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RULE §112.27Grade 7, 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 7, 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 have prior experience with elements in Grade 6 and develop an understanding that compounds are also pure substances in Grade 7. Students investigate the differences between elements and compounds through observations, descriptions of physical properties, and chemical reactions. Students build upon their understanding of solutions by exploring aqueous solutions.

    (C) Force, motion, and energy. Students measure, calculate, graph, and investigate how forces impact linear motion. Students build upon their understanding of the laws of motions by exploring Newton's First Law of Motion. Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of molecules. Thermal energy is transferred by conduction, convection, or radiation in order to reach thermal equilibrium.

    (D) Earth and space. Students explore characteristics and organization of objects and the role of gravity within our solar system. Earth has a specific set of characteristics that allows life to exist. Students further their understanding of the geosphere by illustrating how Earth's features change over time through tectonic movement. Students investigate how humans depend on and affect the hydrosphere.

    (E) Organisms and environments. Students further their understanding of organisms as systems made up of cells organized into tissues, tissues into organs, and organs into organ systems by identifying the main functions of the organs within the human body. During both sexual and asexual reproduction, traits are passed on to the next generation. Students understand how traits in populations can change through the processes of natural and artificial selection. Students analyze how energy flows through trophic levels and how biodiversity impacts an ecosystem's sustainability. Students gain an understanding of the taxonomic classifications of organisms and how characteristics determine their classification.

  (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, 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;

    (B) make informed decisions by evaluating evidence from multiple appropriate sources to assess the credibility, accuracy, cost-effectiveness, and methods used; and

    (C) research and explore resources such as museums, libraries, professional organizations, private companies, online platforms, and mentors employed in a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field to investigate STEM careers.

  (5) Recurring themes and concepts. The student understands that recurring themes and concepts provide a framework for making connections across disciplines. The student is expected to:

    (A) identify and apply patterns to understand and connect scientific phenomena or to design solutions;

    (B) identify and investigate cause-and-effect relationships to explain scientific phenomena or analyze problems;

    (C) analyze how differences in scale, proportion, or quantity affect a system's structure or performance;

    (D) examine and model the parts of a system and their interdependence in the function of the system;

    (E) analyze and explain how energy flows and matter cycles through systems and how energy and matter are conserved through a variety of systems;

    (F) analyze and explain the complementary relationship between structure and function of objects, organisms, and systems; and

    (G) analyze and explain how factors or conditions impact stability and change in objects, organisms, and systems.

  (6) Matter and energy. The student distinguishes between elements and compounds, classifies changes in matter, and understands the properties of solutions. The student is expected to:

    (A) compare and contrast elements and compounds in terms of atoms and molecules, chemical symbols, and chemical formulas;

    (B) use the periodic table to identify the atoms and the number of each kind within a chemical formula;

    (C) distinguish between physical and chemical changes in matter;

    (D) describe aqueous solutions in terms of solute and solvent, concentration, and dilution; and

    (E) investigate and model how temperature, surface area, and agitation affect the rate of dissolution of solid solutes in aqueous solutions.

  (7) Force, motion, and energy. The student describes the cause-and-effect relationship between force and motion. The student is expected to:

    (A) calculate average speed using distance and time measurements from investigations;

    (B) distinguish between speed and velocity in linear motion in terms of distance, displacement, and direction;

    (C) measure, record, and interpret an object's motion using distance-time graphs; and

    (D) analyze the effect of balanced and unbalanced forces on the state of motion of an object using Newton's First Law of Motion.

  (8) Force, motion, and energy. The student understands the behavior of thermal energy as it flows into and out of systems. The student is expected to:

    (A) investigate methods of thermal energy transfer into and out of systems, including conduction, convection, and radiation;

    (B) investigate how thermal energy moves in a predictable pattern from warmer to cooler until all substances within the system reach thermal equilibrium; and

    (C) explain the relationship between temperature and the kinetic energy of the particles within a substance.

  (9) Earth and space. The student understands the patterns of movement, organization, and characteristics of components of our solar system. The student is expected to:

    (A) describe the physical properties, locations, and movements of the Sun, planets, moons, meteors, asteroids, comets, Kuiper belt, and Oort cloud;

    (B) describe how gravity governs motion within Earth's solar system; and


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