Level 2

Alaska Science
Key Element

A student who meets the content standard should design and conduct scientific investigations using appropriate instruments.


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Performance Standard Level 2, Ages 8–10

Students conduct simple experiments to answer a specific question about the natural or designed world.

Sample Assessment Ideas

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Sample Assessment Ideas

  • Students experiment with different kinds of freezer paper and identify which prevents freezer burn the best.

  • Students experiment with one kind of berry and different amounts of sugar to determine fermentation rates.

Expanded Sample Assessment Idea

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Expanded Sample Assessment Idea

  • Students observe bean seeds and bean plants in various stages of growth and investigate the effects of changing variables (e.g., water, light, fertilizer) on the growth of a bean plant.


Students will:

  1. Review the questions about plant growth listed at the beginning of the lesson and add additional questions of interest to students.

  2. Partner with someone who would like to ask the same question. (If a student has a question that no one else has, he or she may work alone.)

  3. Design their own experiment using the same kind of seeds.

  4. Set up a control plant, or plants, to which no changes are made.

  5. Write or select a testable question.

  6. Predict what they think results will be.

  7. Design an investigation to test their prediction.

  8. Collect data daily. Measure and document, in words and pictures, what happens to the seed and plant. Label the plant parts at all stages.

  9. Repeat the experiment three times.

  10. Analyze data and write/illustrate results and conclusions.

  11. Students share with the class their experimental design, results, and conclusions, including problems they had with the investigation and how they solved them.

Reflection and Revision

Discuss what they would do differently next time and why. Discuss how each group ensured that each test was fair (control variables, etc.).


Levels of Performance

Stage 4
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Student work is complete, correct, and shows evidence of elaboration, extension, and mastery of drawing inferences based on experimental data. The investigation has a testable question, makes a prediction, lists variables, controls the variables when possible, manipulates a single variable, makes accurate measurements, records results, and makes appropriate conclusions.
Stage 3
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stage fish
stage fish
Student work is complete but shows limited evidence of elaboration, extension and ability to draw inferences based on experimental data. The investigation includes a testable question, makes a prediction, lists some variables, controls most (but not all) variables, manipulates a single variable, makes measurements that are mostly accurate, and records results but makes inappropriate conclusions.
Stage 2
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stage fish
Student work may be incomplete or incorrect and shows limited evidence of understanding variables and how to manipulate them. The investigation may ask a testable question and make a prediction. However, the results are inaccurate or incomplete and the conclusions if present, does not relate to or reflect the experimental data.
Stage 1
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Student work is incomplete and incorrect. Although the investigation may consider questions about plant growth, it lacks an experimental procedure that reflects variables, controls, data collection or data manipulation.
Standards Cross-Reference blue rule

Standards Cross-References
( Alaska Department of Education & Early Development Standards

National Science Education Standards

Plan and conduct a simple investigation. In the earliest years, investigations are largely based on systematic observations. As students develop, they may design and conduct simple experiments to answer questions. The idea of a fair test is possible for many students to consider by fourth grade. (Page 122)

Scientists use different kinds of investigations depending on the questions they are trying to answer. Types of investigations include describing objects, events, and organisms; classifying them; and doing a fair test (experimenting). (Page 123)

Different kinds of questions suggest different kinds of scientific investigations. Some investigations involve observing and describing objects, organisms, or events; some involve collecting specimens; some involve experiments; some involve seeking more information; some involve discovery of new objects and phenomena; and some involve making models. (Page 148)

Scientific investigations sometimes result in new ideas and phenomena for study, generate new methods or procedures for an investigation, or develop new technologies to improve the collection of data. All of these results can lead to new investigations. (Page 148)



Results of similar scientific investigations seldom turn out exactly the same. Sometimes this is because of unexpected differences in the things being investigated, sometimes because of unrealized differences in the methods used or in the circumstances in which the investigation is carried out, and sometimes just because of uncertainties in observations. It is not always easy to tell which. (Page 6)

Scientific investigations may take many different forms, including observing what things are like or what is happening somewhere, collecting specimens for analysis, and doing experiments. Investigations can focus on physical, biological, or social questions. (Page 11)

Seek better reasons for believing something other than “Everybody knows that . . . ” or “I just know” and discount such reasons when given by others. (Page 299)

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