Mn Science Standards

  • The2009 Minnesota Academic Standards in Science set the expectations for achievement in science for K-12 students in Minnesota. The standards are grounded in the belief that all students can and should be scientifically literate. Scientific literacy enables people to use scientific principles and processes to make personal decisions and to participate in discussions of scientific issues that affect society (NRC, 1996). The standard sand benchmarks describe a connected body of science and engineering knowledge acquired through active participation in science experiences. These experiences include hands-on laboratory activities rooted in scientific inquiry and engineering design. The standards are placed at the grade level where mastery is expected with recognition that a progression of learning experiences in earlier grades builds the foundation for mastery later on.

    The Minnesota Academic Standards in Science are organized by grade level into four content strands: 1) The Nature of Science and Engineering, 2) Physical Science, 3) Earth and Space Science, and 4) Life Science. It is important to note that the content and skills in The Nature of Science and Engineering are not intended to be taught as a stand-alone unit or an isolated course, but embedded and used in the teaching, learning and assessment of the content in the other strands. Each strand has three or four substrands. Each substrand contains two or more standard sand one or more benchmarks. The benchmarks supplement the standards by specifying the academic knowledge and skills that schools must offer and students must achieve to satisfactorily complete a standard. Not all standards are found at every grade level. The strands, substrands and standards are organized as follows.


    Substrand 1:The Practice of Science

            Standard 1. Understandings about science

            Standard2. Scientific inquiry and investigation

    Substrand 2:The Practice of Engineering

            Standard1. Understandings about engineering

            Standard2. Engineering design

    Substrand 3: Interactions among Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Society

            Standard 1. Systems

            Standard 2. Careers and contributions inscience and engineering

            Standard 3. Mutual influence of science, engineering and society

            Standard 4. The role of mathematics and technology in science and engineering


    Substrand 1: Matter

            Standard1. Properties and structure of matter

            Standard2. Changes in matter

    Substrand 2: Motion

            Standard1. Describing motion

            Standard2. Forces

    Substrand 3. Energy

            Standard1. Kinds of energy

            Standard2. Energy transformations

    Substrand 4. Human Interactions with Physical Systems

        Standard 1. Interaction with the environment


    Substrand 1. Earth Structure and Processes

            Standard1. Plate tectonics

            Standard2. Earth’s changing surface

            Standard3. Rock sequences and Earth history

    Substrand 2. Interdependence within the Earth System

            Standard1. Sources and transfer of energy

            Standard2. Weather and climate

            Standard3. Materials cycles

    Substrand 3. The Universe

            Standard1. Solar system motion

            Standard2. Formation of the solar system

            Standard3. Age, scale and origin of the universe

    Substrand 4. Human Interactions with Earth Systems

        Standard 1. Interaction with theenvironment


    Substrand 1. Structure and Function in Living Systems

            Standard1. Levels of organization

            Standard2. Cells

    Substrand 2. Interdependence among Living Systems

            Standard1. Ecosystems

            Standard2. Flow of energy and matter

    Substrand 3. Evolution in Living Systems

            Standard1. Reproduction

            Standard2. Variation

            Standard3. Biological evolution

    Substrand 4. Human Interactions with Living Systems

            Standard1. Interaction with the environment

            Standard2. Health and disease