Level 3

Alaska Science
Key Element

A student who meets the content standard should understand that sharing scientific discoveries is important to influencing individuals and society and in advancing scientific knowledge.


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Performance Standard Level 3, Ages 11–14

Students work in a team to observe, research, and study an issue related to their community and synthesize data derived from multiple perspectives.

Sample Assessment Ideas

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Sample Assessment Ideas

  • Student teams test which ski wax works best under given conditions; compare results with other teams; compare results with ski was recommended by downhill skiers, Olympic skiers and dog sled users.

  • Students do Internet research on the decline of marine mammal populations around the world and indicate which findings might be worth investigating to determine reasons for decline of stellar sea lions in the Bering Sea.

Expanded Sample Assessment Idea

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Expanded Sample Assessment Idea

  • Students research local bear-human interactions to suggest ways to decrease the number of interactions and note the information they received from other communities or others’ research.


Students will:

  1. Divide the class into groups representing particular viewpoints (game board, state and local agencies, Elders, parents, etc.).

  2. Research libraries, Internet, oral histories, and documented human-bear conflicts and resolutions.

  3. Using a forum format, discuss the issue from the viewpoints of the biologists, game board, parents, community members, kids, etc.

  4. As a class, identify solutions that will minimize bear-human interactions, and that satisfy all of the involved groups.

Reflection and Revision

Compare solution to data collected and make modifications if necessary.


Levels of Performance

Stage 4
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Student clearly communicates perspectives and makes use of others’ perspectives to draw a conclusion. The response is correct, complete, appropriate, and contains elaboration, extension, and/or evidence of higher-order thinking and relevant knowledge. There is no evidence of misconceptions. Minor errors do not necessarily lower the score.
Stage 3
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Student communicates perspectives and makes some use of others’ perspectives to draw a conclusion. Student work is generally correct, complete, and appropriate although minor inaccuracies are present. There may be limited evidence of elaboration, extension, higher-order thinking, and relevant knowledge, or there may be significant evidence of these traits, but other flaws (e.g. inaccuracies, omissions, inappropriateness) are evident.
Stage 2
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Student communicates perspectives, but makes little use of others’ perspectives to draw a conclusion. Student work, while it may contain some elements of proficient work, is inaccurate, incomplete, or inappropriate. There is little, if any, evidence of elaboration, extension, higher-order thinking, or relevant knowledge. There may be evidence of significant misconceptions.
Stage 1
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Student attempts to communicate perspectives; however, there is little or no mention of the perspectives of others, nor any attempt to draw a conclusion. Student work, although it may be on topic, fails to address the question, or it may address the question in a very limited way. There is no evidence of elaboration, extension, higher-order thinking, or relevant knowledge. There is evidence of serious misconceptions.
Standards Cross-Reference green rule

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

National Science Education Standards

Women and men of various social and ethnic backgrounds, and with diverse interests, talents, qualities, and motivations, engage in the activities of science, engineering, and related fields such as the health professions. Some scientists work in teams, and some work alone, but all communicate extensively with others. (Page 170)

Science requires different abilities, depending on such factors as the field of study and type of inquiry. Science is very much a human endeavor, and the work of science relies on basic human qualities, such as reasoning, insight, energy, skill, and creativity, as well as on scientific habits of the mind, such as intellectual honesty, tolerance of ambiguity, skepticism, and openness to new ideas. (Page 170)

Scientists formulate and test their explanations of nature using observation, experiments, and theoretical and mathematical models. Although all scientific ideas are tentative and subject to change and improvement in principle, for most major ideas in science, there is much experimental and observational confirmation. Those ideas are not likely to change greatly in the future. Scientists do and have changed their ideas about nature when they encounter new experimental evidence that does not match their existing explanations. (Page 171)

In areas where active research is being pursued and in which there is not a great deal of experimental or observational evidence and understanding, it is normal for scientists to differ with one another about the interpretation of the evidence or theory being considered. Different scientists might publish conflicting experimental results or might draw different conclusions from the same data. Ideally, scientists acknowledge such conflict and work toward finding evidence that will resolve their disagreement. (Page 171)

It is part of scientific inquiry to evaluate the results of scientific investigations, experiments, observations, theoretical models, and the explanations proposed by other scientists. Evaluation includes reviewing the experimental procedures, examining the evidence, identifying faulty reasoning, pointing out statements that go beyond the evidence, and suggesting alternative explanations for the same observations. Although scientists may disagree about explanations of phenomena, about interpretations of data, or about the value of rival theories, they do agree that questioning, response to criticism, and open communication are integral to the process of science. As scientific knowledge evolves, major disagreements are eventually resolved through such interactions between scientists. (Page 171)



Important contributions to the advancement of science, mathematics, and technology have been made by different kinds of people, in different cultures, at different times. (Page 17)

No matter who does science and mathematics or invents things, or when or where they do it, the knowledge and technology that result can eventually become available to everyone in the world. (Page 17)

Accurate record-keeping, openness, and replication are essential for maintaining an investigator’s credibility with other scientists and society. (Page 18)

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