Lunar and Planetary Institute






Mars from Above - Viewing Volcanos - Standards
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Mars from Above: Viewing Volcanos

Correlations to National Science Standards

Grades K–4
Science as Inquiry — Content Standard A
Understanding About Scientific Inquiry

  • Scientific investigations involve asking and answering a question and comparing the answer with what scientists already know about the world.
  • Scientists develop explanations using observations (evidence) and what they already know about the world (scientific knowledge). Good explanations are based on evidence from investigations.

Physical Science — Content Standard B
Properties of Objects and Materials

  • Materials can exist in different states — solid, liquid, and gas. Some common materials, such as water (or rock), can be changed from one state to another by heating or cooling.

Earth and Space Science — Content Standard D
Changes in the Earth and Sky

  • The surface of Earth changes. Some changes are due to slow processes, such as erosion and weathering, and some changes are due to rapid processes, such as landslides, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes.

Science and Technology — Content Standard E
Understanding About Science and Technology

  • People have always had questions about their world. Science is one way of answering questions and explaining the natural world.
  • Scientists and engineers often work in teams with different individuals doing different things that contribute to the results.

History and Nature of Science — Content Standard G
Science as a Human Endeavor

  • Although men and women using scientific inquiry have learned much about objects, events, and phenomena in nature, much more remains to be understood. Science will never be finished.

Grades 5–8
Science as Inquiry — Content Standard A
Abilities Necessary to Do Scientific Inquiry

  • Different kinds of questions suggest different kinds of scientific investigations. Some investigations involve observing and describing objects, organisms, or events; some involve collecting specimens; some involve experiments; some involve seeking more information; some involve discovery of new objects and phenomena; and some involve making models.
  • Scientific explanations emphasize evidence, have logically consistent arguments, and use scientific principles, models, and theories. The scientific community accepts and uses such explanations until displaced by better scientific ones. When such displacement occurs, science advances.
  • Science advances through legitimate skepticism. Asking questions and querying other scientists’ explanations is part of scientific inquiry. Scientists evaluate the explanations proposed by other scientists by examining evidence, comparing evidence, identifying faulty reasoning, pointing out statements that go beyond the evidence, and suggesting alternative explanations for the same observations.

Earth and Space Science– Content Standard D
Structure of the Earth System

  • Land forms are the result of a combination of constructive and destructive forces. Constructive forces include crustal deformation, volcanic eruption, and deposition of sediment, while destructive forces include weathering and erosion.

Earth’s History

  • The Earth processes we see today, including erosion, movement of lithospheric plates, and changes in atmospheric composition, are similar to those that occurred in the past. Earth history is also influenced by occasional catastrophes, such as the impact of an asteroid or comet.

History and Nature of Science — Content Standard G
Nature of Science
Science as a Human Endeavor

  • Scientists formulate and test their explanations of nature using observation, experiments, and theoretical and mathematical models. Although all scientific ideas are tentative and subject to change and improvement in principle, for most major ideas in science, there is much experimental and observational confirmation. Those ideas are not likely to change greatly in the future. Scientists do and have changed their ideas about nature when they encounter new experimental evidence that does not match their existing explanations.
  • It is part of scientific inquiry to evaluate the results of scientific investigations, experiments, observations, theoretical models, and the explanations proposed by other scientists. Evaluation includes reviewing the experimental procedures, examining the evidence, identifying faulty reasoning, pointing out statements that go beyond the evidence, and suggesting alternative explanations for the same observations. Although scientists may disagree about explanations of phenomena, about interpretations of data, or about the value of rival theories, they do agree that questioning, response to criticism, and open communication are integral to the process of science. As scientific knowledge evolves, major disagreements are eventually resolved through such interactions between scientists.

Last updated
June 12, 2013

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