Lunar and Planetary Institute






Balancing Act - Standards

Balancing Act

Correlations to National Science Standards

Grades K-4
Life Science - Content Standard C
Understanding Organisms and Environments

  • Humans depend on their natural and constructed environments. Humans change environments in ways that can be either beneficial or detrimental for themselves and other organisms.

Earth and Space Science - Content Standard D
Understanding Properties of Earth Materials

  • Earth materials are solid rocks and soils, water, and the gases of the atmosphere. The varied materials have different physical and chemical properties, which make them useful in different ways, for example, as building materials, as sources of fuel, or for growing the plants we use as food. Earth materials provide many of the resources that humans use.

Understanding the Objects in the Sky

  • The sun provides the light and heat necessary to maintain the temperature of the earth.

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.

Understanding about Scientific Inquiry

  • People have always had problems and invented tools and techniques (ways of doing something) to solve problems. Trying to determine the effects of solutions helps people avoid some new problems.

Abilities to distinguish between natural objects and objects made by humans

  • Some objects occur in nature; others have been designed and made by people to solve human problems and enhance the quality of life.
  • Objects can be categorized into two groups, natural and designed.

Science in Personal and Social Perspectives - Content Standard F
Changes in Environments

  • Environments are the space, conditions, and factors that affect an individual's and a population's ability to survive and their quality of life.
  • Changes in environments can be natural or influenced by humans. Some changes are good, some are bad, and some are neither good nor bad. Pollution is a change in the environment that can influence the health, survival, or activities of organisms, including humans.
  • Some environmental changes occur slowly, and others occur rapidly. Students should understand the different consequences of changing environments in small increments over long periods as compared with changing environments in large increments over short periods.

National Standards for Social Studies
Early Grades
III. People, Places, and Environments
School Applications
Have learners reflect upon elements in their environment and how we use and think about the physical and built environment. Stimulate learners' interest in things distant and unfamiliar and help lay the foundation for concern about the use and abuse of the physical environment.

National Science Education Standards
Grades 5-8
Science as Inquiry - Content Standard A
Understanding About Scientific Inquiry

  • 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.

Physical Science - Content Standard B
Understanding the Transfer of Energy

  • Energy is a property of many substances and is associated with heat, light, electricity, mechanical motion, sound, nuclei, and the nature of a chemical. Energy is transferred in many ways.
  • The sun is a major source of energy for changes on the earth's surface. The sun loses energy by emitting light. A tiny fraction of that light reaches the earth, transferring energy from the sun to the earth.

Life Science - Content Standard C
Understanding Populations And Ecosystems

  • The number of organisms an ecosystem can support depends on the resources available and abiotic factors, such as quantity of light and water, range of temperatures, and soil composition. Given adequate biotic and abiotic resources and no disease or predators, populations (including humans) increase at rapid rates. Lack of resources and other factors, such as predation and climate, limit the growth of populations in specific niches in the ecosystem.

Earth and Space Science - Content Standard D
Understanding the Structure of the Earth System

  • The atmosphere is a mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, and trace gases that include water vapor.
  • Global patterns of atmospheric movement influence local weather. Oceans have a major effect on climate, because water in the oceans holds a large amount of heat.

Understanding 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.

Science in Personal and Social Perspectives - Content Standard F
Understanding Populations, Resources, and Environments

  • Human activities also can induce hazards through resource acquisition, urban growth, land-use decisions, and waste disposal. Such activities can accelerate many natural changes.
  • Natural hazards can present personal and societal challenges because misidentifying the change or incorrectly estimating the rate and scale of change may result in either too little attention and significant human costs or too much cost for unneeded preventive measures.

Understanding Risks and Benefits

  • Risk analysis considers the type of hazard and estimates the number of people that might be exposed and the number likely to suffer consequences. The results are used to determine the options for reducing or eliminating risks.
  • Students should understand the risks associated with natural hazards (fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions), with chemical hazards (pollutants in air, water, soil, and food), with biological hazards (pollen, viruses, bacterial, and parasites), social hazards (occupational safety and transportation), and with personal hazards (smoking, dieting, and drinking).
  • Important personal and social decisions are made based on perceptions of benefits and risks.

Understanding Science and Technology in Society

  • Science influences society through its knowledge and world view. Scientific knowledge and the procedures used by scientists influence the way many individuals in society think about themselves, others, and the environment. The effect of science on society is neither entirely beneficial nor entirely detrimental.
  • Societal challenges often inspire questions for scientific research, and social priorities often influence research priorities through the availability of funding for research.

History and Nature of Science- Content Standard G
Understanding the Nature of Science

  • 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.

 

Last updated
October 1, 2009

 

Back to top