Physical Science (SCI 111) Standards

1.  Sun and Moon: Describe the orbital features of the sun-earth-moon system, including seasons, eclipses, and phases. 

2.  Scaling: Describe and apply the scale of distances and sizes of the Solar System. 

3.  Tectonics: Describe plate dynamics, identify the types of plate boundaries, and explain the features and processes that occur at each type of boundary. 

4.  Science: Define and explain the relationships between scientific observations, laws, and theories. 

5.  Wegener: Explain how and why the theory of plate tectonics became generally accepted. 

6.  Hot Spots: Describe the features of hot spots and explain the land forms and activities attributed to hot spots. 

7.  Volcanoes: Identify and describe the different types of volcanoes, how they behave, and how their properties determine their form. 

8.  Faults: Define the major types of fault movement and the crustal environments that cause them. 

9.  Shaking: Apply and interpret the Modified Mercalli intensity scale and the Moment Magnitude scale to understand the severity of earthquakes. 

10.  Contours: Describe a landscape and identify its features qualitatively and quantitatively using the information from a topographic map. 

11.  Rock Cycle: Explain how igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks form. 

12.  Minerals: Recognize common rock-forming minerals and identify theri common sources. 

13.  Rocks: Identify igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks by sight.  Classify sedimentary rocks by composition, igneous rocks by composition and grain size, and metamorphic rocks by appearance. Sedimentary rocks: identify and define limestones, sandstones, shales, and conglomerates.  Igneous rocks: Identify plutonic and eruptive rocks.  Metamorphic rocks: Identify quartzite, marble, slate, phyllite, schist, and gneiss.

14.  Time: Understand the scale and scope of geologic time. Includes knowing the major divisions of geologic time: Eons, Eras, Periods, Epochs.  Know the names and order of the eons, the eras and periods within the Phanerozoic Eon, and the epochs within the Cenozoic Era.

15.  Steno: Use stratigraphic rules to determine the relative ages of geologic features.  Features include rock layers, erosion surfaces, faults, and igneous intrusions.

16.  Surface Processes: Identify, describe, and explain the roles of water, ice, wind, and gravity on landscape evolution.  Identify and explain features produced by streams, valley glaciers, ice sheets, wind, and waves.

17.  Geomaps: Read and interpret geologic maps.  Identify and explain geologic structures shown on the maps, such as faults and folds.

18.  Fossil fuels: Explain the formation and occurrence of fossil fuel resources.  Describe how coal, oil, and natural gas form and where they can be found.

19.  Circulation: Identify and explain atmospheric circulation.  Describe and explain the physics of circulation, energy transfers and forces acting on and within the atmosphere.  Includes identifying and explaining composition and properties of the layers of the atmosphere. 

20.  Weather terms: Define and describe the quantities used to desscribe weather.  Directly sensed quantities include temperature, wind speed and direction, precipitation type and amount, humidity, cloud cover and type, and visibility.  Measured quantities include pressure and composition.  This standard includes describing how the quantities are reported, including units and the station model.

21.  Thunderstorms: Identify the different types of thunderstorms, how they develop, and how and why they form.  Types include single-cell storms, squall lines, mesoscale convective storms, and supercells.  Tornadoes are included in this standard.

22.  Hurricanes: Define and describe tropical cyclones and the conditions under which they form and develop. 

23.  Fronts: Describe the formation and development of midlatitude cyclones.  Includes identifying fronts and the weather associated with different parts of a midlatitude cyclone.

24.  Weather data: Obtain and discuss data from weather stations, weather balloons, satellites, and summary maps. 

25.  Köppen: Describe, identify, and explain the Köppen climate designation of a location.  Also be able to identify, discuss, and explain deviations from the general type in specific cases.

26.  Units: Properly use and convert units in measurements and calculations. 

27.  Motion: Properly relate position, velocity, and acceleration. 

28.  Force: Properly relate force and motion.  This includes stating and applying Newton’s first and second laws of motion.

29.  Interaction: Recognize and characterize the forces in an interaction between objects.  This is Newton’s third law of motion.

30.  Circular: Identify the direction of acceleration in uniform circular motion.  Relate its magnitude, to speed, radius, frequency, and period in uniform circular motion. 

31.  Cycles: Relate period to frequency in cyclic processes. 

32.  Gravity: Describe and calculate the nature of the gravitational interaction between masses.  Includes describing and explaining the distance and mass dependence of the magnitude.  Also includes explaining the concept of gravitational field.

