Pennsylvania Science Standards

Instructor: Shelby Golden
Get information about the science standards used in Pennsylvania with this article. Find out what students will learn in different grades. Access useful study resources that can help kids understand scientific concepts.

Science Standards in Pennsylvania

Students in Pennsylvania will build on their scientific knowledge from year to year. In addition to studying scientific concepts, they will also develop scientific skills throughout their education.

Elementary School Science Standards in Pennsylvania

Elementary schoolers in Pennsylvania can check out these science lessons for kids as they learn.

Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten

Young students will learn about non-living things, living things and their needs. They'll explore the parts of living things, understand the connection between parents and offspring, and consider how animals and other objects change. They'll sort objects, make sounds, and learn about water, seasons and celestial objects.

Kindergartners will consider the life cycle, behaviors and structures of living organisms. They'll learn about seasonal changes, the properties of matter and the effects of temperature on the body. Rocks, soil, sand, sources of water and daily weather will be discussed.

1st Grade

1st graders will learn about the external characteristics of living things, as well as what living things need. Plant parts and the life cycle of plants will be considered, along with habitats, the properties of liquids and solids, and the effects of heating and cooling. Students will learn about motion, temperature, light, shadows, Earth materials, bodies of water and weather instruments.

2nd Grade

Students will consider how plant and animal life cycles are the same or different. They'll consider the needs of living things, as well as extinct plants and animals. Students will focus on combining substances. Changes associated with energy will be discussed, along with the sun and the moon. Students will learn about evaporation and condensation.

3rd Grade

The characteristics, needs and life cycle of living things will be studied, along with plant structures. Students will study the adaptations and behaviors of living organisms. They'll also study fossils. The states of matter, properties of objects and basic reactions will be considered. Kids will study where energy can be located, as well as temperature changes. Electricity and magnetic objects will be discussed, along with soil, precipitation, weather and the rotation of the Earth.

4th Grade

Students will learn about the resources living things need. They'll study reproduction, extinction and the adaptations of living things. The conservation of mass and physical changes will be considered. Students will focus on changes in motion, energy storage, the connection between light and heat, circuits and vibration. They'll learn about landforms, Earth materials, water resources and the solar system.

5th Grade

In 5th grade, students will focus on the cells of living organisms. They'll consider different kinds of characteristics and the behaviors of living things. Changes in water, energy transfer, heat energy, electromagnets, sound, vibration and pitch will be discussed. Students will learn about physical resources, geological processes, the water cycle, weather and climate.

Middle School Science Standards in Pennsylvania

Middle schoolers can get extra study help with these courses on life, physical and earth science.

6th Grade

6th graders will study a wide variety of living things, photosynthesis, unicellular and multicellular organisms, cells and animal behaviors. They'll focus on all states of matter, volume, mass, pure substances, mixtures, physical and chemical changes. Students will learn about potential and kinetic energy, heat and Ohm's Law. Maps, soil fertility, the atmosphere, global patterns, gravity, planetary orbits and the Earth's tilt will be considered.

7th Grade

Energy use, life cycles, cells, life processes, Mendelian patterns of inheritance, types of reproduction and biotechnology will be discussed. Students will consider natural selection, extinction, mutations and the theory of evolution. They'll learn about elements, compounds, mixtures, atoms, chemical reactions, velocity, the movement of heat, visible light, electricity and magnetism. The rock cycle, topography, geologic time, water systems, meteorology and gravity will also be explored.

8th Grade

In this grade, students will learn about adaptation and reproductive success. They'll consider mass, weight, the periodic table, changes in matter and energy, physical changes and chemical changes. Inertia, kinetic energy, conductors and insulators will be covered. Students will study weathering, energy resources, the connections between oceans, clouds, humidity and the age of the universe.

High School Science Standards in Pennsylvania

These online courses in biology, physical science and earth science can help students in these grades:

10th Grade

Students will learn about the characteristics of life, cell processes, the cell cycle, sub-cellular and cellular structures, multi-cellularity, organic molecules and anatomical features. They'll consider meiosis, mitosis, DNA, genetic technology and patterns of inheritance. Evolution, mutations and physiology will be considered.

Students will study properties of elements and water, compounds, bond types, the kinetic molecular theory, different reactions and the modern atomic theory. Newton's Laws, the work-energy theorem, electromagnetic force and waves will be explored. Students will also learn about plate tectonics, the rock, geochemical, carbon and hydrologic cycles as well as nuclear processes.

12th Grade

12th graders will study homeostatic mechanisms, cell cycle regulations, cell specialization, metabolic activities and changes in stable systems. They'll consider gene inheritance, gene expression, genetic engineering, biomacromolecules, speciation, genotypic and phenotypic variation, and evolution. Students will learn about the properties of mixtures, isotopes, radioactive decay, nuclear and electrochemical reactions. Students will also examine molecular geometry and shifts in equilibrium.

Additionally, they'll focus on angular momentum, molecular energy, wave transmission and conservation laws. They'll consider interconnected systems, Earth's resources, dating methods related to geologic time, the carbon cycle, the heating of Earth's surface and seismic events. Time will be spent learning about the life cycle of stars and galaxies.

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