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RULE §130.25Advanced Plant and Soil Science (One Credit), Adopted 2015

(a) General requirements. This course is recommended for students in Grades 11 and 12. Recommended prerequisites: Biology, Integrated Physics and Chemistry, Chemistry, or Physics and a minimum of one credit from the courses in the Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources Career Cluster. Students must meet the 40% laboratory and fieldwork requirement. This course satisfies a high school science graduation requirement. Students shall be awarded one credit for successful completion of this course.

(b) Introduction.

  (1) Career and technical education instruction provides content aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant technical knowledge and skills for students to further their education and succeed in current or emerging professions.

  (2) The Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources Career Cluster focuses on the production, processing, marketing, distribution, financing, and development of agricultural commodities and resources, including food, fiber, wood products, natural resources, horticulture, and other plant and animal products/resources.

  (3) Advanced Plant and Soil Science provides a way of learning about the natural world. Students should know how plant and soil science has influenced a vast body of knowledge, that there are still applications to be discovered, and that plant and soil science is the basis for many other fields of science. To prepare for careers in plant and soil science, students must attain academic skills and knowledge, acquire technical knowledge and skills related to plant and soil science and the workplace, and develop knowledge and skills regarding career opportunities, entry requirements, and industry expectations. To prepare for success, students need opportunities to learn, reinforce, apply, and transfer their knowledge and skills and technologies in a variety of settings.

  (4) 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 scientifically testable.

  (5) Scientific inquiry is the planned and deliberate investigation of the natural world. Scientific methods of investigation are experimental, descriptive, or comparative. The method chosen should be appropriate to the question being asked.

  (6) Scientific decision making is a way of answering questions about the natural world. Students should be able to distinguish between scientific decision-making methods (scientific methods) and ethical and social decisions that involve science (the application of scientific information).

  (7) A system is a collection of cycles, structures, and processes that interact. 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. Students should analyze a system in terms of its components and how these components relate to each other, to the whole, and to the external environment.

  (8) Students are encouraged to participate in extended learning experiences such as career and technical student organizations and other leadership or extracurricular organizations.

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

(c) Knowledge and skills.

  (1) The student demonstrates professional standards/employability skills as required by business and industry. The student is expected to:

    (A) identify career development and entrepreneurship opportunities in the field of plant systems;

    (B) apply competencies related to resources, information, interpersonal skills, and systems of operation in plant systems;

    (C) demonstrate knowledge of personal and occupational safety practices in the workplace;

    (D) identify employer expectations and appropriate work habits; and

    (E) demonstrate characteristics of good citizenship, including advocacy, stewardship, and community leadership.

  (2) The student, for at least 40% of instructional time, conducts laboratory and field investigations using safe, environmentally appropriate, and ethical practices. The student is expected to:

    (A) demonstrate safe practices during field and laboratory investigations; and

    (B) demonstrate an understanding of the use and conservation of resources and the proper disposal or recycling of materials.

  (3) The student uses scientific methods and equipment during laboratory and field investigations. The student is expected to:

    (A) know the definition of science and understand that it has limitations, as specified in subsection (b)(4) of this section;

    (B) know that 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;

    (C) know 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;

    (D) distinguish between scientific hypotheses and scientific theories;

    (E) plan and implement descriptive, comparative, and experimental investigations, including asking questions, formulating testable hypotheses, and selecting equipment and technology;

    (F) collect and organize qualitative and quantitative data and make measurements with accuracy and precision using tools such as calculators, spreadsheet software, data-collecting probes, computers, standard laboratory glassware, microscopes, various prepared slides, stereoscopes, metric rulers, electronic balances, analysis kits, sieve sets, sieve shakers, soil augers, soil moisture meters, hand lenses, Celsius thermometers, lab notebooks or journals, timing devices, cameras, Petri dishes, lab incubators, dissection equipment, meter sticks, and models, diagrams, or samples of biological specimens or structures;

    (G) analyze, evaluate, make inferences, and predict trends from data; and

    (H) communicate valid conclusions supported by the data through methods such as lab reports, labeled drawings, graphic organizers, journals, summaries, oral reports, and technology-based reports.

