Tennessee Academic Standards for ScienceTennessee Science Standards Value StatementTennessee possesses a citizenry known to be intelligent, knowledgeable, hardworking, and creative.Tennessee’s schools offer science programs that introduce a broad range of important subjects alongwith opportunities to explore topics ranging from nuclear energy science to breakthrough medicaldiscoveries. The challenge of developing and sustaining a population of scientifically informed citizensrequires that educational systems be guided by science curriculum standards that are academicallyrigorous, relevant to today’s world, and attendant to what makes Tennessee a unique place to live andlearn.To achieve this end, school systems employ standards to craft meaningful local curricula that areinnovative and provide myriad learning opportunities that extend beyond mastery of basic scientificprinciples. The Tennessee Academic Standards for Science standards include the necessary qualities andconditions to support learning environments in which students can develop knowledge and skills neededfor post-secondary and career pursuits, and be well-positioned to become curious, lifelong learners.Declarations:Tennessee’s K-12 science standards are intended to guide the development and delivery of educationalexperiences that prepare all students for the challenges of the 21stcentury and enable them to: Develop an in-depth understanding of the major science disciplines through a series of coherent K12 learning experiences that afford frequent interactions with the natural and man-made worlds; Make pertinent connections among scientific concepts, associated mathematical principles, andskillful applications of reading, writing, listening, and speaking; Recognize that certain broad concepts/big ideas foster a comprehensive and scientifically-basedpicture of the world and are important across all fields of science; Explore scientific phenomena and build science knowledge and skills using their own linguistic andcultural experiences with appropriate assistance or accommodations; Identify and ask appropriate questions that can be answered through scientific investigations; Design and conduct investigations independently or collaboratively to generate evidence needed toanswer a variety of questions; Use appropriate equipment and tools and apply safe laboratory habits and procedures; Think critically and logically to analyze and interpret data, draw conclusions, and developexplanations that are based on evidence and are free from bias; Communicate and defend results through multiple modes of representation (e.g., oral,mathematical, pictorial, graphic, and textual models); Integrate science, mathematics, technology, and engineering design to solve problems and guideeveryday decisions; Consider trade-offs among possible solutions when making decisions about issues for which there1

1are competing alternatives;Locate, evaluate, and apply reliable sources of scientific and technological information;Recognize that the principal activity of scientists is to explain the natural world and developassociated theories and laws;Recognize that current scientific understanding is tentative and subject to change as experimentalevidence accumulates and/or old evidence is reexamined;Demonstrate an understanding of scientific principles and the ability to conduct investigationsthrough student-directed experiments, authentic performances, lab reports, portfolios, laboratorydemonstrations, real world projects, interviews, and high-stakes tests. 1Information from the NSTA Position Statements was adapted to compile this document.2

Table of ContentsSectionBackground Information and ContextResearch and Vision of the StandardsCrosscutting ConceptsScience and Engineering PracticesEngineering Technology and Science Practice Standards (ETS)Structure of the StandardsElementary School ProgressionMiddle School ProgressionHigh School ProgressionGrade Level OverviewsShifts in SequenceDisciplinary Core Ideas across Grade LevelsRecommended Mathematical and Literacy Skills for ScienceProficiencyScientific Literacy vs. LiteracyKindergartenFirst GradeSecond GradeThird GradeFourth GradeFifth GradeSixth GradeSeventh GradeEighth GradeBiology IBiology IIChemistry IChemistry IIEarth and Space ScienceEcologyEnvironmental ScienceGeologyHuman Anatomy and PhysiologyPhysical SciencePhysical World ConceptsPhysicsScientific ResearchPage 3788489951001061111161213

Research and Vision of the StandardsThe ideas driving the development of the standards are: Improve the coherence of content from grade to grade. Integrate disciplinary core ideas with crosscutting concepts and science and engineeringpractices. Promote equity and diversity of science and engineering education for all learners.Disciplinary Core Ideas and Components:The Framework for K-12 Science Education describes the progression of disciplinary core ideas (DCIs) andgives grade level end points. These core ideas and the component ideas are the structure andorganization of the Tennessee Academic Standards for Science. Focusing on a limited number of ideas,grades K-12 will deepen content knowledge and build on learning. The progressions are designed tobuild on student understanding of science with developmental appropriateness. The science andengineering practices are integrated throughout the physical, life, and earth DCI groups shown below.PHYSICAL SCIENCES (PS)PS1: Matter and Its InteractionsA. Structure and Properties of MatterB. Chemical ProcessesC. Nuclear ProcessesPS2: Motion and Stability: Forces and InteractionsA. Forces, Fields, and MotionB. Types of InteractionsC. Stability and Instability in Physical SystemsPS3: EnergyA. Definitions of EnergyB. Conservation of Energy and Energy TransferC. Relationship Between Energy and Forces and FieldsD. Energy in Chemical Processes and Everyday LifePS4: Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information TransferA. Wave Properties: Mechanical and ElectromagneticB. Electromagnetic RadiationC. Information Technologies and Instrumentation4

LIFE SCIENCES (LS)LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and ProcessesA. Structure and FunctionB. Growth and Development of OrganismsC. Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in OrganismsD. Information ProcessingLS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and DynamicsA. Interdependent Relationships in EcosystemsB. Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in EcosystemsC. Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and ResilienceD. Social Interactions and Group BehaviorLS3: Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of TraitsA. Inheritance of TraitsB. Variation of TraitsLS4: Biological Change: Unity and DiversityA. Evidence of Common AncestryB. Natural SelectionC. AdaptationD. Biodiversity and HumansEARTH AND SPACE SCIENCES (ESS)ESS1: Earth’s Place in the UniverseA. The Universe and Its StarsB. Earth and the Solar SystemC. The History of Planet EarthESS2: Earth’s SystemsA. Earth Materials and SystemsB. Plate Tectonics and Large-Scale System InteractionsC. The Roles of Water in Earth’s Surface ProcessesD. Weather and ClimateE. BiogeologyESS3: Earth and Human ActivityA. Natural ResourcesB. Natural HazardsC. Human Impacts on Earth SystemsD. Global Climate Change5