33.  Momentum: Define and calculate an object’s momentum. 

34.  Impulse: Define and calculate impulse.  Relate impulse to momentum. 

35.  Conservation of momentum: Recognize that while momentum can be transferred between objects in an on interaction, total momentum never changes.  Employ to understand and predict the results of interactions.

36.  Work:  Relate work to force and displacement.  This includes appreciating the directional nature of force and displacement and how the directions affect the work accomplished.

37.  Energy:  Define and calculate kinetic energy and surface gravitational potential energy.  This includes relating each to the quantities in their formulas.

38.  Conservation of Energy: Recognize and give examples of how energy is conserved in all processes.  Compare and contrast energy and momentum conservation.

39.  Energy supply: Identify and describe energy resources exploited by human society.  Identify and explain advantages and disadvantages of their use.

40.  Atoms: Relate the interactions between atoms to the properties of solids, liquids, and gases. 

41.  Temperature: Describe the relation between molecular behavior and temperature. 

42.  Heat: Relate energy input to phase changes and temperature changes.  Use heat capacity and specific heat capacity formulas; define and apply the concept of latent heat.  Describe the molecular processes underlying temperature and phase changes.

43.  Internal Energy: Define internal energy and relate it to the behavior and interactions of molecules.  Identify and explain how a system’s internal energy changes.  This includes applying the first law of thermodynamics ΔU = JQ − W.

44.  Entropy: Explain the tendency of matter and energy to spread out over time.  Distinguish high entropy from low entropy situations. 

45.  Vibrations: Define frequency, period, and amplitude of an oscillation.  Identify and justify the quantities that influence the period and frequency of an oscillation and of a simple pendulum.  This includes knowing the influence of amplitude on period and frequency.

46.  Waves: Define and explain wave motion in cables, liquids, and solids.  Relate wave speed to wavelength and frequency.  Includes defining wavelength and velocity; and distinguishing transverse and longitudinal waves.

47.  Electrostatics: Describe the interaction between electric charges.  Includes direction of the force and the quantities that determine its magnitude.

48.  Ohm’s law: Relate the voltage across, the current through, and the resistance of a resistor. 

49.  Magnetic fields: Describe the response of a magnet to a magnetic field.  Describe the magentic field created by a permanent magnet. 

50.  Electromagnetism: Describe the interaction between an electric current and a magnetic field.  Includes the magnetic field created by an electric current (straight, loop, or coil), the force of a magnetic field on an electric current, and the current created by moving a conductor through a magnetic field.

51.  Light: Describe the electromagnetic wave nature of light. 

52.  Optics: Determine and characterize the position, size, and orientation of an image created by a single mirror or lens.  Includes using ray tracing and the thin lens equation.

53.  Color: Describe the detection and meaning of color. 

54.  Atomic structure: Assign electrons to orbitals in atoms and monoatomic ions.  Identify the electrons’ quantum numbers.  Characterize orbitals by energy level and number and type of nodes. 

55.  Periodic table: Relate an atom’s position in the periodic table to its nuclear characteristics.  Assign its electron configuration.  Includes finding elements in the Table.

56.  Bonding: Identify the most favored monoatomic ions of main group elements.  Construct dot structures for neutral atoms, ions, and covalent compounds.  Determine the shapes of covalent molecules and name the geometry of each atom.  Includes identifying double and triple bonds in molecules.

57.  Ionic Compounds: Identify common monatomic and polyatomic ions.  Determine the formulas of ionic compounds.  Convert between formulas and names of ionic compounds.  

58.  Balancing equations: Assign the coefficients to reactants and products to balance chemical equations. 

59.  Moles: Determine the molar masses of elements and compounds, and convert quantities between moles and masses. 

60.  Yields: Find the moles and masses of reactants and products from chemical reaction equations.  Determine limiting reactants.  Includes finding amounts of reactants to yield a desired amount of product and finding expected yields of reactions.

61.  Acids and bases: Describe the ionization of proton donors and acceptors, including water.  Includes explaining and interpreting the pH scale.  Other acidity scales are taught in the class, but are not included in this atandard.

62.  Equilibrium: Describe and characterize the dynamic equilibrium of chemical reactions  Includes expressing and interpreting equilibrium constants and reaction quotients.  Does not include relating forward and reverse rate expressions to equilibrium.

63.  Nuclear structure: Identify and describe the components of atomic nuclei and the forces between them. 

64.  Nuclear reactions: Describe the characteristics and products of nuclear reactions.  Includes alpha, beta, and gamma decay, fission, and fusion.


[barransclass] [SCI 111]

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Revised: 7 May 2019.  Maintained by Richard Barrans.
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