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RULE §112.7Science, Grade 5, Adopted 2021

(a) Introduction.

  (1) In Kindergarten through Grade 5 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 5, 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.

      (iii) To support instruction in the science content standards, it is recommended that districts integrate scientific and engineering practices through classroom and outdoor investigations for at least 50% of instructional time.

    (B) Matter and energy. Students investigate matter expanding their understanding of properties learned in Grade 4 (mass, volume, states, temperature, magnetism, and relative density) to include solubility and the ability to conduct or insulate both thermal and electrical energy. Students observe the combination of substances to make mixtures and develop an understanding of conservation of matter. These concepts lead to the understanding of elements and compounds. Students will build on this understanding in middle school when they learn to determine density and to identify evidence of chemical changes.

    (C) Force, motion, and energy. Students investigate equal and unequal forces and the effects these forces have on objects (motion and direction). Additionally, students investigate energy, including mechanical, light, thermal, electrical, and sound. They uncover cycles (e.g., movement of thermal energy), patterns (e.g., behavior of light, including reflection and refraction), and systems through their exploration. Students will build on this understanding in middle school when they begin to use calculations and measurements to study force, motion, and energy through the study of Newton's Laws of Motion.

    (D) Earth and space. This strand is focused on identifying recognizable patterns and processes as students learn about Earth's rotation and demonstrate the effects this movement has on Earth's surface, including day and night, shadows, and the rotation of Earth on its axis. Students continue their learning of patterns and processes on Earth while exploring weather, climate, the water cycle, the formation of sedimentary rock and fossil fuels, and the formation of landforms. Finally, students learn ways to manage natural resources to support a healthy environment.

    (E) Organisms and environments. This strand focuses on identifying relationships, systems, and cycles within organisms and environments. Students describe the interactions of biotic and abiotic factors in an ecosystem. Students build on their understanding of food webs from Grade 4 by predicting how ecosystem changes affect the flow of energy. Additionally, they describe how humans impact the ecosystem. Students also learn how organisms' structures help them to survive, and they distinguish between instinctual and learned behaviors in animals. This will set the foundation for Grade 6 where students compare and contrast variations within organisms and how they impact survival.

  (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. 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 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 and simple experimental investigations and use engineering practices to design solutions to problems;

    (C) demonstrate safe practices and the use of safety equipment during classroom and field investigations as outlined in Texas Education Agency-approved safety standards;

    (D) use tools, including calculators, microscopes, hand lenses, metric rulers, Celsius thermometers, prisms, concave and convex lenses, laser pointers, mirrors, digital scales, balances, spring scales, graduated cylinders, beakers, hot plates, meter sticks, magnets, collecting nets, notebooks, timing devices, materials for building circuits, materials to support observations of habitats or organisms such as terrariums and aquariums, and materials to support digital data collection such as computers, tablets, and cameras to observe, measure, test, and analyze information;

    (E) collect observations and measurements as evidence;

    (F) construct appropriate graphic organizers used to collect data, including tables, bar graphs, line graphs, tree maps, concept maps, Venn diagrams, flow charts or sequence maps, and input-output tables that show cause and effect; and

    (G) develop and use models to represent phenomena, objects, and processes or design a prototype for a solution to a problem.

  (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;


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