Standard 1: Understands atmospheric processes and the water cycle


By the end of grade 6 the student
1.1 Knows the composition and structure of the Earth's atmosphere (e.g., temperature and pressure in different layers of the atmosphere, circulation of air masses)
1.2 Knows the processes involved in the water cycle (e.g., evaporation, condensation, precipitation, surface run-off, percolation) and their effects on climatic patterns
1.3 Knows that the Sun is the principle energy source for phenomena on the Earth's surface (e.g., winds, ocean currents, the water cycle, plant growth)

Standard 2: Understands Earth's composition and structure


By the end of grade 6 the student
2.1 Knows that the Earth is comprised of layers including a core, mantle, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere
2.2 Knows how land forms are created through a combination of constructive and destructive forces (e.g., constructive forces such as crustal deformation, volcanic eruptions, and deposition of sediment; destructive forces such as weathering and erosion)
2.3 Knows components of soil and other factors that influence soil texture, fertility, and resistance to erosion (e.g., plant roots and debris, bacteria, fungi, worms, rodents)

Standard 3: Understands the composition and structure of the universe and the Earth's place in it


By the end of grade 6 the student
3.1 Knows characteristics and movement patterns of the planets in our Solar System (e.g., planets differ in size, composition, and surface features; planets move around the Sun in elliptical orbits; some planets have moons, rings of particles, and other satellites orbiting them)
3.2 Knows how the regular and predictable motions of the Earth and Moon explain phenomena on Earth (e.g., the day, the year, phases of the Moon, eclipses, tides, shadows)
3.3 Knows characteristics of the Sun and its position in the universe (e.g., the Sun is a medium-sized star; it is the closest star to Earth; it is the central and largest body in the Solar System; it is located at the edge of a disk-shaped galaxy)

Standard 4: Understands the principles of heredity and related concepts


By the end of grade 6 the student
4.1 Knows that reproduction is a characteristic of all living things and is essential to the continuation of a species
4.2 Knows that for sexually reproducing organisms, a species comprises all organisms that can mate with one another to produce fertile offspring

Standard 5: Understands the structure and function of cells and organisms


By the end of grade 6 the student
5.1 Knows that all organisms are composed of cells, which are the fundamental units of life; most organisms are single cells, but other organisms (including humans) are multi-cellular
5.2 Knows that cells convert energy obtained from food to carry on the many functions needed to sustain life (e.g., cell growth and division, production of materials that the cell or organism needs)
5.3 Knows the levels of organization in living systems, including cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, whole organisms, ecosystems, and the complementary nature of structure and function at each level

Standard 6: Understands relationships among organisms and their physical environment


By the end of grade 6 the student
6.1 Knows that all individuals of a species that exist together at a given place and time make up a population, and all populations living together and the physical factors with which they interact compose an ecosystem
6.2 Knows factors that affect the number and types of organisms an ecosystem can support (e.g., available resources; abiotic factors such as quantity of light and water, range of temperatures, and soil composition; disease; competition from other organisms within the ecosystem; predation)

Standard 7: Understands biological evolution and the diversity of life


By the end of grade 6 the student
7.1 Knows basic ideas related to biological evolution (e.g., diversity of species is developed through gradual processes over many generations; biological adaptations, such as changes in structure, behavior, or physiology, allow some species to enhance their reproductive success and survival in a particular environment)
7.2 Knows that the fossil record, through geologic evidence, documents the appearance, diversification, and extinction of many life forms

Standard 8: Understands the structure and properties of matter


By the end of grade 6 the student
8.1 Knows that matter is made up of tiny particles called atoms, and different arrangements of atoms into groups compose all substances
8.2 Knows that atoms often combine to form a molecule (or crystal), the smallest particle of a substance that retains its properties
8.3 Knows that states of matter depend on molecular arrangement and motion (e.g., molecules in solids are packed tightly together and their movement is restricted to vibrations; molecules in liquids are loosely packed and move easily past each other; molecules in gases are quite far apart and move about freely)

Standard 9: Understands the sources and properties of energy


By the end of grade 6 the student
9.1 Knows that energy is a property of many substances (e.g., heat energy is in the disorderly motion of molecules and in radiation; chemical energy is in the arrangement of atoms; mechanical energy is in moving bodies or in elastically distorted shapes; electrical energy is in the attraction or repulsion between charges)
9.2 Understands the law of conservation of energy (i.e., energy cannot be created or destroyed but only changed from one form to another)
9.3 Knows that heat energy flows from warmer materials or regions to cooler ones through conduction, convection, and radiation

Standard 10: Understands forces and motion


By the end of grade 6 the student
10.1 Understands general concepts related to gravitational force (e.g., every object exerts gravitational force on every other object; this force depends on the mass of the objects and their distance from one another; gravitational force is hard to detect unless at least one of the objects, such as the Earth, has a lot of mass)

Standard 11: Understands the nature of scientific knowledge


By the end of grade 6 the student
11.1 Knows that an experiment must be repeated many times and yield consistent results before the results are accepted as correct

Standard 12: Understands the nature of scientific inquiry


By the end of grade 6 the student
12.1 Knows that there is no fixed procedure called "the scientific method," but that investigations involve systematic observations, carefully collected, relevant evidence, logical reasoning, and some imagination in developing hypotheses and explanations
12.2 Understands that questioning, response to criticism, and open communication are integral to the process of science (e.g., scientists often differ with one another about the interpretation of evidence or theory in areas where there is not a great deal of understanding; scientists acknowledge conflicting interpretations and work towards finding evidence that will resolve the disagreement)

Standard 13: Understands the scientific enterprise


By the end of grade 6 the student
13.1 Knows that people of all backgrounds and with diverse interests, talents, qualities, and motivations engage in fields of science and engineering; some of these people work in teams and others work alone, but all communicate extensively with others
13.2 Knows that the work of science requires a variety of human abilities, qualities, and habits of mind (e.g., reasoning, insight, energy, skill, creativity, intellectual honesty, tolerance of ambiguity, skepticism, openness to new ideas)