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Life Sciences

NAD Standards // Science

Essential Question

How do living organisms give evidence of God as the Designer, Creator, and Sustainer of life?


Big Idea

The complexity, order, and design of living organisms provide strong evidence of God as the Designer, Creator and Sustainer of life.


Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes









Conduct an investigation to provide evidence that living things are made of cells, either one cell or many different numbers and types of cells. (MS‑LS1‑1)

Develop and use a model to describe the function of a cell as a whole and ways parts of cells contribute to the function. (MS‑LS1‑2)

Develop and use a model to describe the function of a cell as a whole and ways parts of cells contribute to the function. (MS‑LS1‑2)

Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors (e.g., nest building, herding, vocalization, colorful plumage) and specialized plant structures (e.g., bright flowers, flower nectar, odors that attract insects that transfer pollen, hard shells on nuts that squirrels bury) affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively.  (MS‑LS1‑4)

Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence (e.g., drought decreasing plant growth, fertilizer increasing plant growth, different varieties of plant seeds growing at different rates in different conditions, fish growing larger in large ponds) for how environmental (e.g., availability of food, light, space, water) and genetic (e.g., large breed cattle and species of grass affecting growth) factors influence the growth of organisms.  (MS‑LS1‑5)

Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms.  (MS‑LS1‑6)

Develop a model to describe how food is rearranged through chemical reactions forming new molecules that support growth and/or release energy as this matter moves through an organism.  (MS‑LS1‑7)

Gather and synthesize information that sensory receptors respond to stimuli by sending messages to the brain for immediate behavior or storage as memories.  (MS‑LS1‑8)

Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics






Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.  (MS‑LS2‑1)

Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions (e.g., competitive, predatory, mutually beneficial) among organisms across multiple ecosystems.  (MS‑LS2‑2)

Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem. (MS‑LS2‑3)

Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.  (MS‑LS2‑4)

Evaluate competing design solutions (e.g., scientific, economic, social considerations) for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services (e.g., water purification, nutrient recycling, soil erosion prevention, habitat enhancement). (MS‑LS2‑5)

Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits



Develop and use a model to describe why structural changes to genes (mutations) located on chromosomes may affect proteins and may result in harmful, beneficial, or neutral effects to the structure and function of the organism. (MS‑LS3‑1)

Develop and use a model (e.g., Punnett squares, diagrams, simulations) to describe why asexual reproduction results in offspring with identical genetic information and sexual reproduction results in offspring with genetic variation. (MS‑LS3‑2)

Life: Origins, Unity, and Diversity







Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth, comparing and contrasting creationist and naturalist perspectives.  (MS‑LS4‑1)

Apply scientific principles to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among  modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms, comparing and contrasting creationist and naturalist perspectives.  (MS‑LS4‑2)

Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.  (MS‑LS4‑4)

Gather and synthesize information about the technologies that have changed the way humans influence the inheritance of desired traits in organisms.  (MS‑LS4‑5)

Use mathematical representations to support explanations of how natural selection may lead to increases and decreases of specific traits in populations over time.  (MS‑LS4‑6)

Apply scientific principles to construct and share a personal model that explains origins of life on earth and acknowledges God as the Creator.

Health Sciences

Essential Question

Why does God want human beings to choose to have a healthy mind and body?


Big Idea

God designed a plan for healthful living that leads to optimum spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional health.


Health Promotion and Disease Prevention







Collect data from family members to compile evidence that supports the claim that personal health is influenced by the environment and genetics.

Construct a model that demonstrates the link between appropriate health care and personal health.

Gather and synthesize information to identify barriers to obtaining appropriate health care and to practicing healthy behaviors, and suggest ways to overcome these barriers.

Construct an evidenced‑based argument that demonstrates the importance of assuming responsibility for personal health behaviors.

Evaluate behaviors in relation to the degree to which they benefit or harm personal health and the health of others.

Choose a health‑enhancing practice and develop a presentation designed to persuade others to adopt a similar practice.

