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Operation: Science Quest

Correlations to California Science Content Standards

Grade 1 | Grade 2 | Grade 3 | Grade 4 | Grade 5 | Grade 6

Grade 1

Theme: Junior Rangers

Certificate: Junior Ranger Badge

 

CA Standard

Quest #

Quest Title

Physical Sciences

1. Materials come in different forms (states), including solids, liquids, and gases. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know solids, liquids, and gases have different properties.

5

States of Matter

b. Students know the properties of substances can change when the substances are mixed, cooled, or heated.

6

Properties of Matter

Life Sciences

2. Plants and animals meet their needs in different ways. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know different plants and animals inhabit different kinds of environments and have external features that help them thrive in different kinds of places.

1

Plants and Animals

2

Adaptations

b. Students know both plants and animals need water, animals need food, and plants need light.

1

Plants and Animals

c. Students know animals eat plants or other animals for food and may also use plants or even other animals for shelter and nesting.

1

Plants and Animals

d. Students know how to infer what animals eat from the shapes of their teeth (e.g., sharp teeth: eats meat; flat teeth: eats plants).

e. Students know roots are associated with the intake of water and soil nutrients and green leaves are associated with making food from sunlight.

1

Plants and Animals

Earth Sciences

3. Weather can be observed, measured, and described. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know how to use simple tools (e.g., thermometer, wind vane) to measure weather conditions and record changes from day to day and across the seasons.

3

The Sun

b. Students know that the weather changes from day to day but that trends in temperature or of rain (or snow) tend to be predictable during a season.

4

Weather

c. Students know the sun warms the land, air, and water.

3

The Sun

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Grade 2

Theme: Treasure Hunters

Certificate: Treasure Note

 

CA Standard

Quest #

Quest Title

Physical Sciences

1. The motion of objects can be observed and measured. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know the position of an object can be described by locating it in relation to another object or to the background.

5

Objects in Motion

b. Students know an object's motion can be described by recording the change in position of the object over time.

5

Objects in Motion

c. Students know the way to change how something is moving is by giving it a push or a pull. The size of the change is related to the strength, or the amount of force, of the push or pull.

5

Objects in Motion

d. Students know tools and machines are used to apply pushes and pulls (forces) to make things move.

e. Students know objects fall to the ground unless something holds them up.

f. Students know magnets can be used to make some objects move without being touched.

[Grade 4, Quest #6, Magnetism]

g. Students know sound is made by vibrating objects and can be described by its pitch and volume.

6

Sound

Life Sciences

2. Plants and animals have predictable life cycles. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know that organisms reproduce offspring of their own kind and that the offspring resemble their parents and one another.

1

Plant Life Cycles

2

Animal Life Cycles

b. Students know the sequential stages of life cycles are different for different animals, such as butterflies, frogs, and mice.

2

Animal Life Cycles

c. Students know many characteristics of an organism are inherited from the parents. Some characteristics are caused or influenced by the environment.

1

Plant Life Cycles

2

Animal Life Cycles

d. Students know there is variation among individuals of one kind within a population.

2

Animal Life Cycles

e. Students know light, gravity, touch, or environmental stress can affect the germination, growth, and development of plants.

f. Students know flowers and fruits are associated with reproduction in plants.

1

Plant Life Cycles

Earth Sciences

3. Earth is made of materials that have distinct properties and provide resources for human activities. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know how to compare the physical properties of different kinds of rocks and know that rock is composed of different combinations of minerals.

3

Soil

b. Students know smaller rocks come from the breakage and weathering of larger rocks.

3

Soil

c. Students know that soil is made partly from weathered rock and partly from organic materials and that soils differ in their color, texture, capacity to retain water, and ability to support the growth of many kinds of plants.

3

Soil

d. Students know that fossils provide evidence about the plants and animals that lived long ago and that scientists learn about the past history of Earth by studying fossils.

4

Fossils

e. Students know rock, water, plants, and soil provide many resources, including food, fuel, and building materials, that humans use.

3

Soil

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Grade 3

Theme: Secret Agents

Certificate: Debunking Award

 

CA Standard

Quest #

Quest Title

Physical Sciences

1. Energy and matter have multiple forms and can be changed from one form to another. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know energy comes from the Sun to Earth in the form of light.

6

Light Energy

b. Students know sources of stored energy take many forms, such as food, fuel, and batteries.

c. Students know machines and living things convert stored energy to motion and heat.

d. Students know energy can be carried from one place to another by waves, such as water waves and sound waves, by electric current, and by moving objects.

6

Light Energy

e. Students know matter has three forms: solid, liquid, and gas.

5

Physical and Chemical Changes

f. Students know evaporation and melting are changes that occur when the objects are heated.

