• 1)  Science, as defined by the National Academy of Sciences, is the "use of evidence to construct testable explanations and predictions of natural phenomena, as well as the knowledge generated through this process."

    (2)  Recurring themes are pervasive in sciences, mathematics, and technology. These ideas transcend disciplinary boundaries and include patterns, cycles, systems, models, and change and constancy.

    (3)  The study of elementary science includes planning and safely implementing classroom and outdoor investigations using scientific methods, analyzing information, making informed decisions, and using tools to collect and record information while addressing the content and vocabulary in physical, earth, and life sciences. Districts are encouraged to facilitate classroom and outdoor investigations for at least 60% of instructional time.

    (4)  In Grade 3, students learn that the study of science uses appropriate tools and safe practices in planning and implementing investigations, asking and answering questions, collecting data by observing and measuring, and by using models to support scientific inquiry about the natural world.

    (A)  Students recognize that patterns, relationships, and cycles exist in matter. Students will investigate the physical properties of matter and will learn that changes occur. They explore mixtures and investigate light, sound, and heat/thermal energy in everyday life. Students manipulate objects by pushing and pulling to demonstrate changes in motion and position.

    (B)  Students investigate how the surface of Earth changes and provides resources that humans use. As students explore objects in the sky, they describe how relationships affect patterns and cycles on Earth. Students will construct models to demonstrate Sun, Earth, and Moon system relationships and will describe the Sun's role in the water cycle.

    (C)  Students explore patterns, systems, and cycles within environments by investigating characteristics of organisms, life cycles, and interactions among all components of the natural environment. Students examine how the environment plays a key role in survival. Students know that when changes in the environment occur organisms may thrive, become ill, or perish.

    (b)  Knowledge and skills.

    (1)  Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student conducts classroom and outdoor investigations following school and home safety procedures and environmentally appropriate practices. The student is expected to:

    (A)  demonstrate safe practices as described in the Texas Safety Standards during classroom and outdoor investigations, including observing a schoolyard habitat; and

    (B)  make informed choices in the use and conservation of natural resources by recycling or reusing materials such as paper, aluminum cans, and plastics.

    (2)  Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student uses scientific inquiry methods during laboratory and outdoor investigations. The student is expected to:

    (A)  plan and implement descriptive investigations, including asking and answering questions, making inferences, and selecting and using equipment or technology needed, to solve a specific problem in the natural world;

    (B)  collect data by observing and measuring using the metric system and recognize differences between observed and measured data;

    (C)  construct maps, graphic organizers, simple tables, charts, and bar graphs using tools and current technology to organize, examine, and evaluate measured data;

    (D)  analyze and interpret patterns in data to construct reasonable explanations based on evidence from investigations;

    (E)  demonstrate that repeated investigations may increase the reliability of results; and

    (F)  communicate valid conclusions supported by data in writing, by drawing pictures, and through verbal discussion.

    (3)  Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student knows that information, critical thinking, scientific problem solving, and the contributions of scientists are used in making decisions. The student is expected to:

    (A)  in all fields of science, analyze, evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing, including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations, so as to encourage critical thinking by the student;

    (B)  draw inferences and evaluate accuracy of product claims found in advertisements and labels such as for toys and food;

    (C)  represent the natural world using models such as volcanoes or Sun, Earth, and Moon system and identify their limitations, including size, properties, and materials; and

    (D)  connect grade-level appropriate science concepts with the history of science, science careers, and contributions of scientists.

    (4)  Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student knows how to use a variety of tools and methods to conduct science inquiry. The student is expected to:

    (A)  collect, record, and analyze information using tools, including microscopes, cameras, computers, hand lenses, metric rulers, Celsius thermometers, wind vanes, rain gauges, pan balances, graduated cylinders, beakers, spring scales, hot plates, meter sticks, compasses, magnets, collecting nets, notebooks, sound recorders, and Sun, Earth, and Moon system models; timing devices, including clocks and stopwatches; and materials to support observation of habitats of organisms such as terrariums and aquariums; and

    (B)  use safety equipment as appropriate, including safety goggles and gloves.

    (5)  Matter and energy. The student knows that matter has measurable physical properties and those properties determine how matter is classified, changed, and used. The student is expected to:

    (A)  measure, test, and record physical properties of matter, including temperature, mass, magnetism, and the ability to sink or float;

    (B)  describe and classify samples of matter as solids, liquids, and gases and demonstrate that solids have a definite shape and that liquids and gases take the shape of their container;

    (C)  predict, observe, and record changes in the state of matter caused by heating or cooling; and

    (D)  explore and recognize that a mixture is created when two materials are combined such as gravel and sand and metal and plastic paper clips.

    (6)  Force, motion, and energy. The student knows that forces cause change and that energy exists in many forms. The student is expected to:

    (A)  explore different forms of energy, including mechanical, light, sound, and heat/thermal in everyday life;

    (B)  demonstrate and observe how position and motion can be changed by pushing and pulling objects to show work being done such as swings, balls, pulleys, and wagons; and

    (C)  observe forces such as magnetism and gravity acting on objects.

    (7)  Earth and space. The student knows that Earth consists of natural resources and its surface is constantly changing. The student is expected to:

    (A)  explore and record how soils are formed by weathering of rock and the decomposition of plant and animal remains;

    (B)  investigate rapid changes in Earth's surface such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and landslides;

    (C)  identify and compare different landforms, including mountains, hills, valleys, and plains; and

    (D)  explore the characteristics of natural resources that make them useful in products and materials such as clothing and furniture and how resources may be conserved.

    (8)  Earth and space. The student knows there are recognizable patterns in the natural world and among objects in the sky. The student is expected to:

    (A)  observe, measure, record, and compare day-to-day weather changes in different locations at the same time that include air temperature, wind direction, and precipitation;

    (B)  describe and illustrate the Sun as a star composed of gases that provides light and heat energy for the water cycle;

    (C)  construct models that demonstrate the relationship of the Sun, Earth, and Moon, including orbits and positions; and

    (D)  identify the planets in Earth's solar system and their position in relation to the Sun.

    (9)  Organisms and environments. The student knows that organisms have characteristics that help them survive and can describe patterns, cycles, systems, and relationships within the environments. The student is expected to:

    (A)  observe and describe the physical characteristics of environments and how they support populations and communities within an ecosystem;

    (B)  identify and describe the flow of energy in a food chain and predict how changes in a food chain affect the ecosystem such as removal of frogs from a pond or bees from a field; and

    (C)  describe environmental changes such as floods and droughts where some organisms thrive and others perish or move to new locations.

    (10)  Organisms and environments. The student knows that organisms undergo similar life processes and have structures that help them survive within their environments. The student is expected to:

    (A)  explore how structures and functions of plants and animals allow them to survive in a particular environment;

    (B)  explore that some characteristics of organisms are inherited such as the number of limbs on an animal or flower color and recognize that some behaviors are learned in response to living in a certain environment such as animals using tools to get food; and

    (C)  investigate and compare how animals and plants undergo a series of orderly changes in their diverse life cycles such as tomato plants, frogs, and lady bugs.

    Source: The provisions of this §112.14 adopted to be effective August 4, 2009, 34 TexReg 5063.