Science Curriculum Frameworks Not Covered


The following is a list of content standards not covered by the current elementary curriculum. Many standards on this list will be covered by units currently in development. These units are noted parenthetically along with the standard.

Grades PreK-2:

Physical Science

3. Describe the various ways that objects can move, such as in a straight line, zigzag, back-and-forth, round-and-round, fast, and slow. (Simple Machines)

Technology / Engineering

2.1 Identify tools and simple machines used for a specific purpose, e.g., ramp, wheel, pulley, lever. (Simple Machines)

2.2 Describe how human beings use parts of the body as tools (e.g., teeth for cutting, hands for grasping and catching), and compare their use with the ways in which animals use those parts of their bodies. (Simple Machines)

Grades 3-5

Earth and Space Science

6. Explain how air temperature, moisture, wind speed and direction, and precipitation make up the weather in a particular place and time. (Weather and Water Cycle)

7. Distinguish among the various forms of precipitation (rain, snow, sleet, and hail), making connections to the weather in a particular place and time. (Weather and Water Cycle)

8. Describe how global patterns such as the jet stream and water currents influence local weather in measurable terms such as temperature, wind direction and speed, and precipitation. (Weather and Water Cycle)

9. Differentiate between weather and climate. (Weather and Water Cycle)

11. Describe how water on earth cycles in different forms and in different locations, including underground and in the atmosphere. (Weather and Water Cycle)

13. Recognize that the earth is part of a system called the "solar system" that includes the sun (a star), planets, and many moons. The earth is the third planet from the sun in our solar system.

14. Recognize that the earth revolves around (orbits) the sun in a year’s time and that the earth rotates on its axis once approximately every 24 hours. Make connections between the rotation of the earth and day/night, and the apparent movement of the sun, moon, and stars across the sky.

15. Describe the changes that occur in the observable shape of the moon over the course of a month.

Life Science

2. Identify the structures in plants (leaves, roots, flowers, stem, bark, wood) that are responsible for food production, support, water transport, reproduction, growth, and protection. (Trees and Plants)

9. Recognize plant behaviors, such as the way seedlings’ stems grow toward light and their roots grow downward in response to gravity. Recognize that many plants and animals can survive harsh environments because of seasonal behaviors, e.g., in winter, some trees shed leaves, some animals hibernate, and other animals migrate. (Trees and Plants)

Physical Science

2. Compare and contrast solids, liquids, and gases based on the basic properties of each of these states of matter. (Weather and Water Cycle)

3. Describe how water can be changed from one state to another by adding or taking away heat. (Weather and Water Cycle)

4. Identify the basic forms of energy (light, sound, heat, electrical, and magnetic). Recognize that energy is the ability to cause motion or create change. (Sound, Light, Magnets)

5. Give examples of how energy can be transferred from one form to another.

9, Recognize that magnets have poles that repel and attract each other. (Sound, Light, Magnets)

10. Identify and classify objects and materials that a magnet will attract and objects and materials that a magnet will not attract. (Sound, Light, Magnets)

11. Recognize that sound is produced by vibrating objects and requires a medium through which to travel. Relate the rate of vibration to the pitch of the sound.

(Sound, Light, Magnets)

12. Recognize that light travels in a straight line until it strikes an object or travels from one medium to another, and that light can be reflected, refracted, and absorbed.

(Sound, Light, Magnets)

Technology / Engineering

1.3 Identify and explain the difference between simple and complex machines, e.g., hand can opener that includes multiple gears, wheel, wedge, gear, and lever.

The Life Science, Physical Science and Technology/Engineering standards for this level are covered in the Amherst Regional Middle School curriculum.

Grades 6-8

Earth and Space Science

1. Recognize, interpret, and be able to create models of the earth’s common physical features in various mapping representations, including contour maps.

3. Differentiate among radiation, conduction, and convection, the three mechanisms by which heat is transferred through the earth’s system.

4. Explain the relationship among the energy provided by the sun, the global patterns of atmospheric movement, and the temperature differences among water, land, and atmosphere.

7. Explain and give examples of how physical evidence, such as fossils and surface features of glaciation, supports theories that the earth has evolved over geologic time.

8. Recognize that gravity is a force that pulls all things on and near the earth toward the center of the earth. Gravity plays a major role in the formation of the planets, stars, and solar system and in determining their motions.

10. Compare and contrast properties and conditions of objects in the solar system (i.e., sun, planets, and moons) to those on Earth (i.e., gravitational force, distance from the sun, speed, movement, temperature, and atmospheric conditions).

12. Recognize that the universe contains many billions of galaxies, and that each galaxy contains many billions of stars


Grades 6-8

Earth and Space Science

The middle school curriculum does not include any of the Earth Science Standards.

