Science Curriculum


Standard 1:  Science as Inquiry
Students will understand the nature and processes of scientific inquiry and use the modes of scientific inquiry and habits of mind to learn about the world around them.
Standard 2:  Physical Science and Technology
Students will understand the structure, properties and changes of matter as well as sources, uses, conservation and changes of energy. They will understand the nature of science and technology and the relationship of science and technology to society.
Standard 3:  Earth and Space Science
Students will understand the characteristics and process of earth and space systems.
Standard 4:  Life and Environmental Science
Students will understand the development, characteristics, processes and interactions of living things and the natural environment.
Standard 5:  Marine Science
Students will understand the importance of protecting marine environments to sustain island life. They will learn about the technological, ecological and societal changes that have a direct impact on the local and global environment.
Grade 3
By then end of grade 3, students will:
1.  Science as Inquiry
Sci.1.3.1 Make observations about objects and events and share their findings with others.
Sci.1.3.2 Compare and group objects by identifying their properties.
Sci.1.3.3 Use simple measuring tools and equipment to gather information.
Sci.1.3.4 Work individually or in teams to collect, compare and share information, data and ideas.
Sci.1.3.5 Identify cause and effect relationships.
Sci.1.3.6 Investigate events that interest them both in and out of the classroom.
Sci.1.3.7 Use a variety of methods to record information.
Sci.1.3.6 Investigate events that interest them both in and out of the classroom.
Sci.1.3.7 Use a variety of methods to record information.
2.  Physical Science and Technology
Sci.2.3.1 Describe the physical properties of objects and how materials undergo physical changes.
Sci.2.3.2 Identify things in the environment that show motion.
Sci.2.3.3 Identify changes in energy and ways energy can be conserved.
Sci.2.3.4 Recognize that matter can exist in different forms or states.
Sci.2.3.5 Identify and describe some technological changes in our islands.
Sci.2.3.6 Use available materials to build simple measuring tools for measuring length, area, volume, mass, time and temperature.
3.  Earth and Space Science
Sci.3.3.1 Compare and contrast rocks and the types of soil, mud and sand in the environment.
Sci.3.3.2 Identify and give examples of water in three different forms, solid, liquid and gas.
Sci.3.3.3 Describe activities in their lives that are affected by changes in the skies.
Sci.3.3.4 Recognize the patterns of sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset.
Sci.3.3.5 Observe and describe objects in the skies such as the phases of the moon.
Sci.3.3.6 Use models to represent relative size and distance of the sun, moon and earth.
4.  Life and Environmental Science
Sci.4.3.1 Explain that humans go through a life cycle of infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age and identify differences in external human features such as body size, body shape and color of hair.
Sci.4.3.2 Describe obtaining food and deriving energy from it, protecting against injury and reproducing as the basic requirements for life.
Sci.4.3.3 List and describe the five senses. 
Sci.4.3.4 Observe and identify common varieties of plants and animals around the school, home and elsewhere in the local environment, such as a forest, reef or swamp.
Sci.4.3.5 Explain how offspring of familiar animals compare to one another and to their parents
Sci.4.3.6 Explain that different plants and animals have features that help them survive in different kinds of environments.
5.  Marine Science
Sci.5.3.1 Name and describe living things that are found in the ocean, reefs and swamps.
Grade 4
By then end of grade 4, students will:
1.  Science as Inquiry
Sci.1.4.1 Ask appropriate questions and gather information.
Sci.1.4.2 Use drawings, charts and graphs to communicate experimental information.
Sci.1.4.3 Investigate by using a variety of sources to acquire information.
Sci.1.4.4 Compare and contrast similarities and differences between things they collect and observe.
Sci.1.4.5 Record and communicate data clearly.
2.  Physical Science and Technology
Sci.2.4.1 Demonstrate energy by pushing and pulling on different objects.
Sci.2.4.2 Describe the sources of energy including the sun and foods.
Sci.2.4.3 Identify how animals get energy from food chains and food webs.
Sci.2.4.4 Explain how plants get the energy they need to grow.
Sci.2.4.5 Describe ways that advances in technology can improve living standards.
