6th Grade - Utah State Office of Education

Utah Science and Engineering Education
UT SEEd Standards
Draft for Public Review – April 2015
6th Grade Integrated Science
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Utah Science & Engineering
Education Standards
Sixth Grade Overview
The Utah Science & Engineering Education (UT SEEd) Standards will enable students to use
different science practices and concepts in understanding the complex issues surrounding Earth’s
systems. In Sixth Grade the concepts of patterns, cause and effect, and systems provide students with
opportunities to build models, design solutions, and analyze data to understand how the availability of
energy and matter affect Earth’s systems. Performance expectations1 are written in such a way as to
require students to ask authentic questions and analyze real-world evidence. These practices and
experiences will enable learners to have opportunities to arrive at informed conclusions. Combining the
delivery of practices, concepts, and content allows a foundational knowledge of energy and matter to be
built that furthers scientific literacy.
In the Sixth Grade, matter is investigated at the molecular level and energy is introduced as the
force that drives the behavior of matter. This concept is then applied in the context of the natural world
as students explore the hydrologic cycle, weather patterns, climate and ecosystems. Additionally, they
will explore their own role within the natural world. The integration of practices, concepts, and content
will enable students to articulate their understanding of the relationship between matter and energy in
Earth’s systems. ‘Look at the world around them from the perspective of how matter and energy affect
the structure and behavior of matter.
3 Dimensions of Science 2 Instruction in UT SEEd Standards
Bold = 6th Grade Focus
Crosscutting Concepts
Scientific and Engineering Practices
1. Asking questions or defining
2. Developing and using models
3. Planning and carrying out
4. Analyzing and interpreting data
5. Using mathematics and
computational thinking
6. Constructing explanations and
designing solutions
7. Engaging in argument from
8. Obtaining, evaluating, and
communicating information
1. Patterns
2. Cause and effect:
Mechanism and
3. Scale, proportion and
4. Systems and system
5. Energy and matter: Flows,
cycles and conservation
6. Structure and function
7. Stability and change
Disciplinary Core Ideas
Physical: matter, motion,
energy, waves
Life: molecules to organisms,
ecosystems, heredity, biological
Earth: Earth’s place in the
universe, Earth’s systems,
Earth and human activities
Engineering: Design, links
among engineering, tech,
science and society
Next Generation Science Standards: http://www.nextgenscience.org
NRC Framework K-12 Science Education: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13165
UT SEEd Standards
DRAFT (4.9.2015)
6th Grade
Grade Level Themes/Questions (6th Grade)
Root Question 1: How does energy affect the structure and behavior of matter?
 6.1.1: Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures.
 6.1.2: Develop a model that predicts and describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure
substance when thermal energy is added or removed.
 6.1.3: Construct and interpret graphical displays of data to describe the relationships of kinetic energy to the mass of an
object and to the speed of an object.
 6.1.4: Apply scientific principles to design, construct, and test a device that either minimizes or maximizes thermal
energy transfer.
 6.1.5: Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution,
taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may
limit possible solutions.
 6.1.6: Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the
best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
 6.1.7: Plan an investigation to determine the relationships among the energy transferred, the type of matter, the mass,
and the change in the average kinetic energy of the particles as measured by the temperature of the sample.
Root Question 2: How do energy and matter move in patterns that affect Earth’s weather
and climate?
 6.2.1: Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth’s systems driven by energy from the sun and the
force of gravity.
 6.2.2: Collect data to provide evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses results in changes in
weather conditions.
 6.2.3: Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric
and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.
 6.2.4: Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past
Root Question 3: How does the availability of energy and matter affect stability and
change in ecosystems?
 6.3.1: Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and
populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
 6.3.2: Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
 6.3.3: Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an
 6.3.4: Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an
ecosystem affect populations.
 6.3.5: Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
 6.3.6: Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and
constraints of the problem.
Root Question 4: How can the use of matter and energy affect Earth’s systems?
 6.4.1: Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
 6.4.2: Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such
that an optimal design can be achieved.
 6.4.3: Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption
of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
UT SEEd Standards
DRAFT (4.9.2015)
6th Grade