Grades 9-12 Investigation and Experimentation Standards

1. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations.
As a basis for understanding this concept, and to address the content the other four strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations.
Students will:
a. select and use appropriate tools and technology (such as computer-linked probes, spread sheets, and graphing calculators) to perform tests, collect data, analyze relationships, and display data.
b. identify and communicate sources of unavoidable experimental error.
c. identify possible reasons for inconsistent results, such as sources of error or uncontrolled conditions.
d. formulate explanations using logic and evidence.
e. solve scientific problems using quadratic equations, and simple trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic functions.
f. distinguish between hypothesis and theory as science terms.
g. recognize the use and limitations of models and theories as scientific representations of reality.
h. read and interpret topographic and geologic maps.
i. analyze the locations, sequences, or time intervals of natural phenomena (e.g., relative ages of rocks, locations of planets over time, and succession of species in an ecosystem).
j. recognize the issues of statistical variability and the need for controlled tests.
k. recognize the cumulative nature of scientific evidence.
l. analyze situations and solve problems that require combining and applying concepts from more than one area of science.
m. investigate a science-based societal issue by researching the literature, analyzing data, and communicating the findings. Examples include irradiation of food, cloning of animals by somatic cell nuclear transfer, choice of energy sources, and land and water use decisions in California.
n. know that when an observation does not agree with an accepted scientific theory, sometimes the observation is mistaken or fraudulent (e.g., Piltdown Man fossil or unidentified flying objects), and sometimes the theory is wrong (e.g., Ptolemaic model of the movement of the sun, moon and planets).