3.  Earth and Space Science
Sci.3.4.1 Identify cloud types and describe cloud formation.
Sci.3.4.2 Explain atmospheric phenomena including tropical storms, typhoons and tornados as a result of differences in air pressure and temperature.
Sci.3.4.3 Explain how volcanoes erupt.
Sci.3.4.4 Compare and contrast rocks, minerals and fossils.
Sci.3.4.5 Discuss the characteristics of the Earth’s atmosphere and identify some of the instruments scientists use to observe the skies.
Sci.3.4.6 Differentiate between the causes of currents and waves.
4.  Life and Environmental Science
Sci.4.4.1 Recognize that cells are the basic structures in both plants and animals.
Sci.4.4.2 Identify causes and kinds of pollution in their environment and suggest ways to prevent such pollution.
Sci.4.4.3 Recognize factors that cause or contribute to rapid changes in the environment and describe the impact of such rapid changes on animal and plant life.
5.  Marine Science
Sci.5.4.1 Describe the variety of life forms found in the sea and in fresh water.
Sci.5.4.2 Describe free-swimming animals in tropical oceans, reefs and swamps.
Sci.5.4.3 Compare and contrast ways their ancestors used the oceans to sustain life on islands with ways currently used.
Grade 5
By then end of grade 5, students will:
1.  Science as Inquiry
Sci.1.5.1 Compare and contrast different plants and animals across and within kingdoms.
Sci.1.5.2 Explain cause and effect relationships in nature, for example, that a lack of rain results in plants being stressed and sometimes dying).
Sci.1.5.3 Solve simple problems that require manipulation of objects and ideas.
Sci.1.5.4 Demonstrate persistence in solving problems.
Sci.1.5.5 Use replication to determine reliability of information gathered from simple scientific experiments.
2. Physical Science and Technology
Sci.2.5.1 Describe and give examples of the three states of matter.
Sci.2.5.2 Explain that matter can have different physical and chemical properties.
Sci.2.5.3 Identify changes in matter occurring as a result of natural processes.
Sci.2.5.4 Identify and describe ways that energy can be transformed from one form to another.
Sci.2.5.5 Identify ways that society depends on and benefits from advances in technology.
3. Earth and Space Science
Sci.3.5.1 Describe the effect of the sun’s and moon’s gravity on ocean tides.
Sci.3.5.2 Identify and describe major layers of the earth’s atmosphere.
Sci.3.5.3 Name, label and model the relative distance between the planets in the Solar System.
Sci.3.5.4 Identify phases of the moon and describe what causes these phases.
Sci.3.5.5 Identify the major structural components of the earth, such as core, mantle and crust.
Sci.3.5.6 Give examples of how our ancestors used stars, ocean currents and wind to navigate in the open seas.
4. Life and Environmental Science
Sci.4.5.1 Identify the main parts of cells and differentiate between animal and plant cells.
Sci.4.5.2 Classify plants with or without seeds and animals with or without a backbone.
Sci.4.5.3 Describe how animals depend on plants to survive and carry on their life functions and how plants depend on animals for continuation of their life cycles.
Sci.4.5.4 List and explain some of the negative human activities that have long-term effects on plants and animals.
Sci.4.5.5 Differentiate between producers, consumers, herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, scavengers and decomposers and their roles for life cycles to be sustained.
5. Marine Science
Sci.5.5.1 List and describe agencies and programs in the FSM that support the protection of marine environments.
Sci.5.5.2 Identify practices that are contributing to the depletion of ocean resources.
Grade 6
By then end of grade 6, students will:
1.  Science as Inquiry
Sci.1.6.1 Solve simple problems that require replication or manipulation of objects and ideas.
Sci.1.6.2 Compare and contrast simple quantitative and qualitative data.
Sci.1.6.3 Identify possible causes of an observed or represented effect.
Sci.1.6.4 Use simple measuring tools and equipment to solve science problems.
Sci.1.6.5 Use drawings, graphs and charts to analyze and communicate experimental information.
2. Physical Science and Technology
Sci.2.6.1 Describe the kinds and properties of metals found locally on the islands and their uses.
