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Science Standards

Next Generation Science Standards (current)

The Disciplinary Core Ideas defined in the Next Generation Science Standards that pertain to the modules are listed below. The codes for the Disciplinary Core Ideas addressing the modules are indicated for the physical and life sciences.

Physical Sciences

HS-PS1. Matter and Its Interactions

PS1A. Structure and Properties of Matter

PS1B. Chemical Reactions

Life Sciences

HS-LS1. From Molecules to Organisms: Structure and Processes

LS1A. Structure and Function

LS1B. Growth and Development of Organisms

LS1C. Organization of Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms

HS-LS3. Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits

LS3A. Inheritance of Traits

LS3B. Variation of Traits

HS-LS4. Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

LS4B. Natural Selection

National Science Education Standards (former)

The Science Content, Assessment, and Teaching Standards defined in the former National Science Education Standards that pertain to the modules are listed below.

Science Content Standards (C)

CB. As a result of their activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop an understanding of

CB3. Chemical Reactions

CB33. Chemical reactions can take place in time periods ranging from the few femtoseconds (10-15 seconds) required for an atom to move a fraction of a chemical bond distance to geologic time scales of billions of years. Reaction rates depend on how often the reacting atoms and molecules encounter one another, on the temperature, and on the properties–including shape–of the reacting species.

CC. As a result of their activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop an understanding of

CC1. The cell

CC10. Cells have particular structures that underlie their functions. A membrane that separates it from the outside world surrounds every cell. Inside the cell is a concentrated mixture of thousands of different molecules which form a variety of specialized structures that carry out such cell functions as energy production, transport of molecules, waste disposal, synthesis of new molecules, and the storage of genetic material.

CC5. Matter, energy,and organization in living systems

CC53. The complexity and organization of organisms accommodates the need for obtaining, transforming, transporting, releasing, and eliminating the matter and energy used to sustain the organism.

CC6. The behavior or organisms

CC60. Multicellular animals have nervous systems that generate behavior. Nervous systems are formed from specialized cells that conduct signals rapidly through the long cell extensions that make up nerves. The nerve cells communicate with each other by secreting specific excitatory and inhibitory molecules. In sense organs, specialized cells detect light, sound, and specific chemicals and enable animals to monitor what is going on in the world around them.

CC61. Organisms have behavioral responses to internal changes and to external stimuli. Responses to external stimuli can result from interactions with the organism’s own species and others, as well as environmental changes; these responses either can be innate or learned. The broad patterns of behavior exhibited by animals have evolved to ensure reproductive success. Animals often live in unpredictable environments, and so their behavior must be flexible enough to deal with uncertainty and change. Plants also respond to stimuli.

CC62. Like other aspects of an organism’s biology, behaviors have evolved through natural selection. Behaviors often have an adaptive logic when viewed in terms of evolutionary principles.

CC63. Behavioral biology has implications for humans, as it provides links to psychology, sociology, and anthropology.

CE. As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop

CE2. Understanding about science and technology

CE21. Science often advances with the introduction of new technologies. Solving technological problems often results in new scientific knowledge. New technologies often extend the current levels of scientific understanding and introduce new areas of research.

CF. As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop understanding of

CF1. Personal and community health

CF13. Substances may modify an individuals mood and behavior. The modification may be beneficial or detrimental depending on the motives, type of substance, duration of use, pattern of use, level of influence, and short- and long-term effects. Students should understand that drugs can result in physical dependence and can increase the risk of injury, accidents, and death.

CG. As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop understanding of

CG2. Nature and scientific knowledge

CG22. Because all scientific ideas depend on experimental and observational confirmation, all scientific knowledge is, in principle, subject to change as new evidence becomes available. The core ideas of science such as the conservation of energy or the laws of motion have been subjected to a wide variety of confirmations and are therefore unlikely to change in the areas in which they have been tested. In areas where data or understanding are incomplete, such as the details of human evolution or questions surrounding global warming, new data may well lead to changes in current ideas or resolve current conflicts. In situations where information is still fragmentary, it is normal for scientific ideas to be incomplete, but this is also where the opportunity for making advances may be greatest.


APEP Modules are designed to follow the National Science Standards Guidelines for Assessment. There are several opportunities for assessment within each module. These include, 1) the student handout questions at the beginning of each module, 2) assessment strategies associated with the student activities section, and 3) a set of student self-quiz questions (with answers) associated with each module.

AA. Assessments must be consistent with the decisions they are designed to inform.

AA1. Assessments are deliberately designed.

AA2. Assessments have explicitly stated purposes.

AA3. The relationship between the decisions and the data is clear.

AB. Achievement and opportunity to learn science must be assessed.

AB1. ACHIEVEMENT DATA COLLECTED FOCUS ON THE SCIENCE CONTENT THAT IS MOST IMPORTANT FOR STUDENTS TO LEARN. The content standards define the science all students will come to understand. They portray the outcomes of science education as rich and varied, encompassing

AB11. The ability to inquire

AB12. Knowing and understanding scientific facts, concepts, principles, laws, and theories.

AB13. The ability to reason scientifically.

AB14. The ability to use science to make personal decisions and to take positions on societal issues.

AB15. The ability to communicate effectively about science.

AC. The technical quality of the data collected is well matched to the decisions and actions taken on the basis of their interpretation.

AC2. Assessment tasks are authentic

AC4. Students have adequate opportunity to demonstrate their achievements

AC5. Assessment tasks and methods of presenting them provide data that are sufficiently stable to lead to the same decisions if used at different times.

AD. Assessment practices must be fair.

AD2. Large-scale assessments must use statistical techniques to identify potential bias among subgroups.

AD4. Assessment tasks must be set in a variety of contexts, be engaging to students with different interests and experiences, and must not assume the perspective or experience of a particular gender, racial, or ethnic group.