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RULE §112.28Grade 8, Adopted 2021

(a) Introduction.

  (1) In Grades 6 through 8 Science, content is organized into recurring strands. The concepts within each grade level build on prior knowledge, prepare students for the next grade level, and establish a foundation for high school courses. In Grade 8, the following concepts will be addressed in each strand.

    (A) Scientific and engineering practices. Scientific inquiry is the planned and deliberate investigation of the natural world using scientific and engineering practices. Scientific methods of investigation are descriptive, correlative, comparative, or experimental. The method chosen should be appropriate to the grade level and question being asked. Student learning for different types of investigations includes descriptive investigations, which have no hypothesis that tentatively answers the research question and involve collecting data and recording observations without making comparisons; correlative and comparative investigations, which have a hypothesis that predicts a relationship and involve collecting data, measuring variables relevant to the hypothesis that are manipulated, and comparing results; and experimental investigations, which involve processes similar to comparative investigations but in which a hypothesis can be tested by comparing a treatment with a control.

      (i) Scientific practices. Students ask questions, plan and conduct investigations to answer questions, and explain phenomena using appropriate tools and models.

      (ii) Engineering practices. Students identify problems and design solutions using appropriate tools and models.

    (B) Matter and energy. Students make connections between elements, compounds, and mixtures that were introduced in prior grade levels. Students examine the properties of water, acids, and bases. In addition, students understand the basic concept of conservation of mass using chemical equations.

    (C) Force, motion, and energy. Students are introduced to Newton's Second Law of Motion and investigate how all three laws of motion act simultaneously within systems. Students understand that waves transfer energy and further explore the characteristics and applications of waves.

    (D) Earth and space. Students learn that stars and galaxies are part of the universe. In addition, students use data to research scientific theories of the origin of the universe. Students learn how interactions in solar, weather, and ocean systems create changes in weather patterns and climate. In addition, students understand that climate can be impacted by natural events and human activities.

    (E) Organisms and environments. Students identify the function of organelles. Traits are contained in genetic material that is found on genes within a chromosome from the parent. These traits influence the success of a species over time. Students explore how organisms and their populations respond to environmental changes, including those caused by human activities.

  (2) Nature of science. 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." This vast body of changing and increasing knowledge is described by physical, mathematical, and conceptual models. Students should know that some questions are outside the realm of science because they deal with phenomena that are not currently scientifically testable.

  (3) Scientific observations, inferences, hypotheses, and theories. Students are expected to know that:

    (A) observations are active acquisition of either qualitative or quantitative information from a primary source through the senses;

    (B) inferences are conclusions reached on the basis of observations or reasoning supported by relevant evidence;

    (C) hypotheses are tentative and testable statements that must be capable of being supported or not supported by observational evidence. Hypotheses of durable explanatory power that have been tested over a wide variety of conditions are incorporated into theories; and

    (D) scientific theories are based on natural and physical phenomena and are capable of being tested by multiple independent researchers. Unlike hypotheses, scientific theories are well established and highly reliable explanations, but they may be subject to change as new areas of science and new technologies are developed.

  (4) Science and social ethics. Scientific decision making is a way of answering questions about the natural world involving its own set of ethical standards about how the process of science should be carried out. Students distinguish between scientific decision-making practices and ethical and social decisions that involve science.

  (5) Recurring themes and concepts. Science consists of recurring themes and making connections between overarching concepts. Recurring themes include structure and function, systems, models, and patterns. All systems have basic properties that can be described in space, time, energy, and matter. Change and constancy occur in systems as patterns and can be observed, measured, and modeled. These patterns help to make predictions that can be scientifically tested. Models have limitations but provide a tool for understanding the ideas presented. Students analyze a system in terms of its components and how these components relate to each other, to the whole, and to the external environment.

  (6) Statements containing the word "including" reference content that must be mastered, while those containing the phrase "such as" are intended as possible illustrative examples.

(b) Knowledge and skills.

  (1) Scientific and engineering practices. The student, for at least 40% of instructional time, asks questions, identifies problems, and plans and safely conducts classroom, laboratory, and field investigations to answer questions, explain phenomena, or design solutions using appropriate tools and models. The student is expected to:

    (A) ask questions and define problems based on observations or information from text, phenomena, models, or investigations;

    (B) use scientific practices to plan and conduct descriptive, comparative, and experimental investigations and use engineering practices to design solutions to problems;

    (C) use appropriate safety equipment and practices during laboratory, classroom, and field investigations as outlined in Texas Education Agency-approved safety standards;

    (D) use appropriate tools such as graduated cylinders, metric rulers, periodic tables, balances, scales, thermometers, temperature probes, laboratory ware, timing devices, pH indicators, hot plates, models, microscopes, slides, life science models, petri dishes, dissecting kits, magnets, spring scales or force sensors, tools that model wave behavior, satellite images, weather maps, hand lenses, and lab notebooks or journals;

    (E) collect quantitative data using the International System of Units (SI) and qualitative data as evidence;

    (F) construct appropriate tables, graphs, maps, and charts using repeated trials and means to organize data;

    (G) develop and use models to represent phenomena, systems, processes, or solutions to engineering problems; and

    (H) distinguish between scientific hypotheses, theories, and laws.

  (2) Scientific and engineering practices. The student analyzes and interprets data to derive meaning, identify features and patterns, and discover relationships or correlations to develop evidence-based arguments or evaluate designs. The student is expected to:

    (A) identify advantages and limitations of models such as their size, scale, properties, and materials;

    (B) analyze data by identifying any significant descriptive statistical features, patterns, sources of error, or limitations;

    (C) use mathematical calculations to assess quantitative relationships in data; and

    (D) evaluate experimental and engineering designs.

  (3) Scientific and engineering practices. The student develops evidence-based explanations and communicates findings, conclusions, and proposed solutions. The student is expected to:

    (A) develop explanations and propose solutions supported by data and models and consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories;

    (B) communicate explanations and solutions individually and collaboratively in a variety of settings and formats; and

    (C) engage respectfully in scientific argumentation using applied scientific explanations and empirical evidence.

  (4) Scientific and engineering practices. The student knows the contributions of scientists and recognizes the importance of scientific research and innovation on society. The student is expected to:

    (A) relate the impact of past and current research on scientific thought and society, including the process of science, cost-benefit analysis, and contributions of diverse scientists as related to the content;


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