Sci.2.6.2 Analyze the simple process of oxidation of metals and methods to minimize rusting.
Sci.2.6.3 Explain the physical and chemical properties of matter.
Sci.2.6.4 Use tools for observing and measuring properties of matter.
Sci.2.6.5 Identify and demonstrate some ways lenses are used in school and the environment.
3. Earth and Space Science
Sci.3.6.1 Describe the conditions in our atmosphere that cause changes in the weather.
Sci.3.6.2 Relate seasonal changes to the Earth’s rotation on its axis and revolution around the Sun.
Sci.3.6.3 Describe how wind is generated.
Sci.3.6.4 Describe the water cycle including the processes of evaporation, condensation and precipitation.
Sci.3.6.5 Explain changes in the atmosphere that effect life on Earth.
4. Life and Environmental Science
Sci.4.6.1 Explain and describe the properties and characteristics of microscopic organisms.
Sci.4.6.2 List and classify types of trash in the environment.
Sci.4.6.3 Explore the careers that relate to waste management.
Sci.4.6.4 Identify materials that can be recycled.
5. Marine Science
Sci.5.6.1 Describe food chains and food webs in ocean and shore environments.
Sci.5.6.2 Identify organisms found in different marine areas such as in tidal pools and deep water and describe the body structures that allow them to live in those areas.
Sci.5.6.3 Identify examples of interdependence among organisms in the ocean.
Grade 7
By then end of grade 7, students will:
1.  Science as Inquiry
Sci.1.7.1 Communicate experimental results verbally as well as in charts, graphs and drawings.
Sci.1.7.2 Use tools and problem-solving strategies to gather, analyze and interpret data.
Sci.1.7.3 Observe and explain that different phenomena (such as fire, flood, typhoon, etc.) could be natural or manmade but natural processes usually allow for ecological recovery.
Sci.1.7.4 Identify actions and outcomes of a controlled experiment.
Sci.1.7.5 Analyze experimental information, draw simple inferences and develop generalizations from scientific data.
2. Physical Science and Technology
Sci.2.7.1 Give examples and contrast renewable and non- renewable sources of energy.
Sci.2.7.2 Describe friction, its effect on motion and the result on moving objects.
Sci.2.7.3 Describe ways to honor traditional technologies, as well as incorporate modern technologies that improve our lives.
Sci.2.7.4 Describe the composition of matter in terms of atoms, molecules, elements and compounds.
Sci.2.7.5 Describe the properties of light and how light reacts when it strikes various surfaces.
3. Earth and Space Science
Sci.3.7.1 Describe the Milky Way Galaxy and identify our Solar System as part of that galaxy.
Sci.3.7.2 Compare and contrast the various theories of the formation of our islands.
Sci.3.7.3 Describe the formation of atolls, coral reefs and lagoons and give examples.
Sci.3.7.4 Distinguish between fringing and barrier reefs.
4. Life and Environmental Science
Sci.4.7.1 Describe ways that can help solve some of the pollution problems throughout the region.
Sci.4.7.2 Give examples and describe different ways living things reproduce.
Sci.4.7.3 List and explain the conditions necessary for life on earth.
Sci.4.7.4 Illustrate and explain the carbon dioxide-oxygen cycle.
Sci4.7.5 Explain how humans can help maintain life on earth.
5. Marine Science
Sci.5.7.1 Identify causes of pollution in local marine environments and suggest ways to minimize or prevent such pollution.
Sci.5.7.2 Participate meaningfully in local practices that encourage conservation of marine resources.
Sci.5.7.3 Describe some of the ways that marine resources are being used to develop the FSM economy.
Grade 8
By then end of grade 8, students will:
1.  Science as Inquiry
Sci.1.8.1 Formulate hypothesis based on careful observations and design an investigation that includes controls and variables.
Sci.1.8.2 Conduct checks of reliability of information gathered from observed phenomena and formulate explanations based on data gathered through scientific explorations.
Sci.1.8.3 Report data accurately and without bias, including findings that contradict their hypothesis.
Sci.1.8.4 Ask valid, testable questions about the world around them. 
Sci.1.8.5 Create and use models in different contexts.
