and Benchmarks: "UV Menace" Module
The ETE "UV Menace" module supports the following
science standards and benchmarks:
Science Education Standards (Science
Education Standards Online)
As a result of activities, students should develop understanding and abilities
aligned with the following concepts and processes.
Unifying Concepts & Processes (pp. 115-119)
concepts that underlie Systems, Order, & Organization include:
- A system is an
organized group of related objects or components that form a whole.
Systems can coexist, for example, of organisms, machines, fundamental
particles, galaxies, ideas, numbers, transportation, and education.
- Systems have boundaries,
components, resources flow (input and output), and feedback.
- Think and analyze
in terms of systems.
- The idea of simple
systems encompasses subsystems as well as identifying the structure
and function of systems, feedback and equilibrium, and the distinction
between open and closed systems.
that underlie Evidence, Models, & Explanation include:
- Evidence consists
of observations and data on which to base scientific explanations.
that underlie Constancy, Change, and Measurement include:
- Interactions within
and among systems result in change.
- Changes vary in
rate, scale, and pattern, including trends and cycles.
- Energy can be
transferred and matter can be changed.
- Changes in systems
can be quantified.
- Evidence for interactions
and subsequent change and the formulation of scientific explanations
are often clarified through quantitative distinctions-measurement.
- Mathematics is
essential for accurately measuring change.
- Different systems
of measurement are used for different purposes.
- An important part
of measurement is knowing when to use which system.
- Scale includes
understanding that different characteristics, properties, or relationships
within a system might change as its dimensions are increased or decreased.
- Rate involves
comparing one measured quantity with
A: Science as Inquiry (pp. 173-176)
abilities and concepts that underlie the Abilities Necessary to Do Scientific
- Identify questions
and concepts that guide scientific investigations.
- Formulate and
revise scientific explanations and models using logic and evidence.
- Recognize and
analyze alternative explanations and models.
- Communicate and
defend a scientific argument.
that underlie the Understandings About Scientific Inquiry include:
- Historical and
current scientific knowledge influence the design and interpretation
of investigations and the evaluation of proposed explanations made by
- Scientists conduct
investigations for a wide variety of reasons:
- to discover
new aspects of the natural world,
- to explain
recently observed phenomena,
- to test the
conclusions of prior investigations or the predictions of current
rely on technology to enhance the gathering and manipulation of
- New techniques
and tools provide new evidence to guide inquiry and new methods
to gather data, thereby contributing to the advance of science.
- The accuracy
and precision of the data, and therefore the quality of the exploration,
depends on the technology used.
is essential in scientific inquiry. Mathematical tools and models
guide and improve the posing of questions, gathering data, constructing
explanations and communicating results.
- Scientific explanations
must adhere to criteria such as:
- a proposed
explanation must be logically consistent;
- it must abide
by the rules of evidence; it must be open to questions and possible
- and it must
be based on historical and current scientific knowledge.
- Results of
scientific inquiry-new knowledge and methods-emerge from different
types of investigations and public communication among scientists.
- In communicating
and defending the results of scientific inquiry, arguments must
be logical and demonstrate connections between natural phenomena,
investigations, and the historical body of scientific knowledge.
- The methods
and procedures that scientists used to obtain evidence must be clearly
reported to enhance opportunities for further investigation.
B: Physical Science (pp. 176-181)
concepts that underlie Structure of Atoms include:
- Matter is made
of minute particles called atoms, and atoms are composed of even smaller
- Each atom has
a positively charged nucleus surrounded by negatively charged electrons.
- The electric force
between the nucleus and electrons holds the atom together.
- The atom's nucleus
is composed of protons and neutrons.
that underlie Structure & Properties of Matter include:
- Atoms interact
with one another by transferring or sharing electrons that are furthest
from the nucleus.
- Outer electrons
govern the chemical properties of the element.
- Bonds between
atoms are created when electrons are paired up by being transferred
- A substance composed
of a single kind of atom is called an element.
- A compound is
formed when two or more kinds of atoms bind together chemically.
that underlie Chemical Reactions include:
- A large number
of important reactions involve the transfer of either electrons (oxidation/reduction
reactions) or hydrogen ions (acid/base reactions) between reacting ions,
molecules, or atoms.
- Chemical bonds
are broken by heat or light to form very reactive radicals with electrons
ready to form new bonds.
- Radical reactions
control many processes such as the presence of ozone and greenhouse
gases in the atmosphere, burning and processing of fossil fuels, the
formation of polymers, and explosions.
- Chemical reactions
can take place in time periods ranging from the few (1- -15 seconds)
required for an atom to move a fraction of a chemical bond distance
to geologic time scales of billions of years.
