Level 4

Alaska Science
Key Element B3

A student who meets the content standard should understand that scientific inquiry often involves different ways of thinking, curiosity, and the exploration of multiple paths.

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Performance Standard Level 4, Ages 15–18

Students conduct research and media searches that highlight forms of inquiry and multiple solutions to complex problems.

Sample Assessment Ideas

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Sample Assessment Ideas

  • Students read recent scientific research and reviews of that research to examine suggestions for improvement.

  • Local students conduct independent parallel investigations with a student team in a different location on the same research question, compare results, and discuss the processes used to arrive at their respective conclusions.

Expanded Sample Assessment Idea

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Expanded Sample Assessment Idea

  • Students use primary and secondary research to determine an ideal method for tanning salmon skins in their locality and describe how they arrived at that result.


Students will:

  1. Investigate salmon skin tanning, including reasons for tanning, why skins and hides are tanned, and traditional and modern methods of tanning.

  2. Brainstorm about types of information that might be useful in solving the problem.

  3. Divide into small groups to investigate the problem from different perspectives (conduct experiments with skins and hides, interview Elders and professional tanners, research Internet).

  4. Share the research results with each other, critique each method of tanning, and develop alternative methods of tanning.

Reflection and Revision

Reflect on ways in which collaboration, creativity, multiple paths of exploration, and personal integrity helped to solve the problem.


Levels of Performance

Stage 4
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Student work is complete, correct and shows evidence of elaboration and extension. Student uses multiple sources to identify reasonable solutions to the tanning task including Internet research, and local interviews; designed controlled, quantitative experiments.
Stage 3
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Student work is generally complete, correct and shows some evidence of elaboration and extension. Student uses multiple sources to identify solutions to the tanning task including Internet research and local interviews. Although experimentation is included, it may be poorly controlled, lack quantitative measurements or result in a questionable solution to the tanning task.
Stage 2
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Student work is generally on task but shows little evidence of elaboration. Student may use one or two sources to identify solutions to the tanning task. Although experimentation is included, controls and measurements are lacking. Solutions, if included, may not be related to the experimental procedure presented.
Stage 1
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Student work may be related to tanning but is not targeted to identify multiple solutions to the tanning task. Experiments and use of outside information sources, if included, may not be appropriate or useful.
Standards Cross-Reference gold rule

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

National Science Education Standards

Recognize and analyze alternative explanations and models. This aspect of the standard emphasizes the critical abilities of analyzing an argument by reviewing current scientific understanding, weighing the evidence, and examining the logic so as to decide which explanations and models are best. In other words, although there may be several plausible explanations, they do not all have equal weight. Students should be able to use scientific criteria to find the preferred explanations. (Page 175)

Scientists usually inquire about how physical, living, or designed systems function. Conceptual principles and knowledge guide scientific inquiries. Historical and current scientific knowledge influence the design and interpretation of investigations and the evaluation of proposed explanations made by other scientists. (Page 176)



Know why curiosity, honesty, openness, and skepticism are so highly regarded in science and how they are incorporated into the way science is carried out; exhibit those traits in their own lives and value them in others. (Page 287)

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