|(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.
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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;
(D) communicate valid outcomes and solutions.
(8) The student explains the relationship of biotic
and abiotic factors within habitats and ecosystems. The student is
(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
(C) explore the use and conservation of renewable and
(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
(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
(A) illustrate the role of weathering in soil formations;
(B) distinguish chemical weathering from mechanical
(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;