2. Physical Science and Technology
Sci.2.8.1 Describe matter as composed of small particles in motion and identify some of the properties resulting from this assumption.
Sci.2.8.2 Describe some of the uses of energy in mechanical and living systems and explain the conversion of one form to another.
Sci.2.8.3 Describe the origin of sound in vibrations.
Sci.2.8.4 Identify different kinds of motion and the effect of force on direction and speed.
Sci.28.5 Describe the apparent color of objects as a result of reflection and absorption of different colors of light.
Sci.2.8.6 Describe the effects of gravity on motion of objects.
Sci.2.8.7 Identify everyday applications of electric and magnetic forces such as attractions in electric circuits.
3. Earth and Space Science
Sci.3.8.1 Describe how the earth’s movement, properties of water and the differential heating of land, water and air cause weather phenomena. 
Sci.3.8.2 Discuss traditional knowledge about moon phases and tides and describe how this influences island life, such as fishing practices and the harvesting of crabs.
Sci.3.8.3 Describe how landforms are worn down and shaped by gravity, water, wind, weather, erosion and living things.
Sci.3.8.4 Describe the composition of rocks as different combinations of minerals and identify different rock types including sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic.
Sci.3.8.5 Describe the life cycle of stars and the sun as a star.
Sci.3.8.6 Describe how the gravitational pull of the sun holds Earth and other planets in their orbits and how the gravitational pull of the planets keeps their moons in orbit around them. 
Sci.3.8.7 Describe tides, seasons and lunar phases by using suitable models of the solar system and the motion of objects within it
4. Life and Environmental Science
Sci.4.8.1 Investigate environmental problems such as water, air and land pollution, deforestation and soil erosion.
Sci.4.8.2 Investigate and implement traditional practices in one major area of stewardship, such as farming, waste disposal, recycling or food preparation.
Sci.4.8.3 Classify plants and animals into groups based on similarities and differences.
Sci.4.8.4 Describe technology’s role in selective breeding of certain organisms.
Sci.4.8.5 Identify the components of cells and describe their functions.
Sci.4.8.6 Identify examples of interdependence among organisms and flows of energy in food chains and food webs.
5. Marine Science
Sci.5.8.1 Illustrate a marine ecosystem.
Sci.5.8.2 Identify and describe the effects on marine life of environmental changes to shorelines.
Sci.5.8.3 Describe the impact of human activities on marine environments.
Sci.5.8.4 Explain how human actions have resulted in decreasing populations of marine animals such as turtles.
Benchmarks for All High Schools
All High School students will:
1.  Science as inquiry
Sci.1.hs.1 Design and safely implement an experiment, including the appropriate use of tools and techniques to organize, analyze and validate data.
Sci.1.hs.2  Interpret data to validate generalizations.
Sci.1.hs.3 Describe how a testable hypothesis may need to be revised to guide a scientific investigation.
Sci.1.hs.4 Report on a scientific research activity using appropriate methodology and format.
Sci.1.hs.5 Prepare an independent research paper on a scientific problem for public sharing.
Sci.1.hs.6 Describe examples of major shifts in science’s understanding of the world, for example, theories of plate tectonics and the atomic structure of matter.
Sci.1.hs.7 Describe some of the interactions of science, technology and society.
2. Physical Science and Technology
Sci.2.hs.1 Describe the basic assumptions of atomic theory and relate the properties of materials to their atomic structure.
Sci.2.hs.2 Identify and describe properties and classifications of energy and its ability to do work and describe the importance of energy in physical and living systems.
Sci.2.hs.3 Identify applications of the principles of motion, gravitational and electromagnetic forces in their lives.
Sci.2.hs.4 Describe some of the positive and negative impacts of modern food production and distribution technologies.
Sci.2.hs.5 Cite examples of new products made possible by the creation of new materials by technology.
Sci.2.hs.6 Describe some of the complex relationships between science and technology as they relate to manufacturing.
3. Earth and Space Science
Sci.3.hs.1 Describe the composition of the major layers of the earth.
Sci.3.hs.2 Describe the composition of the major objects in the universe such as stars and planets.
