Level 4

Alaska Science
Key Element A4

A student who meets the content standard should understand observable natural events such as tides, weather, seasons, and moon phases in terms of the structure and motion of the Earth (Earth).

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Performance Standard Level 4, Ages 15–18

Students explain tides, weather, seasons, and phases of the moon including the appropriate concepts of gravity, the Coriolis effect, role of the atmosphere, and Earth’s rotation and revolution.

Sample Assessment Ideas

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Sample Assessment Ideas

  • Students research how air and water regions of different temperature and density move to drive circulation patterns and large-scale weather patterns.

  • Students debate the scientific evidence for and against global warming.

Standards Cross-Reference gold rule

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

National Science Education Standards

Heating of Earth’s surface and atmosphere by the sun drives convection within the atmosphere and oceans, producing winds and ocean currents. (Page 189)

Global climate is determined by energy transfer from the sun at and near the Earth’s surface. This energy transfer is influenced by dynamic processes such as cloud cover and the Earth’s rotation, and static conditions such as the position of mountain ranges and oceans. (Page 189)



Life is adapted to conditions on the Earth, including the force of gravity that enables the planet to retain an adequate atmosphere, and an intensity of radiation from the sun that allows water to cycle between liquid and vapor. (Page 70)

Weather (in the short run) and climate (in the long run) involve the transfer of energy in and out of the atmosphere. Solar radiation heats the land masses, oceans, and air. Transfer of heat energy at the boundaries between the atmosphere, the land masses, and the oceans results in layers of different temperatures and densities in both the ocean and atmosphere. The action of gravitational force on regions of different densities causes them to rise or fall and such circulation, influenced by the rotation of the Earth, produces winds and ocean currents. (Page 70)

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