- Reaction rates
depend on how often the reacting atoms and molecules encounter one another,
on the temperature, and on the properties- including shape-of the reacting
that underlie Interactions of Energy & Matter include:
- Waves, including
sound and seismic waves, waves on water, and light waves, have energy
and can transfer energy when they interact with matter.
- The energy of
electromagnetic waves is carried in packets whose magnitude is inversely
proportional to the wavelength.
C: Life Science (pp. 181-187)
concepts that underlie the Molecular Basis of Heredity include:
- In all organisms,
the instructions for specifying the characteristics of the organism
are carried in DNA, a large polymer formed from subunits of four kinds
(A, G, C, and T).
- The chemical and
structural properties of DNA explain how the genetic information that
underlies heredity is both encoded in genes (as a string of molecular
"letters") and replicated (by a templating mechanism). Each
DNA molecule in a cell forms a single chromosome.
- Changes in DNA
(mutations) occur spontaneously at low rates. Some of these changes
make no difference to the organ ism, whereas others can change cells
and organisms. Only mutations in germ cells can create the variation
that changes an organism's offspring.
that underlie the Interdependence of Organisms include:
- Human beings live
within the world's ecosystems. Increasingly, humans modify ecosystems
as a result of population growth, technology, and consumption.
- Human destruction
of habitats through direct harvesting, pollution, atmospheric changes,
and other factors is threatening current global stability, and if not
addressed, ecosystems will be irreversibly affected.
F: Science in Personal & Social Perspectives (pp. 193-199)
concepts that underlie the Population Growth include:
- Populations can
increase through linear or exponential growth, with effects on resource
use and environmental pollution.
- Changes in technology
can cause significant changes, either positive or negative, in carrying
that underlie the Environmental Quality include:
- Materials from
human societies affect both physical and chemical cycles of the earth.
- Factors that students
might investigate include population growth, resource use, population
distribution, over consumption, the capacity of technology to solve problems,
poverty, the role of economic, political, and religious views, and different
ways humans view the earth.
that underlie the Natural & Human-Induced Hazards include:
- Normal adjustments
of earth may be hazardous forumans.
- Humans live at
the interface between the atmosphere driven by solar energy and the
upper mantle where convection creates changes in the earth's solid crust.
- As societies have
grown, become stable, and come to value aspects of the environment,
vulnerability to natural processes of change has increased. Human activities
can enhance potential for hazards.
- Acquisition of
resources, urban growth, and waste disposal can accelerate rates of
- Some hazards,
such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and severe weather, are rapid
- Natural and human-induced
hazards present the need for humans to assess potential danger and risk.
- Many changes in
the environment designed by humans bring benefits to society, as well
as cause risks.
- Students should
understand the costs and trade-offs of various hazards-ranging from
those with minor risk to a few people to major catastrophes with major
risk to many people.
- The scale of events
and the accuracy with which scientists and engineers can (and cannot)
predict events are important considerations.
that underlie Science & Technology in Local, National, & Global
- Science and technology
are essential social enterprises, but alone they can only indicate what
can happen, not what should happen. The latter involves human decisions
about the use of knowledge.
- Decisions involve
assessment of alternatives, risks, costs, and benefits and consideration
of who benefits and who suffers, who pays and gains, and what the risks
are and who bears them.
- Students should
understand the appropriateness and value of basic questions-"What
can happen?"- "What are the odds?"-and "How do scientists
and engineers know what will happen?"
- Humans have a
major effect on other species. For example, the influence of humans
on other organisms occurs through land use-which decreases space available
to other species-and pollution-which changes the chemical composition
of air, soil, and water.
E: Science & Technology (pp. 190-193)
concepts that underlie Abilities of Technological Design include:
- Identify a problem
or design an opportunity.
- Propose designs
and choose between alternative solutions.
- Implement a proposed
- Evaluate the solution
and its consequences.
- Communicate the
problem, process, and solution.
that underlie Understandings About Science & Technology include:
- Scientists in
different disciplines ask different questions, use different methods
of investigation, and accept different types of evidence to support
- Many scientific
investigations require the contributions of individuals from different
disciplines, including engineering.
- New disciplines
of science, such as geophysics and biochemistry often emerge at the
interface of two older disciplines.
G: History & Nature of Science (pp. 200-201)
concepts that underlie Nature of Scientific Knowledge include:
- Science distinguishes
itself from other ways of knowing and from other bodies of knowledge
through the use of empirical standards, logical arguments, and skepticism,
as scientists strive for the best possible explanations about the natural
- Scientific explanations
must meet certain criteria. First and foremost, they must be consistent
with experimental and observational evidence about nature, and must
make accurate predictions, when appropriate, about systems being studied.
