Georgia Physical Science Standards

Instructor: Leah Salyer
The state of Georgia has specific grade-level standards for the subject of science. Read on to learn more about physical science standards, what concepts they entail and how they progress from kindergarten through high school.

Georgia Physical Science Standards

The physical science standards in the state of Georgia are based on both the characteristics of science and its content. In order to adequately meet the standards, teachers are expected to teach using hands-on activities in order to achieve the best learning outcome. In addition to science content standards, Georgia science standards also include performance skills that are consistent through every grade level, including making observations, building models, conducting research, and understanding scientific inquiry, among others.

Elementary School

The physical science standards at the elementary level begin with a foundation of learning that students can build on as they rise in grade level. The physical science standards for each grade levels are detailed below, as well as available resources for further learning.


Kindergarten students are already making observations about the world around them. Therefore, physical science standards are focused on the interests that Kindergarteners have naturally, and encouraging student curiosity. The main physical science concepts taught in Kindergarten include:

  • Types of motion
  • The makeup of different materials
  • Using the senses
  • Gravity

1st Grade

1st grade students transition from more basic physical science lessons to focusing more on the practice of asking questions and performing basic experiments. They will begin to understand basic physical science topics including:

  • Light and sound
  • Magnets and magnetic forces

2nd Grade

By the time students reach the 2nd grade, they are ready to start observing the relationships of objects in the world around them. This prompts students to become more aware of change in the world of science. Students in this grade will gain knowledge in physical science concepts, including:

  • Matter and its varying states
  • Sources and uses of energy
  • The push and pull of motion

3rd Grade

3rd grade students are beginning to focus more on asking their own questions that require scientific answers and finding ways through experimentation to answer those questions. Students are also spending time recording information and interpreting data. 3rd grade physical science areas include:

  • The production and transfer of heat
  • Magnet attraction and repellence

4th Grade

Students in the 4th grade will begin to gather their own data and create models for this data. They are also more active in science application and participate in more hands-on activities both inside and outside the classroom environment. They learn the difference between their ideas and their observations about the world of science. 4th grade students will practice the following physical science concepts:

  • Light and light reflection
  • Sound and vibration
  • Effects of force on an object's position and motion

5th Grade

At this level, 5th grade students are more aware of the scientific process and are capable of creating models and reports to show their findings. The physical science areas 5th graders will study include:

  • The composition of objects
  • Physical and chemical changes
  • Magnets and electricity


When preparing to teach these standards, take a look at these lessons on Physics for Elementary School and Chemistry for Elementary School. Lessons include interactive quizzes and comprehensive exams.

Middle School

Middle school physical science standards build upon the information that students learn in elementary school while offering more complex ideas and methods of approach. These standards are specifically designed as a bridge between elementary school and high school levels. 8th grade specifically focuses on physical science and offers an overall general outlook that will help students transition to high school physical science courses. Students in the 8th grade will learn higher-level physical science concepts involving:

  • Matter and the Law of Conservation of Matter
  • Energy transformation
  • Mass and motion
  • Electromagnetic forces, waves and sound
  • Types of forces, including gravity, electricity and magnetism


When planning your lessons and activities for teaching these standards to middle school students, take a look at this course on Physical Science for Middle School.

High School

At the high school level, physical science standards offer an overall summary of physics and chemistry including more abstract concepts of principles taught in previous grades. Students at the high school level are likely to perform experiments outside of the classroom within groups or as individuals. Physical science concepts taught in high school include:

  • The structure of atoms and radioactivity
  • Classifying matter and the Law of Conservation of Matter
  • Radioactivity
  • The Periodic Table
  • Phases of matter
  • Solubility
  • Energy, electricity and magnetism
  • Waves
  • Mass, force and motion


Check out this course on Physical Science for High School when planning to teach high school level physical science concepts. The course is self-paced and includes short video lessons. Students can take quizzes and exams to self-assess their understanding of high school physical science concepts.

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