Life Science (Biology)

The Middle School curriculum includes all of the Life Science standards.

Physical Science

The Middle School curriculum includes all of the Physical Science standards.


The Middle School curriculum does not include the Technology/ Engineering standards shown below:

1. Materials, Tools, and Machines

Central Concept: Appropriate materials, tools, and machines enable us to solve problems, invent, and construct.

1.1 Given a design task, identify appropriate materials (e.g., wood, paper, plastic, aggregates, ceramics, metals, solvents, and adhesives) based on specific properties and characteristics (e.g., strength, hardness, and flexibility).

1.2 Identify and explain appropriate measuring tools, hand tools, and power tools used to hold, lift, carry, fasten, and separate, and explain their safe and proper use.

1.3 Identify and explain the safe and proper use of measuring tools, hand tools, and machines (e.g., band saw, drill press, sander, hammer, screwdriver, pliers, tape measure, screws, nails, and other mechanical fasteners) needed to construct a prototype of an engineering design.

2. Engineering Design

2.2 Demonstrate methods of representing solutions to a design problem, e.g., sketches, orthographic projections, multiview drawings.

2.4 Identify appropriate materials, tools, and machines needed to construct a prototype of a given engineering design.

3. Communication Technologies

Central Concept: Ideas can be communicated though engineering drawings, written reports, and pictures

3.1 Identify and explain the components of a communication system, i.e., source, encoder, transmitter, receiver, decoder, storage, retrieval, and destination.

3.2 Identify and explain the appropriate tools, machines, and electronic devices (e.g.,drawing tools, computer-aided design, and cameras) used to produce and/or reproduce design solutions (e.g., engineering drawings, prototypes, and reports).

3.3 Identify and compare communication technologies and systems, i.e., audio, visual, printed, and mass communication.

3.4 Identify and explain how symbols and icons (e.g., international symbols and graphics) are used to communicate a message.

4. Manufacturing Technologies

Central Concept: Manufacturing is the process of converting raw materials (primary process) into physical goods (secondary process), involving multiple industrial processes (e.g., assembly, multiple stages of production, quality control).

4.1 Describe and explain the manufacturing systems of custom and mass production.

4.2 Explain and give examples of the impacts of interchangeable parts, components of mass-produced products, and the use of automation, e.g., robotics.

4.3 Describe a manufacturing organization, e.g., corporate structure, research and development, production, marketing, quality control, distribution.

4.4 Explain basic processes in manufacturing systems, e.g., cutting, shaping, assembling, joining, finishing, quality control, and safety.

5. Construction Technologies

Central Concept: Construction technology involves building structures in order to contain, shelter, manufacture, transport, communicate, and provide recreation.

5.1 Describe and explain parts of a structure, e.g., foundation, flooring, decking, wall, roofing systems.

5.2 Identify and describe three major types of bridges (e.g., arch, beam, and suspension) and their appropriate uses (e.g., site, span, resources, and load).

5.3 Explain how the forces of tension, compression, torsion, bending, and shear affect the performance of bridges.

5.4 Describe and explain the effects of loads and structural shapes on bridges.

6. Transportation Technologies

Central Concept: Transportation technologies are systems and devices that move goods and people from one place to another across or through land, air, water, or space.

6.1 Identify and compare examples of transportation systems and devices that operate on or in each of the following: land, air, water, and space.

6.2 Given a transportation problem explain a possible solution using the universal systems model.

7. Bioengineering Technologies

Central Concept: Bioengineering technologies explore the production of mechanical devices, products, biological substances, and organisms to improve health and/or contribute improvements to our daily lives.

7.1 Explain examples of adaptive or assistive devices, e.g., prosthetic devices, wheelchairs, eyeglasses, grab bars, hearing aids, lifts, braces.

7.2 Describe and explain adaptive and assistive bioengineered products, e.g., food, bio-fuels, irradiation, integrated pest management.


Earth and Space Science

1.1Identify Earth’s principal sources of internal and external energy, such as radioactive decay, gravity. [The solar energy part of this standard is covered.]

1.6Describe the various conditions associated with frontal boundaries and cyclonic storms (e.g., thunderstorms, winter storms [nor’easters], hurricanes, tornadoes) and their impact on human affairs, including storm preparations.

1.7Explain the dynamics of oceanic currents, including upwelling, deep-water currents, the Labrador Current and the Gulf Stream, and their relationship to global circulation within the marine environment and climate.

2.1Recognize, describe, and compare renewable energy resources (e.g., solar, wind, water, biomass) and nonrenewable energy resources (e.g., fossil fuels, nuclear energy).

