather and climatic events, and the geological history of the earth, including rocks, minerals, and fossils). They analyze the systems and components of the universe. They demonstrate a basic understanding of how geologic and astronomical events, such as earthquakes, weathering, meteor impacts, and supernovas, occur and the effects of these events. They identify and demonstrate familiarity with common objects in the solar system, such as planets, moons, meteors, and comets, and demonstrate a general understanding of the relationships among them.
Science, Technology, and Society
Students who meet the Standards demonstrate awareness of the most basic applications and implications of laboratory safety. They demonstrate a basic understanding of the criteria that scientists use to evaluate the validity of scientific claims or theories. They explain the strengths, weaknesses and uses of uncomplicated research methodologies. They demonstrate a basic understand of the necessity for experimental replication and peer reviews to support scientific claims. These students demonstrate sufficient knowledge to analyze the political ramifications of familiar scientific and technological advancements, such as nuclear weapons, biological and chemical warfare, and biotechnology. These students understand the basic principles underlying environmental impact studies, cost-benefits analyses, and effects of scientific policies at the local, national, and global levels. These students identify uncomplicated connections between scientific progress and careers, job markets, and other aspects of everyday life.