Health Resources


Develop guidelines for evaluating health information, products, and services, and conduct an investigation designed to assess the validity of health‑related resources.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices





Construct an argument that supports the claim that modifying unhealthy behaviors can enhance personal health.

Plan and conduct an investigation that provides evidence that peers and perceptions of norms influence the health of adolescents.

Construct a model that demonstrates how public health policies can influence health promotion and disease prevention.

Analyze and interpret data that provides evidence to support the claim that traditional Adventist health practices promote optimal health.


Earth and Space Sciences

Essential Question

How do the structure and physical phenomena of Earth and space provide evidence of God as Designer,

Creator, and Sustainer of the universe?


Big Idea

The structure and processes of Earth and space are organized and governed by natural laws that give evidence of God as

Designer, Creator, and Sustainer.

Earth’s Systems







Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth’s materials and the flow of energy that drives this process. (MS‑ESS2‑1)

Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes (e.g., surface weathering and deposition by movements of water, ice, and wind) have changed Earth’s surface at varying time and spatial scales (e.g., slow plate motions, uplift of large mountain ranges, rapid landslides, microscopic geochemical reactions). (MS‑ESS2‑2)

Analyze and interpret data on the distribution of fossils and rocks, continental shapes, and sea floor structures to provide evidence of the past plate motions.  (MS‑ESS2‑3)

Develop a model (conceptual or physical) to describe the cycling of water through Earth’s systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity. (MS‑ESS2‑4)

Collect data (e.g., weather maps, diagrams, visualizations, laboratory experiments) to provide evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses result in changes in weather conditions. (MS‑ESS2‑5)

Develop and use a model (e.g., diagrams, maps and globes, digital representations) to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates. (MS‑ESS2‑6)

Earth and Human Activity






Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how the uneven distributions of Earth’s mineral, energy,  and groundwater resources are the results of past and current geoscience processes (e.g., plate tectonics, the Flood). (MS‑ESS3‑1)

Analyze and interpret data (e.g., locations, magnitudes, frequencies) on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects. (MS‑ESS3‑2)

Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact (e.g., water usage, soil usage, pollution) on the environment. (MS‑ESS3‑3)

Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per‑capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems. (MS‑ESS3‑4)

Ask questions to clarify evidence (e.g., tables, graphs, maps of global and regional temperatures, atmospheric levels of gases, rates of human activities) of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century (e.g., fossil fuel combustion, cement production, agricultural activity, change in incoming solar radiation, volcanic activity). (MS‑ESS3‑5)

Earth’s Place in the Universe





Develop and use a model (physical, graphical, or conceptual) of the Earth‑sun‑moon system to describe the cyclic patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons. (MS‑ESS1‑1)

Develop and use a model (physical or conceptual) to describe the role of gravity in the motions within galaxies and the solar system. (MS‑ESS1‑2)

Analyze and interpret data (e.g., statistical information, drawings and photographs, models) to determine scale properties (e.g., size, surface features, orbital radius) of objects in the solar system. (MS‑ESS1‑3)

Apply scientific principles to construct an explanation, based on evidence from rock strata, for how the geologic column is used to organize Earth’s relative age and geologic history, comparing and contrasting creationist and naturalistic perspectives. (MS‑ESS1‑4)

Physical Sciences

Essential Question

How does the order and consistency of natural laws provide evidence of God as the Designer, Creator, and Sustainer of the physical world?

Big Idea

Matter and energy are organized and behave according to natural laws that cannot be explained by chance but are consistent and give evidence of God as the Designer, Creator, and Sustainer.