- Scientific explanations
should also be logical, respect the rules of evidence, be open to criticism,
report methods and procedures, and make knowledge public.
- Because all scientific
ideas depend on experimental and observational confirmation, all scientific
knowledge is, in principle, subject to change as new evidence becomes
- In areas where
data or understanding are incomplete, such as the details of human evolution
or questions surrounding global warming, new data may well ead to changes
in current ideas or resolve current conflicts.
- In situations
where information is still fragmentary, it is normal for scientific
ideas to be incomplete, but this is also where the opportunity for making
advances may be greatest.
By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that:
Chapter 11, Common Themes
- A system usually
has some properties that are different from those of its parts, but
appear because of the interaction of those parts.
how things work and designing solutions to problems of almost any kind
can be facilitated by systems analysis.
- In defining a
system, it is important to specify its boundaries and subsystems, indicate
its relation to other systems, and identify what its input and its output
are expected to be.
- The successful
operation of a designed system usually involves feedback. The stability
of a system can be greater when it includes appropriate feedback mechanisms.
- Even in some very
simple systems, it may not always be possible to predict accurately
the result of changing some part or connection.
- The basic idea
of mathematical modeling is to find a mathematical relationship that
behaves in the same ways as the objects or processes under investigation.
- Computers have
greatly improved the power and use of mathematical models by performing
computations that are very long, very complicated, or repetitive.
- The graphic capabilities
of computers make them useful in the design and testing of devices and
structures and in the simulation of complicated processes.
- The usefulness
of a model can be tested by comparing its predictions to actual observations
in the real world.
11C Constancy and
- A system in equilibrium
may return to the same state of equilibrium if the disturbances it experiences
- Large disturbances
may cause it to escape that equilibrium and eventually settle into some
other state of equilibrium.
- Graphs and equations
are useful (and often equivalent) ways for depicting and analyzing patterns
- Most systems above
the molecular level involve so many parts and forces and are so sensitive
to tiny differences in conditions that their precise behavior is unpredictable,
even if all the rules for change are known.
- Predictable or
not, the precise future of a system is not completely determined by
its present state and circumstances but also depends on the fundamentally
uncertain outcomes of events on the atomic scale.
Chapter 1, The Nature of Science
The Scientific World View:
- Scientists assume
that the universe is a vast single system in which the basic rules are
the same everywhere.
- Change and continuity
are persistent features of science.
- In science, the
testing, revising, and occasional discarding of theories, new and old
- Science is an
ongoing process leads to an increasingly better understanding of how
things work in the world but not to absolute truth.
1B Scientific Inquiry:
are conducted for different reasons, including to explore new phenomena,
to check on previous results, to test how well a theory predicts, and
to compare different theories.
- Hypotheses are
widely used in science for choosing what data to pay attention to and
what additional data to seek, and for guiding the interpretation of
the data (both new and previously available).
- Sometimes, scientists
can control conditions in order to obtain evidence. When that is not
possible for practical or ethical reasons, they try to observe as wide
a range of natural occurrences as possible to be able to discern patterns.
- There are different
traditions in science about what is investigated and how, but they all
have in common certain basic beliefs about the value of evidence, logic,
and good arguments. And there is agreement that progress in all fields
of science depends on intelligence, hard work, imagination, and even
- Scientists in
any one research group tend to see things alike, so even groups of scientists
may have trouble being entirely objective about their methods and findings.
For that reason, scientific teams are expected to seek out the possible
sources of bias in the design of their investigations and in their data
analysis. Checking each other's results and explanations helps, but
that is no guarantee against bias.
- In the short run,
new ideas that do not mesh well with mainstream ideas in science often
encounter vigorous criticism. In the long run, theories are judged by
how they fit with other theories, the range of observations they explain,
how well they explain observations, and how effective they are in predicting
- New ideas in science
are limited by the context in which they are conceived; are often rejected
by the scientific establishment; sometimes spring from unexpected findings;
and usually grow slowly, through contributions from many investigators.
1C The Scientific
- Progress in science
and invention depends heavily on what else is happening in society,
and history often depends on scientific and technological developments.
- Science disciplines
differ from one another in what is studied, techniques used, and outcomes
sought, but they share a common purpose and philosophy, and all are
part of the same scientific enterprise.
- Many problems
are studied by scientists using information and skills from many disciplines.
- Disciplines do
not have fixed boundaries, and it happens that new scientific disciplines
are being formed where existing ones meet and that some subdisciplines
spin off to become new disciplines in their own right.
- Scientists can
bring information, insights, and analytical skills to bear on matters
of public concern.
- Scientists as
a group can be expected to be no less biased than other groups are about
their perceived interests.
