VIRGINA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
The Physical Science standards continue to build on skills of systematic investigation with a clear focus on variables and repeated trials. Validating conclusions using evidence and data becomes increasingly important at this level. Students will plan and conduct research involving both classroom experimentation and literature reviews from written and electronic resources. Research methods and skills highlight practical problems and questions. Students will share their work, using written reports and other presentations.
The Physical Science standards stress an in-depth understanding of the nature and structure of matter and the characteristics of energy. The standards place considerable emphasis on the technological application of physical science principles. Major areas covered by the standards include the organization and use of the periodic table; physical and chemical changes; nuclear reactions; temperature and heat; sound; light;
electricity and magnetism; and work, force, and motion.
The Physical Science standards continue to focus on student growth in understanding the nature of science. This scientific view defines the idea that explanations of nature are developed and tested using observation, experimentation, models, evidence, and systematic processes. The nature of science includes the concepts that scientific explanations are based on logical thinking; are subject to rules of evidence; are consistent with observational, inferential, and experimental evidence; are open to rational critique; and are
subject to refinement and change with the addition of new scientific evidence. The nature of science includes the concept that science can provide explanations about nature, can predict potential consequences of actions, but cannot be used to answer all questions.
PS.1 The student will plan and conduct investigations in which
a) chemicals and equipment are used safely;
b) length, mass, volume, density, temperature, weight, and force are accurately measured and
reported using metric units (SI—International System of Units);
c) conversions are made among metric units, applying appropriate prefixes;
d) triple beam and electronic balances, thermometers, metric rulers, graduated cylinders, and
spring scales are used to gather data;
e) numbers are expressed in scientific notation where appropriate;
f) research skills are utilized using a variety of resources;
g) independent and dependent variables, constants, controls, and repeated trials are identified;
h) data tables showing the independent and dependent variables, derived quantities, and the
number of trials are constructed and interpreted;
i) data tables for descriptive statistics showing specific measures of central tendency, the range
of the data set, and the number of repeated trials are constructed and interpreted;
j) frequency distributions, scattergrams, line plots, and histograms are constructed and
k) valid conclusions are made after analyzing data;
l) research methods are used to investigate practical problems and questions;
m) experimental results are presented in appropriate written form; and
n) an understanding of the nature of science is developed and reinforced.
Science Standards of Learning Virginia Department of Education