• (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 processes, including inquiry methods, analyzing information, making informed decisions, and using tools to collect and record information, while addressing the major concepts and vocabulary, in the context of physical, earth, and life sciences. Districts are encouraged to facilitate classroom and outdoor investigations for at least 50% of instructional time.

    (4)  In Grade 5, investigations are used to learn about the natural world. Students should understand that certain types of questions can be answered by investigations and that methods, models, and conclusions built from these investigations change as new observations are made. Models of objects and events are tools for understanding the natural world and can show how systems work. They have limitations and based on new discoveries are constantly being modified to more closely reflect the natural world.

    (A)  Within the physical environment, students learn about the physical properties of matter, including magnetism, physical states of matter, relative density, solubility in water, and the ability to conduct or insulate electrical and heat energy. Students explore the uses of light, thermal, electrical, and sound energies.

    (B)  Within the natural environment, students learn how changes occur on Earth's surface and that predictable patterns occur in the sky. Students learn that the natural world consists of resources, including nonrenewable, renewable, and alternative energy sources.

    (C)  Within the living environment, students learn that structure and function of organisms can improve the survival of members of a species. Students learn to differentiate between inherited traits and learned behaviors. Students learn that life cycles occur in animals and plants and that the carbon dioxide-oxygen cycle occurs naturally to support the living environment.

    (b)  Knowledge and skills.

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

    (A)  demonstrate safe practices and the use of safety equipment as described in the Texas Safety Standards during classroom and outdoor investigations; and

    (B)  make informed choices in the conservation, disposal, and recycling of materials.

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

    (A)  describe, plan, and implement simple experimental investigations testing one variable;

    (B)  ask well-defined questions, formulate testable hypotheses, and select and use appropriate equipment and technology;

    (C)  collect information by detailed observations and accurate measuring;

    (D)  analyze and interpret information to construct reasonable explanations from direct (observable) and indirect (inferred) evidence;

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

    (F)  communicate valid conclusions in both written and verbal forms; and

    (G)  construct appropriate simple graphs, tables, maps, and charts using technology, including computers, to organize, examine, and evaluate information.

    (3)  Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student uses critical thinking and scientific problem solving to make informed 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)  evaluate the accuracy of the information related to promotional materials for products and services such as nutritional labels;

    (C)  draw or develop a model that represents how something works or looks that cannot be seen such as how a soda dispensing machine works; 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 calculators, microscopes, cameras, computers, hand lenses, metric rulers, Celsius thermometers, prisms, mirrors, pan balances, triple beam balances, spring scales, graduated cylinders, beakers, hot plates, meter sticks, magnets, collecting nets, and notebooks; timing devices, including clocks and stopwatches; and materials to support observations of habitats or organisms such as terrariums and aquariums; and

    (B)  use safety equipment, 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)  classify matter based on physical properties, including mass, magnetism, physical state (solid, liquid, and gas), relative density (sinking and floating), solubility in water, and the ability to conduct or insulate thermal energy or electric energy;

    (B)  identify the boiling and freezing/melting points of water on the Celsius scale;

    (C)  demonstrate that some mixtures maintain physical properties of their ingredients such as iron filings and sand; and

    (D)  identify changes that can occur in the physical properties of the ingredients of solutions such as dissolving salt in water or adding lemon juice to water.

    (6)  Force, motion, and energy. The student knows that energy occurs in many forms and can be observed in cycles, patterns, and systems. The student is expected to:

    (A)  explore the uses of energy, including mechanical, light, thermal, electrical, and sound energy;

    (B)  demonstrate that the flow of electricity in circuits requires a complete path through which an electric current can pass and can produce light, heat, and sound;

    (C)  demonstrate that light travels in a straight line until it strikes an object or travels through one medium to another and demonstrate that light can be reflected such as the use of mirrors or other shiny surfaces and refracted such as the appearance of an object when observed through water; and

    (D)  design an experiment that tests the effect of force on an object.

    (7)  Earth and space. The student knows Earth's surface is constantly changing and consists of useful resources. The student is expected to:

    (A)  explore the processes that led to the formation of sedimentary rocks and fossil fuels;

    (B)  recognize how landforms such as deltas, canyons, and sand dunes are the result of changes to Earth's surface by wind, water, and ice;

    (C)  identify alternative energy resources such as wind, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, and biofuels; and

    (D)  identify fossils as evidence of past living organisms and the nature of the environments at the time using models.

    (8)  Earth and space. The student knows that there are recognizable patterns in the natural world and among the Sun, Earth, and Moon system. The student is expected to:

    (A)  differentiate between weather and climate;

    (B)  explain how the Sun and the ocean interact in the water cycle;

    (C)  demonstrate that Earth rotates on its axis once approximately every 24 hours causing the day/night cycle and the apparent movement of the Sun across the sky; and

    (D)  identify and compare the physical characteristics of the Sun, Earth, and Moon.

    (9)  Organisms and environments. The student knows that there are relationships, systems, and cycles within environments. The student is expected to:

    (A)  observe the way organisms live and survive in their ecosystem by interacting with the living and non-living elements;

    (B)  describe how the flow of energy derived from the Sun, used by producers to create their own food, is transferred through a food chain and food web to consumers and decomposers;

    (C)  predict the effects of changes in ecosystems caused by living organisms, including humans, such as the overpopulation of grazers or the building of highways; and

    (D)  identify the significance of the carbon dioxide-oxygen cycle to the survival of plants and animals.

    (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)  compare the structures and functions of different species that help them live and survive such as hooves on prairie animals or webbed feet in aquatic animals;

    (B)  differentiate between inherited traits of plants and animals such as spines on a cactus or shape of a beak and learned behaviors such as an animal learning tricks or a child riding a bicycle; and

    (C)  describe the differences between complete and incomplete metamorphosis of insects.

    Source: The provisions of this §112.16 adopted to be effective August 4, 2009, 34 TexReg 5063.