ENGINEERING, TECHNOLOGY, AND APPLICATIONS OF SCIENCE (ETS)ETS1: Engineering DesignA. Defining and Delimiting and Engineering ProblemsB. Developing Possible SolutionsC. Optimizing the Solution DesignETS2: Links Among Engineering, Technology, Science, and SocietyA. Interdependence of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)B. Influence of Engineering, Technology, and Science on Society and the Natural WorldETS3: Applications of ScienceA. Nature of Science ComponentsB. Theory Development and RevisionC. Science Practices: Utilization in Developing and Conducting Original ScientificResearchD. Practice of Peer ReviewCrosscutting ConceptsThese are concepts that permeate all science and show an interdependent connection among thesciences differentiated from grades K-12. Tennessee state science standards have explicitly designed thestandard progression to include these crosscutting concepts: Pattern observation and explanation Energy and matter conservation through transformations that flow or cycle into, out of, orwithin a system Structure and function of systems and their partsCause and effect relationships that can be explained through a mechanismScale, proportion, and quantity that integrate measurement and precision of languageSystems and system models with defined boundaries that can be investigated and characterizedby the next three conceptsStability and change of systemsScience and Engineering PracticesThe science and engineering practices are used as a means to learn science by doing science, thuscombining knowledge with skill. The goal is to allow students to discover how scientific knowledge isproduced and how engineering solutions are developed. The following practices should not be taught inisolation or as a separate unit, but rather differentiated at each grade level from K-12 and integratedinto all core ideas employed throughout the school year. These are not to be taught in isolation but areembedded throughout the language of the standards. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering) to determine what isknown, what has yet to be satisfactorily explained, and what problems need to be solved.6

Developing and using models to develop explanations for phenomena, to go beyond theobservable and make predictions or to test designs. Planning and carrying out controlled investigations to collect data that is used to test existingtheories and explanations, revise and develop new theories and explanations, or assess theeffectiveness, efficiency, and durability of designs under various conditions. Analyzing and interpreting data with appropriate data presentation (graph, table, statistics,etc.), identifying sources of error and the degree of certainty. Data analysis is used to derivemeaning or evaluate solutions. Using mathematics and computational thinking as tools to represent variables and theirrelationships in models, simulations, and data analysis in order to make and test predictions. Constructing explanations and designing solutions to explain phenomena or solve problems. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information from scientific texts in order to derivemeaning, evaluate validity, and integrate information.Engaging in argument from evidence to identify strengths and weaknesses in a line of reasoning,to identify best explanations, to resolve problems, and to identify best solutions.Engineering Technology and Science Practice Standards (ETS)Technology is embedded within the writing of the engineering standards. While engineering is adisciplinary core idea, it will also be taught within the context of other disciplinary core ideas.Stakeholders recognize the importance of design and innovative solutions that can be related to theapplication of scientific knowledge in our society, thereby further preparing a science, technology,engineering, and math (STEM) literate student for their college and career. STEM integration has beensupported both as a stand-alone disciplinary core idea.7

Structure of the StandardsThe organization and structure of this standards document includes: Grade Level/Course Overview: An overview that describes that specific content and themes foreach grade level or high school course. Disciplinary Core Idea: Scientific and foundational ideas that permeate all grades and connectcommon themes that bridge scientific disciplines. Standard: Statements of what students can do to demonstrate knowledge of the conceptualunderstanding. Each performance indicator includes a specific science and engineering practicepaired with the content knowledge and skills that students should demonstrate to meet thegrade level or high school course standards.Elementary School ProgressionThe elementary science progression is designed to capture the curiosity of children through relevantscientific content. Children are born investigators and have surprisingly sophisticated ways of thinkingabout the world. Engaging a young scientist with the practices and discipline of science is imperative inall grades but essential in grades K-5. It is important to build progressively more complex explanations ofscience and natural phenomena. Children form mental models of what science is at a young age. Thesemental models can lead to misconceptions, if not confronted early and addressed with a scaffolding ofscience content. It is the goal of elementary science to give background knowledge and age appropriateinteraction with science as a platform to launch into deeper scientific thinking in grades 6-12.Middle School ProgressionIntegrated science is a core focus within the middle school grades, and therefore, DCIs and theircomponents are mixed heterogeneously throughout grades 6-8. Middle school science has a standardsshift that more appropriately reflects content with crosscutting concepts as opposed to concentratingon topics as discrete notions in isolation. This is accomplished both within and through the grade levelsby scaffolding core ideas with fluidity, relevance, and relatedness. For example, the physical science DCIsintroduced in seventh grade are necessary for understanding the life science DCIs in seventh grade. Thisin turn supports the more advanced life science DCIs in eighth grade. Middle school teachers recognizethat learning develops over time, and learning progressions must follow a clear path with appropriategrade-level expectations.8

For Physical Sciences (PS) starting in sixth grade, students utilize the science and engineering practices toengage in ideas of energy. Energy as a physical science concept integrates throughout ecosystems (e.g.,populations food webs) and Earth and space science (e.