Alaska State Standards for Science

Instructor: A Ray Tatum

A. Ray has taught junior high, high school and college English and has a master's degree in curriculum.

Learn about Alaska's science standards for each core subject and grade level. You can also find science courses that may be helpful in supporting curricula for these classes.

Alaska Science Standards

Science standards for the state of Alaska stress three domains: physical science, Earth science, and life science. Each grade level is expected to work within each domain throughout the year to meet the standards outlined below.

Elementary Science Standards

Grades K-5 are the years when curious kids are unafraid to discover new worlds. This Science for Kids course can help open those minds to the bright realms of science around them and make it fun to learn about the following science topics.

Kindergarten-2nd Grade

In the early elementary years, students studying physical science will focus on the observation and classification of matter; sound vibrations, movement, and magnets; and the warming effects of the sun. In Earth science, they'll study the weather and it's effects on the environment as well as the moon, sun, and stars. Life science instruction will look at the differences between living and nonliving things, plants and animals' relationship with one another, and the similarities between baby animals and their parents.

3rd-5th Grades

Students in the later grades of elementary school will look at matter in its solid, liquid, and gaseous states; the effects of force on motion; and the different sources of energy. Their Earth science instruction will cover weather and its effects on rocks and soil, catastrophic events and how they change the landscape, and seasonal and daylight changes caused by the orbits of the Earth and moon. For life science, students study changes that occur among living things through the observation of fossils, their environments, and their inherited traits. Students also examine the structure and classification of organisms.

Middle School Science Standards

Science students in grades six through eight can use these Earth Science, Life Science, and Physical Science courses, which are designed to hold their attention and keep them on track while they expand their science knowledge by studying the following topics.

6th-8th Grades

Middle schoolers will explore how matter is made up of molecules and atoms. They'll also examine the changes within matter as it mixes and separates, learn how waves of sound and light transmit energy, and recognize energy's ability to transform matter from solids to liquids and gasses. Earth science students will look more closely at changes caused by plate tectonics, stages in the rock cycle and water cycle, and factors affecting the Earth's weather patterns. They'll also investigate the planet's inner layers, use maps to examine its surface, and create models to study Earth's place in the solar system and the nearby planets.

Life science topics will break down the tissue and organ systems of living organisms as well as their survivor behaviors and food sources. The conservation of energy and matter within an ecosystem is also covered, as are reproduction, genes, and their roles in adaptation for species survival.

High School Standards

Alaska's science standards for high school students attempt to do more than just help them meet state graduation requirements; they also aid students in their preparation for job markets or post-secondary education. Consider using these Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Earth Science courses to help them meet these goals and master the following science concepts. These Human Anatomy and Physiology, Intro to Astronomy, and Intro to Environmental Science classes can also be used to supplement instruction.

9th-12th Grades

In-depth studies of physical science will include chemical reactions and the periodic table, Newton's laws, the uses of different energy types, and electrical circuit basics. Earth science students will look closely at the carbon cycle, the nitrogen cycle, and the causes of such phenomena as solar winds, tides, and changing star positions. Finally, life science topics will deal with the division of organisms into kingdoms, cell structure and function, human anatomy, the impact of population on an ecosystem, and the environmental changes caused by human activities. The study of genetics, natural selection, and evolution will round out the subject.

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