5

Physical and Chemical Changes

g. Students know that when two or more substances are combined, a new substance may be formed with properties that are different from those of the original materials.

5

Physical and Chemical Changes

h. Students know all matter is made of small particles called atoms, too small to see with the naked eye.

[Grade 5, Quest #5, Chemical Reactions]

i. Students know people once thought that earth, wind, fire, and water were the basic elements that made up all matter ...

2. Light has a source and travels in a direction. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know sunlight can be blocked to create shadows.

6

Light Energy

b. Students know light is reflected from mirrors and other surfaces.

6

Light Energy

c. Students know the color of light striking an object affects the way the object is seen.

6

Light Energy

d. Students know an object is seen when light traveling from the object enters the eye.

6

Light Energy

Life Sciences

3. Adaptations in physical structure or behavior may improve an organism's chance for survival. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know plants and animals have structures that serve different functions in growth, survival, and reproduction.

1

Biomes

2

Environmental Changes

b. Students know examples of diverse life forms in different environments, such as oceans, deserts, tundra, forests, grasslands, and wetlands.

1

Biomes

c. Students know living things cause changes in the environment in which they live: some of these changes are detrimental to the organism or other organisms, and some are beneficial.

2

Environmental Changes

d. Students know when the environment changes, some plants and animals survive and reproduce; others die or move to new locations.

2

Environmental Changes

e. Students know that some kinds of organisms that once lived on Earth have completely disappeared and that some of those resembled others that are alive today.

[Grade 2, Quest #4, Fossils]

Earth Sciences

4. Objects in the sky move in regular and predictable patterns. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know the patterns of stars stay the same, although they appear to move across the sky nightly, and different stars can be seen in different seasons.

4

Planet Earth

b. Students know the way in which the Moon's appearance changes during the four-week lunar cycle.

3

Days and Seasons

4

Planet Earth

c. Students know telescopes magnify the appearance of some distant objects in the sky, including the Moon and the planets ...

4

Planet Earth

d. Students know that Earth is one of several planets that orbit the Sun and that the Moon orbits Earth.

3

Days and Seasons

4

Planet Earth

e. Students know the position of the Sun in the sky changes during the course of the day and from season to season.

3

Days and Seasons

4

Planet Earth

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Grade 4

Theme: Science Island

Certificate: Science Challenge Award

 

CA Standard

Quest #

Quest Title

Physical Sciences

1. Electricity and magnetism are related effects that have many useful applications in everyday life. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know how to design and build simple series and parallel circuits by using components such as wires, batteries, and bulbs.

5

Electricity

b. Students know how to build a simple compass and use it to detect magnetic effects, including Earth's magnetic field.

c. Students know electric currents produce magnetic fields and know how to build a simple electromagnet.

5

Electricity

6

Magnetism

d. Students know the role of electromagnets in the construction of electric motors, electric generators, and simple devices, such as doorbells and earphones.

e. Students know electrically charged objects attract or repel each other.

5

Electricity

f. Students know that magnets have two poles (north and south) and that like poles repel each other while unlike poles attract each other.

6

Magnetism

g. Students know electrical energy can be converted to heat, light, and motion.

5

Electricity

Life Sciences

2. All organisms need energy and matter to live and grow. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know plants are the primary source of matter and energy entering most food chains.

1

Classification

2

Interdependence of Organisms

b. Students know producers and consumers (herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, and decomposers) are related in food chains and food webs and may compete with each other for resources in an ecosystem.

1

Classification

2

Interdependence of Organisms

c. Students know decomposers, including many fungi, insects, and microorganisms, recycle matter from dead plants and animals.

1

Classification

2

Interdependence of Organisms

3. Living organisms depend on one another and on their environment for survival. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know ecosystems can be characterized by their living and nonliving components.

[Grade 3, Quest #1, Biomes]

b. Students know that in any particular environment, some kinds of plants and animals survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.

[Grade 3, Quest #2, Environmental Changes]

c. Students know many plants depend on animals for pollination and seed dispersal, and animals depend on plants for food and shelter.

2

Interdependence of Organisms

d. Students know that most microorganisms do not cause disease and that many are beneficial.

1

Classification

Earth Sciences

4. The properties of rocks and minerals reflect the processes that formed them. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know how to differentiate among igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks by referring to their properties and methods of formation (the rock cycle).

3

Rocks and Minerals

b. Students know how to identify common rock-forming minerals (including quartz, calcite, feldspar, mica, and hornblende) and ore minerals by using a table of diagnostic properties.

3

Rocks and Minerals

5. Waves, wind, water, and ice shape and reshape Earth's land surface. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know some changes in the earth are due to slow processes, such as erosion, and some changes are due to rapid processes, such as landslides, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes.