Matter and Its Interactions







Develop models (e.g., drawings, 3D ball and stick structures, computer representations) to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules (e.g., ammonia, methanol) and extended structures (e.g., sodium chloride, diamonds). (MS‑PS1‑1)

Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction (e.g., burning sugar or steel wool, fat reacting with sodium hydroxide, mixing zinc with hydrogen chloride) has occurred. (MS‑PS1‑2)

Gather and make sense of information to describe that synthetic materials come from natural resources and impact society (e.g., new medicines, foods, alternative fuels). (MS‑PS1‑3)

Develop a model (e.g., drawings, diagrams) that predicts and describes changes in particle (e.g., molecules, inert   atoms) motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance (e.g., water, carbon dioxide, helium) when thermal energy is added or removed. (MS‑PS1‑4)

Develop and use a model to describe how the total number of atoms does not change in a chemical reaction and thus mass is conserved. (MS‑PS1‑5)

Design, construct, test, and modify a device that either releases or absorbs thermal energy by chemical processes. (MS‑PS1‑6)

Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions






Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects (e.g., two cars, car and stationary objects, meteor and space vehicle). (MS‑PS2‑1)

Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object. (MS‑PS2‑2)

Ask questions about data (e.g., effect of the number of turns of wire on the strength of an electromagnet, effect of increasing the number or strength of magnets on speed of an electric motor) to determine the factors that affect the strength of electric and magnetic forces (e.g., electromagnets, electric motors, generators). (MS‑PS2‑3)

Construct and present arguments using evidence (e.g., data generated from simulations or digital tools; charts displaying mass, strength of interaction, distance from the Sun, orbital periods of objects within the solar system)  to support the claim that gravitational interactions exert attraction and depend on the masses of interacting objects. (MS‑PS2‑4)

Conduct an investigation and evaluate the experimental design to provide evidence that fields exist between objects exerting forces on each other even though the objects are not in contact (e.g., interactions of magnets, electrically‑charged strips of tape, electrically‑charged pith balls). (MS‑PS2‑5)







Construct and interpret graphical displays of data to describe the relationships of kinetic energy to the mass of an object and the speed of an object (e.g., riding a bicycle at different speeds, rolling different sizes of rock downhill, getting hit by a Wiffle® ball versus a tennis ball). (MS‑PS3‑1)

Develop a model (e.g., representations, diagrams, pictures, written descriptions) to describe that when the arrangement of objects interacting at a distance changes, different amounts of potential energy are stored in the system (e.g., the Earth and either a roller coaster cart at varying positions on a hill or objects at varying heights on shelves, changing direction/orientation of a magnet, balloon with static electrical charge brought close to a classmate’s hair). (MS‑PS3‑2)

Apply scientific principles to design, construct, and test a device (e.g., insulated box, solar cooker, Styrofoam® cup) that either minimizes or maximizes thermal energy transfer. (MS‑PS3‑3)

Plan an investigation (e.g., comparing final water temperatures after different masses of ice are melted in the same volume of water with the same initial temperature) to determine the relationships among the energy transferred, the type of matter, the mass, and the change in the average kinetic energy of the particles as measured by the temperature of the sample. (MS‑PS3‑4)

Construct, use, and present arguments to support the claim that when the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object. (MS‑PS3‑5)

Waves and their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer




Use mathematical representations to describe a simple model for waves that includes how the amplitude of a wave is related to the energy in a wave. (MS‑PS4‑1)

Develop and use a model (e.g., drawings, simulations, written descriptions) to describe that waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials. (MS‑PS4‑2)

Integrate qualitative scientific and technical information to support the claim that digitized signals (e.g., fiber optic cable transmits light pulses, radio wave pulses in Wi‑Fi devices, conversion of stored binary patterns to make sound or text on a computer screen) are a more reliable way to encode and transmit information than analog signals. (MS‑PS4‑3)

Engineering Technology and Application

Essential Question

How has God equipped humans to apply knowledge of science to solve problems for the benefit of His



Big Idea

God designed humans to wonder, question, and develop an attitude of inquiry as scientific principles are applied to the

materials and forces of nature for the benefit of His Creation.

Engineering Design





Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.  (MS‑ETS1‑1)

Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.  (MS‑ETS1‑2)

Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and difference among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.  (MS‑ETS1‑3)

Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.  (MS‑ETS1‑4)

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