3.4Explain how water flows into and through a watershed. Explain the roles of aquifers, wells, porosity, permeability, water table, and runoff.

3.8Trace the development of a lithospheric plate from its growth at a divergent boundary (mid-ocean ridge) to its destruction at a convergent boundary (subduction zone). Recognize that alternating magnetic polarity is recorded in rock at mid-ocean ridges.


1. The concepts in Framework 4. The Origin and Evolution of the Universe, are not covered in our Earth Science course; but are available in the elective Astronomy.

2. The concepts in Frameworks 1.6, 1.7, and 3.8 will be covered in the planned Aquatic Environments 9th grade course.

3. We have re-designed our Earth Science course to be a combined Earth/Environmental Science course, in order to better align ourselves with the revised Massachusetts Frameworks, and to prepare students for MCAS testing in Biology.


    1. Compare and contrast a virus and a cell in terms of genetic material and reproduction.

3.5 [Dihybrid crosses are not taught in all courses.]

4.2 [The excretory functions of liver and kidney are not taught in all courses.]

4.5 Explain how the muscular/skeletal system (skeletal, smooth and cardiac muscles, bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons) works with other systems to support the body and allow for movement. Recognize that bones produce blood cells.

4.7 [Hormones are not taught in all courses.]

6.1 Explain how birth, death, immigration, and emigration influence population size.

6.2 [Invasive species are not taught in all courses.]


1. As of Fall 2007, Ecology will no longer be taught in the Biology or Biology Honors courses; this content will be taught in the Earth Science/Understanding Environmental Change course.

2. Human systems such as endocrine, urinary, and muscle are available in the elective Anatomy & Physiology/Honors.


4.4 Use valence-shell electron-pair repulsion theory (VSEPR) to predict the molecular geometry (linear, trigonal planar, and tetrahedral) of simple molecules. [Varying numbers of electron pairs covered in different courses.]

6.5 Recognize that there is a natural tendency for systems to move in a direction of disorder or randomness (entropy).

7.6 Predict the shift in equilibrium when a system is subjected to a stress (LeChatelier’s principle) and identify the factors that can cause a shift in equilibrium (concentration, pressure, volume, temperature). [This is only covered in the Honors Chemistry curriculum.]

8.3 Explain how a buffer works. [Problems solved only in Honors Chemistry.]

8.4 Describe oxidation and reduction reactions and give some everyday examples, such as fuel burning and corrosion. Assign oxidation numbers in a reaction.

Note: The above list refers to standards not covered in our Chemistry and Chemistry Honors courses. Our Chemistry in the Community course follows the curriculum developed by the American Chemical Society, and does not follow the Massachusetts Science Frameworks.


1.3 Create and interpret graphs of acceleration vs. time. [We cover the other parts of this standard.]

1.5 Use a free-body force diagram to show forces acting on a system consisting of a pair of interacting objects. For a diagram with only co-linear forces, determine the net force acting on a system and between the objects.

1.8 Describe conceptually the forces involved in circular motion.

4.1 Recognize examples of simple harmonic motion. [We cover the other parts of this standard.]

4.2 Distinguish between mechanical and electromagnetic waves.

4.5 Recognize that mechanical waves generally move faster through a solid than through a liquid and faster through a liquid than through a gas.

4.6 Describe the apparent change in frequency of waves due to the motion of a source or a receiver (the Doppler effect).

5.1 Explain that energy can produce a separation of charges. [We cover the other parts of this standard.]

5.4 Describe conceptually the attractive or repulsive forces between objects relative to their charges and the distance between them (Coulomb’s law).

5.5 Explain how power is equal to current multiplied by voltage. [We cover the other parts of this standard.]

6.1 Recognize that electromagnetic waves are transverse waves and travel at the speed of light through a vacuum.

6.2 Describe the electromagnetic spectrum in terms of frequency and wavelength, and identify the locations of radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, visible light (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet), ultraviolet rays, x-rays, and gamma rays on the spectrum.


1. The above-listed standards refer to those not covered in the curriculum of our Conceptual Physics course, which is closely aligned with the Massachusetts Science Frameworks. Our Physics and Honors Physics courses follow a mechanics curriculum, and do not cover electricity and magnetism.

2. Standard 6.2 is covered in the electives Astronomy and Physics: WAVES of Sound, Light and Color.


The Science curriculum does not cover the Technology/Engineering standards. Some of the course offerings in our Technology Education Department address these standards.

Scientific Inquiry Skills Standards

These standards are integrated into the academic content areas.

Mathematical Skills

Mathematical skills are integrated into the academic content areas. 

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