4

Changing Landforms

b. Students know natural processes, including freezing and thawing and the growth of roots, cause rocks to break down into smaller pieces.

3

Rocks and Minerals

4

Changing Landforms

c. Students know moving water erodes landforms, reshaping the land by taking it away from some places and depositing it as pebbles, sand, silt, and mud in other places (weathering, transport, and deposition).

4

Changing Landforms

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Grade 5

Theme: Intergalactic Science Challenge

Certificate: Intergalactic Challenge Award

 

CA Standard

Quest #

Quest Title

Physical Sciences

1. Elements and their combinations account for all the varied types of matter in the world. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know that during chemical reactions the atoms in the reactants rearrange to form products with different properties.

5

Chemical Reactions

6

Mixtures and Compounds

b. Students know all matter is made of atoms, which may combine to form molecules.

5

Chemical Reactions

c. Students know metals have properties in common, such as high electrical and thermal conductivity ...

d. Students know that each element is made of one kind of atom and that the elements are organized in the periodic table by their chemical properties.

5

Chemical Reactions

e. Students know scientists have developed instruments that can create discrete images of atoms and molecules that show that the atoms and molecules often occur in well-ordered arrays.

f. Students know differences in chemical and physical properties of substances are used to separate mixtures and identify compounds.

6

Mixtures and Compounds

g. Students know properties of solid, liquid, and gaseous substances, such as sugar (C6H12O6), water (H2O), helium (He), oxygen (O2), nitrogen (N2), and carbon dioxide (CO2).

[Grade 3, Quest #5, Physical and Chemical Changes]

h. Students know living organisms and most materials are composed of just a few elements.

i. Students know the common properties of salts, such as sodium chloride (NaCl).

Life Sciences

2. Plants and animals have structures for respiration, digestion, waste disposal, and transport of materials. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know many multicellular organisms have specialized structures to support the transport of materials.

1

Photosynthesis and Respiration

2

Body Systems

b. Students know how blood circulates through the heart chambers, lungs, and body and how carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2) are exchanged in the lungs and tissues.

2

Body Systems

c. Students know the sequential steps of digestion and the roles of teeth and the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and colon in the function of the digestive system.

2

Body Systems

d. Students know the role of the kidney in removing cellular waste from blood and converting it into urine, which is stored in the bladder.

e. Students know how sugar, water, and minerals are transported in a vascular plant.

2

Body Systems

f. Students know plants use carbon dioxide (CO2) and energy from sunlight to build molecules of sugar and release oxygen.

1

Photosynthesis and Respiration

g. Students know plant and animal cells break down sugar to obtain energy, a process resulting in carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (respiration).

1

Photosynthesis and Respiration

Earth Sciences

3. Water on Earth moves between the oceans and land through the processes of evaporation and condensation. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know most of Earth's water is present as salt water in the oceans, which cover most of Earth's surface.

b. Students know when liquid water evaporates, it turns into water vapor in the air and can reappear as a liquid when cooled or as a solid if cooled below the freezing point of water.

[Grade 3, Quest #5, Physical and Chemical Changes]

c. Students know water vapor in the air moves from one place to another and can form fog or clouds, which are tiny droplets of water or ice, and can fall to Earth as rain, hail, sleet, or snow.

4

Atmosphere and Weather

d. Students know that the amount of fresh water located in rivers, lakes, under-ground sources, and glaciers is limited and that its availability can be extended by recycling and decreasing the use of water.

e. Students know the origin of the water used by their local communities.

4. Energy from the Sun heats Earth unevenly, causing air movements that result in changing weather patterns. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know uneven heating of Earth causes air movements (convection currents).

4

Atmosphere and Weather

b. Students know the influence that the ocean has on the weather and the role that the water cycle plays in weather patterns.

c. Students know the causes and effects of different types of severe weather.

4

Atmosphere and Weather

d. Students know how to use weather maps and data to predict local weather and know that weather forecasts depend on many variables.

e. Students know that the Earth's atmosphere exerts a pressure that decreases with distance above Earth's surface and that at any point it exerts this pressure equally in all directions.

4

Atmosphere and Weather

5. The solar system consists of planets and other bodies that orbit the Sun in predictable paths. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know the Sun, an average star, is the central and largest body in the solar system and is composed primarily of hydrogen and helium.

3

Gravity and Orbits

b. Students know the solar system includes the planet Earth, the Moon, the Sun, eight other planets and their satellites, and smaller objects, such as asteroids and comets.

3

Gravity and Orbits

c. Students know the path of a planet around the Sun is due to the gravitational attraction between the Sun and the planet.