  (4) The student uses critical thinking, scientific reasoning, and problem solving to make informed decisions within and outside the classroom. 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) communicate and apply scientific information extracted from various sources such as current events, news reports, published journal articles, and marketing materials;

    (C) draw inferences based on data related to promotional materials for products and services;

    (D) evaluate the impact of scientific research on society and the environment;

    (E) evaluate models according to their limitations in representing biological objects or events; and

    (F) research and describe the history of biology and contributions of scientists.

  (5) The student develops a supervised agriculture experience program. The student is expected to:

    (A) plan, propose, conduct, document, and evaluate a supervised agriculture experience program as an experiential learning activity;

    (B) apply proper record-keeping skills as they relate to the supervised agriculture experience;

    (C) participate in youth leadership opportunities to create a well-rounded experience program; and

    (D) produce and participate in a local program of activities using a strategic planning process.

  (6) The student analyzes plant and soil science as it relates to plant and soil relationships affecting the production of food, fiber, and other economic crops. The student is expected to:

    (A) explain the importance and interrelationship of soil and plants; and

    (B) practice soil and plant evaluation as it applies to agricultural and urban settings.

  (7) The student develops scenarios for advances in plant and soil science. The student is expected to:

    (A) design, conduct, and complete research in a laboratory or field investigation to solve problems in plant and soil science;

    (B) use charts, tables, and graphs to prepare written summaries of results and data obtained in a laboratory or field investigation;

    (C) organize, analyze, evaluate, make inferences, and predict trends from data obtained in a laboratory or field investigation; and

    (D) communicate valid outcomes and solutions.

  (8) The student explains the relationship of biotic and abiotic factors within habitats and ecosystems. The student is expected to:

    (A) identify native and introduced plants, assess their role in an ecosystem, and compare them to plants in other ecosystems;

    (B) make observations and compile data about fluctuations in abiotic cycles and evaluate their effects on local ecosystems;

    (C) evaluate the impact of human activity such as pest control, hydroponics, and sustainable agriculture on ecosystems; and

    (D) predict how the introduction, removal, or re-introduction of an organism may affect the food chain and existing populations.

  (9) The student analyzes soil science as it relates to food and fiber production. The student is expected to:

    (A) explain soil formation;

    (B) evaluate the properties and nature of soils;

    (C) recognize the importance of conservation of soil and agencies involved in conservation;

    (D) recognize the application of soil mechanics to engineering and excavation operations;

    (E) perform soil management practices such as tillage trials and sustainable soil management practices; and

    (F) practice soil evaluations related to experiential activities such as land judging.

  (10) The student describes the relationship between resources within environmental systems. The student is expected to:

    (A) summarize methods of land use and management;

    (B) identify sources, use, quality, and conservation of water;

    (C) explore the use and conservation of renewable and non-renewable resources;

    (D) analyze and evaluate the economic significance and interdependence of components of the environment;

    (E) evaluate the impact of human activity and technology on soil fertility and productivity;

    (F) analyze and describe the effects on environments of events such as fire, hurricanes, deforestation, mining, population growth, and urban development; and

    (G) explain how regional changes in the environment may have a global effect.

  (11) The student describes the origin and use of water in a watershed. The student is expected to:

    (A) identify sources and calculate the amount of water in a watershed, including ground and surface water;

    (B) research and identify the type of water used in a watershed;

    (C) analyze water quality in a watershed; and

    (D) identify and use methods to evaluate water quantity available in a watershed.

  (12) The student maps the process of soil formation influenced by weathering, including erosion processes due to water, wind, and mechanical factors influenced by climate. The student is expected to:

    (A) illustrate the role of weathering in soil formations;

    (B) distinguish chemical weathering from mechanical weathering; and

    (C) identify geological formations that result from differing weathering processes.

  (13) The student describes the dynamics of a watershed. The student is expected to:

    (A) identify the characteristics of a local watershed such as average annual rainfall, runoff patterns, aquifers, location of water basins, and surface reservoirs; and

    (B) analyze the impact of floods, drought, irrigation, urbanization, and industrialization in a watershed.

  (14) The student explains how petroleum energy resources affect agriculture. The student is expected to:

    (A) research and describe the origin of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas;


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