Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

To ignite and nurture creative, ethical, scientific minds that advance the human condition.

Science Team Learning Standards

 

 

Program Purpose

 

The purpose of the Science Program at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy is to provide both a personalized curriculum to meet the needs of our students who are academically talented in math and science, and an environment within which new approaches to science education can be developed, tested, and shared.

 Team Goals

The goals of the IMSA Science Team are to:

  • provide a safe environment in which students can maximize their intellectual capacity.
  • encourage students to become independent and integrative learners.
  • support students as they pursue inquiry in science.
  • prepare students to be informed and ethical decision makers.
  • equip students with the scientific knowledge and skills to be leaders in the development of new ideas or technologies.
  • develop and test science curricula and pedagogies in collaboration with educators worldwide.

 Unifying Concepts and Processes

The essence of a scientific mind is to make sense of the universe through collected data, observations, and integrative reasoning.  Processes that unify the science program pertain to the development of skills to gather, integrate, and understand information about profound questions as articulated in the subset of Standards of Significant Learning listed below.

Developing tools of thought in science requires that students be immersed in inquiry. Inquiry is a process used to generate knowledge new to the learner. As students mature scientifically, they advance on a continuum from teacher-directed to self-directed inquiry. Students will also develop their ability to communicate in oral and written form and support judgments and conclusions with evidence.

I. Developing the Tools of Thought

A.  Develop automaticity in skills, concepts, and process that support and enable complex thought.

B.  Construct questions which further understanding, forge connections, and deepen meaning.

C.  Precisely observe phenomena and accurately record findings.          

D.  Evaluate the soundness and relevance of information and reasoning.

 II. Thinking About Thinking

A.  Identify unexamined cultural, historical, and personal assumptions and misconceptions that impede and skew inquiry.

B.  Find and analyze ambiguities inherent within any set of textual, social, physical, or theoretical circumstances.

 III. Extending and Integrating Thought

A.  Use appropriate technologies as extensions of the mind.

B.  Recognize, pursue, and explain substantive connections within and among areas of knowledge.

C.  Recreate the beautiful conceptions that give coherence to structures of thought.

 IV. Expressing and Evaluating Constructs

A.  Construct and support judgments based on evidence.

B.  Write and speak with power, economy, and elegance.

C.  Identify and characterize the composing elements of dynamic and organic wholes, structures, and systems.

 V. Thinking and Acting with Others

B.  Make reasoned decisions which reflect ethical standards, and act in accordance with those decisions.

 
Learning Standards

The following IMSA Science Learning Standards describe the understandings that learners develop as students of science at IMSA. These learner expectations are coherent with the Illinois Science Learning Standards and the National Science Education Content Standards (NSES).

 

Citation Format
IMSA Science Learning Standards are cross-referenced as follows:

  • Illinois State Learning Standards [IL-II.A]
  • National Science Education Content Standards [NSES-B]

 

 

Students studying science at IMSA will:
A. engage in the process of scientific inquiry.
B. demonstrate understanding of energy and matter.
C. demonstrate understanding of force and motion.
D. demonstrate understanding of cellular structure and function.
E. demonstrate understanding of the explanatory power of evolution and its genetic basis.

A.  Students studying science at IMSA engage in the process of scientific inquiry by:

A.1 applying the skills of observation (describe, compare, and contrast characteristics; identify parameters, precisely observe phenomena) and accurately record findings.  [IL-11.A.5a; IL-11.A.5c][NSES-A]
A.2 designing and planning investigations and constructing questions which further understanding, forge connections, and deepen meaning.  [IL-11.A.5b][NSES-A]
A.3 carrying out investigations that develop skills, concepts, and processes that support and enable complex thought.  [IL-11.A.5c][NSES-A]
A.4 using appropriate technologies to collect, analyze and present information.  [IL-11.A.5c][NSES-A]
A.5 employing scientific reasoning to evaluate the soundness and relevance of information.  [IL-11.A.5e][NSES-A]
A.6 supporting judgments and constructing models based on evidence.  [IL-11.A.5e][NSES-A]
A.7 sharing results by communicating orally, in writing, and through display with power, economy, and elegance.  [IL-11.A.5e][NSES-A]

A.8 examining current issues in science and technology. [IL-][NSES-G]

  B.  Students studying science at IMSA demonstrate understanding of energy and matter by: 

B.1 using knowledge of atomic structure to explain periodic trends, ion formation, and chemical bonding.  [IL-12.C.4b][NSES-B]
B.2 using knowledge of molecular geometry and chemical bonding to explain properties of compounds.  [IL-12.C.5b][NSES-B]
B.3 applying the principles of conservation of mass, conservation of charge, and conservation of energy to a variety of problems and situations.  [IL-12.C.3a][NSES-B]

B.4 using their knowledge of equilibrium systems to predict the impact of a disturbance on a system at equilibrium.  [IL-12.C.5a][NSES-B]

B.5 applying the relationships between work, heat and energy to analyze the behavior of systems.  [IL-12.C.4a][NSES-B]

C.  Students studying science at IMSA demonstrate understanding of force and motion by:

C.1 using graphical and mathematical representations to analyze and predict the motion of objects.  [IL-12.D.4a; IL-12.D.5a][NSES-B]
C.2 using Newton's Laws to relate force and motion.  [IL-12.D.4a; IL-12.D.5a][NSES-B]
C.3 applying Newton’s Laws and observations to construct a model of the Earth, Moon and Sun System. [IL-12.D.4a; IL-12.D.5a; IL-12.D.5b][NSES-B]

 D. Students studying science at IMSA demonstrate understanding of cellular structure and function by:

D.1 explaining how organelles perform essential functions in the cell.  [IL-12.A.4a][NSES-C]
D.2 explaining metabolic processes.  [IL-12.A.4b][NSES-C]
D.3 describing cellular reproduction.  [IL-12.A.4a][NSES-C]

 E.  Students studying science at IMSA demonstrate understanding of the explanatory power of evolution and its genetic basis by:

E.1 explaining how organisms evolve as described in the Modern Synthesis.  [IL-12.A.4c; IL-12.B.5b][NSES-C]
E.2 understanding the evidence of evolution.  [IL-12.A.3c; IL-12.A.4c; IL-12.B.5b][NSES-C]

E.3 examining patterns by which traits are passed on through generations.  [IL-12.A.5b][NSES-C]
E.4 exploring the molecular basis of heredity.  [IL-12.A.4a][NSES-C]

 Learning Standards Correlation

The table that follows details the correlation of IMSA Learning Standards to appropriate Illinois Learning Standards and the National Science Education Standards – Science Content Standards.

IMSA Science Learning Standards

Illinois State Learning Standards

NSES Content Standards

A.1

11.A.5a; 11.A.5c

A

A.2

11.A.5b

A

A.3

11.A.5c

A

A.4

11.A.5c

A

A.5

11.A.5e

A

A.6

11.A.5e

A

A.7

11.A.5e

A

A.8

 

G

B.1

12.C.4b

B

B.2

12.C.5b

B

B.3

12.C.3a

B

B.4

12.C.5a

B

B.5

12.C.4a

B

C.1

12.D.4a; 12.D.5a

B

C.2

12.D.4a; 12.D.5a

B

C.3

12.D.4a; 12.D.5a; 12.D.5b

B

D.1

12.A.4a

C

D.2

12.A.4b

C

D.3

12.A.4a

C

E.1

12.A.4c; 12.B.5b

C

E.2

12.A.3c; 12.A.4c; 12.B.5b

C

E.3

12.A.5b

C

E.4

12.A.4a

C

 modified January 2008