Sci.3.hs.3 Describe the structure and composition of the Earth’s atmosphere.
Sci.3.hs.4 Explain factors that determine climate and give examples of types of climate. 
4. Life and Environmental Science
Sci.4.hs.1 Describe relationships and the interdependence of organisms within biomass.
Sci.4.hs.2 Describe how species have evolved over time to adapt to change.
Sci.4.hs.3 Describe how the study of DNA can explain kinship among species.
Sci.4.hs.4 Identify the processes used to utilize energy within organisms, such as photosynthesis and respiration.
Sci.4.hs.5 Identify and describe man’s use of natural resources and the need to manage and protect them.
5.  Marine Science
Sci.5.hs.1 Describe various marine ecosystems and identify similarities between land and marine ecosystems.
Sci.5.hs.2 Identify and describe changes in the marine environment.
Sci.5.hs.3 Use data to describe and design effective ways of managing or sustaining marine resources and the measures taken by the FSM to conserve marine resources.
Sci.5.hs.4 Describe the movements of the earth’s plates and the relationship between these movements and changes in the oceans.
The previous benchmarks identify learning expectations for all high school students. Following are benchmarks of learning for students who take college preparatory science classes in high school. The process skills that are to be included in all courses are listed first. These are followed by benchmarks for the specific science courses.
Benchmarks for Students in College Preparatory Programs
Students will:
• Describe how a testable hypothesis may need to be revised to guide a scientific investigation.
• Design and safely implement an experiment, including the appropriate use of tools and techniques to organize, analyze and validate data.
• Defend and support conclusions, explanations and arguments based on logic, scientific knowledge and evidence from data.
• Determine the connections among hypotheses, scientific evidence and conclusions.
• Communicate the components of a scientific investigation, using appropriate techniques.
• Engage in and explain the importance of peer review in science.
• Revise, as needed, conclusions and explanations based on new evidence.
• Describe the importance of ethics and integrity in scientific investigation.
• Explain how scientific explanations must meet a set of established criteria to be considered valid.
• Explain how scientific advancements and emerging technology have influenced society.
• Compare the risks and benefits of potential solutions to technological issues.
Biology Course Benchmarks
Students will:
• Understand the unity, diversity and interrelationships between organisms, including their relationships to cycles of matter and energy in the environment.
• Describe biogeochemical cycles within ecosystems.
• Explain the chemical reactions that occur in photosynthesis and cellular respiration and that result in cycling of energy.
• Explain how matter and energy flow through living systems and the physical environment.
• Explain dynamic equilibrium in organisms, populations and ecosystems and explain the effect of equilibrium shifts.
• Describe different cell parts, their functions and how they are specialized into different tissue and organs.
• Explain how cells are specialized in different tissues and organs.
• Differentiate between the processes of mitosis and meiosis.
• Describe how homeostatic balance occurs in cells and organisms.
• Describe the components and functions of a variety of macromolecules active in biological systems.
• Explain the organization of life on Earth using the modern classification system.
• Explain the theories of evolution and natural selection and cite evidence that supports these theories.
• Explain the structural properties of DNA and the role of DNA in heredity and protein synthesis.
• Explain how Mendel’s laws of heredity can be used to determine the traits of possible offspring.
• Explain chromosomal mutations, their possible causes and their effects on genetic variation.
• Name and describe the components of the human body from cell to system and how they work together.
Chemistry Course Benchmarks
Students will:
• Explain how conservation of energy is applied to various systems.
• Explain how elements are arranged in the periodic table and analyze trends among elemental properties.
• Explain how atoms bond using valence electrons.
• Describe nuclear reactions and how they produce energy.
• Describe the basic assumptions of the atomic theory.
• Relate the properties of materials to their atomic structure.
• Distinguish between physical and chemical properties.
• Describe elements and compounds.
• Distinguish between mixtures and pure sub stances.
• Relate local technologies, including the utilization and preservation of materials, to either causing or controlling changes in matter.
• Relate observed properties and changes in matter to the behavior of molecules and atoms as described in the atomic and kinetic molecular theories.
• Discuss atomic mass and its experimental determination.
• Explain the mole concept and Avogadro’s number.
