7th Grade Science Learning Targets

Students will know or be able to do the following things at the end of the teaching cycle: (subject to revision)

Cycle #1

  • Science is asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations.
  • Solving problems often requires working collaboratively with others.

Cycle #2

  • The traditional scientificmethod is generally defined as the following steps: question, hypothesis, experiment,analyze, conclusion.
  • Learning the meanings ofword roots makes scientific vocabulary much easier to understand.
  • Evidence gathered throughresearch and experimentation allows scientists to formulate conclusions bydisproving some hypotheses while supporting others.
  • Qualitative data describes characteristics. Quantitative data includes numerical values. Both are important in providing a complete descriptionof an experiment and its results
  • Variables are factors in an experiment that can affect the results;

Cycle #3

  • Elements of a good experimental design include a well written procedure that is repeatable, a defined variable and constants, a large sample size, careful data analysis, and presentation of your results.
  • The Engineering Design Process is a series of 5 steps used by engineers to solve problems.

Cycle #4

  • The Levels of Organization in Ecology are arranged from simplest to the most complex.
  • Identify the pros and cons of introduced species. Provide evidence for both sides.
  • Classification systems help scientists organize and identify the 2.5 million known species
  • A huge variety of animals contributes to the biodiversity of life found on earth.
  • Biologists classify organisms into large groups called kingdoms. Each kingdom is further divided into groups called phyla. Specific characteristics define the major animal phyla.
  • The phylum Chordata contains the vertebrate animals most people think of when they think of animals. The invertebrate phyla, however, are more numerous and diverse.

Cycle #5

  • Ecology is the study of relationships between living(biotic) organisms and the physical(abiotic)l environment.
  • Determining relationships within a habitat involves collecting data about organisms.
  • Feeding relationships in ecosystems are very complex and are best represented by webs, rather than by simple chains.
  • The energy for all ecosystems is provided by the sun.
  • Energy in an ecosystem is harnessed from sunlight by producers and then transferred to consumers through feeding relationships.
  • Producers produce food for their own energy needs. Through the process of photosynthesis, producers such as plants convert light energy into chemical energy stored in food.
  • Carbon dioxide, water, and light are necessary for photosynthesis to occur. Food and oxygen are the end products of photosynthesis.

Cycle #6

  • Organisms have habitat requirements, which include food, air, space, warmth, light(or darkness), water, and sometimes shelter.
  • The size of a population of organisms will vary due to natural changes in the living and non-living factors. The availability of food is one factor that can dramatically affect population size.
  • Carrying capacity is the maximum population of a species that an ecosystem can support
  • Carrying capacity is determined by a variety of factors, including the availability of space, food, water, oxygen, weather changes, and predators.
  • The Engineering Design Process is a series of 5 steps used by engineers to solve problems.

Cycle #7

  • Students plan and conduct scientific investigations to test hypothesis to establish the unifying concept of energy and conservation
  • Heat energy is usually one of the product on an energy transformation and is transferred through a heat conduction or infrared radiation interaction.
  • Matter can exist in three forms: solid, liquid, or gas
  • Stored phase energy is a form of energy that depends on the phase of the substance. Stored phase energy increases as the substance goes from solid to liquid to gas.
  • during phase changes only the stored phase energy of the substance changes.
  • Energy is not created or destroyed. Energy can only change from one form to another.

Cycle #7



  • Students plan and conduct scientific investigations to test hypothesis to establish the unifying concept of energy and conservation
  • Heat energy is usually one of the product on an energy transformation and is transferred through a heat conduction or infrared radiation interaction.
  • Matter can exist in three forms: solid, liquid, or gas
  • Stored phase energy is a form of energy that depends on the phase of the substance. Stored phase energy increases as the substance goes from solid to liquid to gas.
  • during phase changes only the stored phase energy of the substance changes.
  • Energy is not created or destroyed. Energy can only change from one form to another.

Cycle #9



  • A chemical interaction/reaction is any type of interaction (such as mechanical, heat conduction) that results in a new substance.
  • The evidence of a chemical interaction is that the materials at the end of the interaction have a different set of chemical and physical properties than than the original materials.

Cycle #10

  • Observations that can provide evidence of a chemical interaction include: 1. The disappearance of one of the reactants, 2. The appearance of a material in a different phase, 3. Changes in other properties (ie: color, odor, texture, density, flammability).
  • A chemical reaction is exothermic (produces energy) when the stored chemical energy of the reactants is greater than the stored chemical energy of the products.

Cycle #11

  • The three main layers of Earth are the crust, the mantle, and the core. These layers vary greatly in size, composition, temperature, and pressure.
    • The crust is a layer of solid rock that includes both dry land and the ocean floor.
    • Earth's mantle is made up of rock that is very hot, but solid. Scientists divide the mantle into layers based on physiccal characteristics.
    • The core is made mostly of iron and nickel. It consists of two parts--a liquid outer core and a solid inner core.
  • The theory of plate tectonics explains the formation, movement, and subduction of Earth's plates.
  • Major geologic events, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and mountain building, result from plate motions.
  • Seismic waves carry energy from an earthquake away from the focus, through Earth's interior, and across the surface.
  • Geologists use seismic waves to locate an earthquake's epicenter.
  • Earthquakes are sudden motions along breaks in the crust called faults and volcanoes and fissures are locations where magma reaches the surface.
  • Volcanic belts form along the boundaries of Earth's plates.
  • A volcano forms above a hot spot when magma erupts through the crust and reaches the surface.
  • In sea-floor spreading, the sea floor spreads apart along both sides of a mid-ocean ridge as new crust is added. As a result, the ocean floors move like conveyor belts, carrying the continents along with them.

Cycle # 12

  • Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth's materials
  • Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.
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