- The strongly held
traditions of science, including its commitment to peer review and publication,
serve to keep the vast majority of scientists well within the bounds
of ethical professional behavior. Deliberate deceit is rare and likely
to be exposed sooner or later by the scientific enterprise itself.
- Funding influences
the direction of science by virtue of the decisions that are made on
which research to support.
Chapter 4, The Physical Setting
Structure of Matter:
- are made of
a positive nucleus surrounded by negative electrons.
- electron configuration,
particularly the outermost electrons, determines how the atom can
interact with other atoms.
- form bonds
to other atoms by transferring or sharing electrons.
- In a neutral atom,
the number of electrons equals the number of protons.
- Atoms may acquire
an unbalanced charge by gaining or losing electrons.
4E Energy Transformations:
- Different energy
levels are associated with different configurations of atoms and molecules.
Some changes of configuration require an input of energy whereas others
- When energy of
an isolated atom or molecule changes, it does so in a definite jump
from one value to another, with no possible values in between. The change
in energy occurs when radiation is absorbed or emitted, so the radiation
also has distinct energy values.
- Light energy emitted
or absorbed by separate atoms or molecules (as in a gas) can be used
to identify what the substance is.
4B The Earth:
- Life is adapted
to conditions on the earth, including the force of gravity that enables
the planet to retain an adequate atmosphere, and an intensity of radiation
from the sun that allows water to cycle between liquid and vapor.
Chapter 5, The Living Environment
- The function of
each protein molecule depends on its specific sequence of amino acids
and the shape the chain takes is a consequence of attractions between
the chain's parts
- The genetic information
in DNA molecules provides instructions for assembling protein molecules.
The code used is virtually the same for all life forms.
- Gene mutation
in a cell can result in uncontrolled cell division, called cancer. Exposure
of cells to certain chemicals and radiation increases mutations and
thus increases the chance of cancer.
- Gene mutations
can be caused by such things as radiation and chemicals.
- Ecosystems can
be reasonably stable over hundreds or thousands of years. As any population
of organisms grows, it is held in check by one or more environmental
factors: depletion of food or nesting sites, increased loss to increased
numbers of predators, or parasites. If a disaster such as flood or fire
occurs, the damaged ecosystem is likely to recover in stages that eventually
result in a system similar to the original one.
- Human beings are
part of the earth's ecosystems.
- Human activities
can, deliberately or inadvertently, alter the equilibrium in ecosystems.
Chapter 7, Human Society
- The size and rate
of growth of the human population in any location is affected by economic,
political, religious, technological, and environmental factors. Some
of these factors, in turn, are influenced by the size and rate of growth
of the population.
- The decisions
of one generation both provide and limit the range of possibilities
open to the next generation.
- Mass media, migrations,
and conquest affect social change by exposing one culture to another.
7D Social Trade-offs:
- Benefits and costs
of proposed choices include consequences that are long-term as well
as short-term, and indirect as well as direct.
- The more remote
the consequences of a personal or social decision, the harder it usually
is to take them into account in considering alternatives.
- Benefits and costs
may be difficult to estimate.
- In deciding among
alternatives, a major question is who will receive the benefits and
who (not necessarily the same people) will bear the costs.
- Social trade-offs
are often generational:
- The cost of
benefits received by one generation may fall on subsequent generations.
- The cost of
a social trade-off is sometimes borne by one generation although
the benefits are enjoyed by their descendants.
Chapter 12, Habits of Mind
Values and Attitudes:
- Know why curiosity,
honesty, openness, and skepticism are so highly regarded in science
and how they are incorporated into the way science is carried out; exhibit
those traits in their own lives and value them in others.
- View science and
technology thoughtfully, being neither categorically antagonistic nor
12B Computation and
- Use ratios and
proportions, including constant rates, in appropriate problems.
- Find answers to
problems by substituting numerical values in simple algebraic formulas
and judge whether the answer is reasonable by reviewing the process
and checking against typical values.
- Use computer spreadsheet,
graphing, and database programs to assist in quantitative analysis.
- Compare data for
two groups by representing their averages and spreads graphically.
- Express and compare
very small and very large numbers using powers-of-ten notation.
- Consider the possible
effects of measurement errors on calculations.
- Choose appropriate
summary statistics to describe group differences, always indicating
the spread of the data as well as the data's central tendencies.
- Describe spatial
relationships in geometric terms such as perpendicular, parallel, tangent,
similar, congruent, and symmetrical.
- Use and correctly
interpret relational terms such as if . . . then . . . , and, or, sufficient,
necessary, some, every, not, correlates with, and causes.
- Participate in
group discussions on scientific topics by restating or summarizing accurately
what others have said, asking for clarification or elaboration, and
expressing alternative positions.
- Use tables, charts,
and graphs in making arguments and claims in oral and written presentations.