3

Gravity and Orbits

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Grade 6

Theme: Job for a Day

Certificate: Honorary Scientist Certificate

Focus on Earth Science

 

CA Standard

Quest #

Quest Title

Plate Tectonics and Earth's Structure

1. Plate tectonics accounts for important features of Earth's surface and major geologic events. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know evidence of plate tectonics is derived from the fit of the continents; the location of earthquakes, volcanoes, and midocean ridges; and the distribution of fossils, rock types, and ancient climatic zones.

4

Earth's Moving Plates

b. Students know Earth is composed of several layers: a cold, brittle lithosphere; a hot, convecting mantle; and a dense, metallic core.

4

Earth's Moving Plates

c. Students know lithospheric plates the size of continents and oceans move at rates of centimeters per year in response to movements in the mantle.

4

Earth's Moving Plates

d. Students know that earthquakes are sudden motions along breaks in the crust called faults and that volcanoes and fissures are locations where magma reaches the surface.

4

Earth's Moving Plates

e. Students know major geologic events, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and mountain building, result from plate motions.

4

Earth's Moving Plates

f. Students know how to explain major features of California geology (including mountains, faults, volcanoes) in terms of plate tectonics.

g. Students know how to determine the epicenter of an earthquake and know that the effects of an earthquake on any region vary, ...

Shaping Earth's Surface

2. Topography is reshaped by the weathering of rock and soil and by the transportation and deposition of sediment. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know water running downhill is the dominant process in shaping the landscape, including California's landscape.

b. Students know rivers and streams are dynamic systems that erode, transport sediment, change course, and flood their banks in natural and recurring patterns.

[Grade 4, Quest #4, Changing Landforms]

c. Students know beaches are dynamic systems in which the sand is supplied by rivers and moved along the coast by the action of waves.

[Grade 4, Quest #4, Changing Landforms]

d. Students know earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, and floods change human and wildlife habitats.

[Grade 4, Quest #4, Changing Landforms]

Heat (Thermal Energy)

(Physical Sciences)

3. Heat moves in a predictable flow from warmer objects to cooler objects until all the objects are at the same temperature. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know energy can be carried from one place to another by heat flow or by waves, including water, light and sound waves, or by moving objects.

5

Solar Radiation

6

The Power of Convection Currents

b. Students know that when fuel is consumed, most of the energy released becomes heat energy.

c. Students know heat flows in solids by conduction (which involves no flow of matter) and in fluids by conduction and by convection (which involves flow of matter).

6

The Power of Convection Currents

d. Students know heat energy is also transferred between objects by radiation (radiation can travel through space).

5

Solar Radiation

6

The Power of Convection Currents

Energy in the Earth System

4. Many phenomena on Earth's surface are affected by the transfer of energy through radiation and convection currents. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know the sun is the major source of energy for phenomena on Earth's surface; it powers winds, ocean currents, and the water cycle.

2

Energy for Life

3

Weather Patterns

5

Solar Radiation

b. Students know solar energy reaches Earth through radiation, mostly in the form of visible light.

5

Solar Radiation

c. Students know heat from Earth's interior reaches the surface primarily through convection.

4

Earth's Moving Plates

6

The Power of Convection Currents

d. Students know convection currents distribute heat in the atmosphere and oceans.

6

The Power of Convection Currents

e. Students know differences in pressure, heat, air movement, and humidity result in changes of weather

3

Weather Patterns

6

The Power of Convection Currents

Ecology

(Life Sciences)

5. Organisms in ecosystems exchange energy and nutrients among themselves and with the environment. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know energy entering ecosystems as sunlight is transferred by producers into chemical energy through photosynthesis and then from organism to organism through food webs.

1

Ecosystems

2

Energy for Life

b. Students know matter is transferred over time from one organism to others in the food web and between organisms and the physical environment.

1

Ecosystems

2

Energy for Life

c. Students know populations of organisms can be categorized by the functions they serve in an ecosystem.

1

Ecosystems

d. Students know different kinds of organisms may play similar ecological roles in similar biomes.

e. Students know the number and types of organisms an ecosystem can support depends on the resources available and on abiotic factors, such as quantities of light and water, a range of temperatures, and soil composition.

[Grade 3, Quest #1, Biomes]

Resources

6. Sources of energy and materials differ in amounts, distribution, usefulness, and the time required for their formation. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know the utility of energy sources is determined by factors that are involved in converting these sources to useful forms and the consequences of the conversion process.

b. Students know different natural energy and material resources, including air, soil, rocks, minerals, petroleum, fresh water, wildlife, and forests, and know how to classify them as renewable or nonrenewable.

c. Students know the natural origin of the materials used to make common objects.

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