• Describe molar mass.
• Convert between moles and mass of a given sample of a chemical compound.
• Name and write chemical formulas and balance chemical equations.
• Describe endothermic and exothermic reactions.
• Describe the basic characteristics of acids, bases, salts and organic and inorganic compounds.
• Calculate the efficiency of energy transfer within physical and biological systems.
• Find the mass of an element in a given compound.
• Describe empirical formulas of compounds.
• Calculate empirical formulas.
• Calculate the molecular formula of a compound, given its empirical formula and molar mass.
• Identify and describe properties and classifications of energy and its ability to do work.
• Measure work and heat resulting from energy transformations.
• Describe possible ways or uses of technology to
• increase efficiency of energy transfer.
• Trace the energy transformations within physical and biological systems.
Physical Science/Physics Course Benchmarks
Students will:
• Explain and provide examples of electromagnetic radiation and sound using a wave model.
• Use vectors to explain force and motion.
• Provide examples of entropy.
• Describe the periodicity of the elements.
• Calculate the efficiency of energy transfer within biological and physical systems.
• Describe the structure of matter including atoms, protons, neutrons and electrons.
• Explain how atoms interact by transferring or sharing electrons.
• Describe the nature of solids, liquids and gases by examining molecular structures.
• Describe the importance of carbon bonding.
• Describe nuclear reactions and how they produce energy.
• Explain how atoms bond using valence electrons.
• Understand the nature of matter and energy, forms of energy, including waves and energy transformations.
• Explain how the law of conservation of energy is applied to various systems.
• Compare transverse and longitudinal waves and their properties.
• Explain and provide examples of electromagnetic radiation and sound using a wave model.
• Understand the relationship between force, mass and motion of objects and know the major natural forces of gravitational, electric and magnetic.
• Apply the laws of motion to determine the effects of forces on the linear motion of objects.
• Use vectors to explain force and motion.
Marine Science Course Benchmarks
Students will:
• Identify common marine organisms and place them in the scientific classification system for organisms.
• Discuss problems that affect marine environ¬ments resulting from human actions.
• Describe some of the technologies used on islands to protect marine resources.
• Discuss the nature of tropical fisheries in the FSM and challenges in their management.
• Compare traditional marine resource manage¬ment practices to Western practices.
• Describe the relationships between marine plant and animal reproduction with reference to phases of the moon and seasons.
• Identify local poisonous fishes and methods of detecting ciguatera toxin in fish.
• Discuss the benefits of marine resources to local cultures and sustaining life, as well as to the economic development of the nation.
• Identify pollution controls in the FSM and design a plan to support the implementation of these controls.
Earth Science Course Benchmarks
Students will:
• Describe the different rates at which geological processes occur.
• Distinguish between minerals and rocks.
• Classify rocks. 
• Describe the relative distribution of oceans and continents.
• Distinguish between fresh water and ocean water.
• Investigate different kinds of soil and determine their locations in rock layers.
• Determine the properties of lakes, rivers and ground water.
• Investigate how fossils are incorporated into sedimentary rocks.
• Describe the plate tectonics theory.
• Identify basic hydrological properties and processes and see how features of the planet interact.
• Determine that water cycles to and from the oceans, atmosphere and Earth through processes of evaporation, condensation, precipitation, surface run-off and percolation into the soil.
• Describe the processes of weathering, erosion, deposition, and lithification or compaction that shape the surface of the Earth.
• Recognize that on continents surface water is found in lakes, streams and rivers and in the form of ice.
• Describe ground water and investigate how rain, dew, fog and clouds form through the process of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.
• Investigate how smoke affects cloud, fog and dust formation.
• Relate cloud types to weather.
• Investigate the movement of air.
• Describe the formation of their island and region environment.
• Identify human impact on local and regional environments.
• Explain the formation of weather fronts and how they behave
• Identify and describe global wind patterns.
• Identify and describe changes in their own environment, in the FSM and the world.
• Identify and describe global changes that affect FSM island life.
• Predict how changes on Earth’s surface will affect local ecosystems.
• Identify and describe local examples of how living things affect the non-living environment and vice versa.