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Earth Quest: A game of Environmental Literacy

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MEEA's 'Not the Standards' Guide to the Missouri Learning Standards - Physical Science (PS)

Goals of the MEEA NtS Guides
1.To help narrow the search for a specific standard with which a lesson aligns,
2. to make connections and guide curriculum development for standards covered in the same grade,
3. and to provide a map for the development of a concept from Kindergarten to High School so educators know how a concept fits into the big picture, and when might be the best time to teach it based on students' developmental ages.

How to Use the MEEA NtS Guides
1. If you have a lesson to teach, scan for the core idea, the component and then the learning standard that fits best – then look up the full standard description at
2. If you have an audience to teach, scan across its grade level to see which standards might line up with a lesson you have or would like to create – then look it up

Standards | NGSS Science and Engineering Practices | NGSS Cross Cutting Concepts

Phenomena | Socio-scientific Issues | 5 E Model | Abbreviations


Physical Sciences

(download a pdf)


4 Core Ideas : 12 Components : 72 Learning Standards

Core Ideas >
Components v

PS1 Matter and its Interactions (24)

PS2 Motion and Stability: Forces and Motion (19)

 PS3 Energy (18)

PS4 Waves and their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer (11)


Structure & Properties of Matter (15)

Forces & Motion (10)

Definitions of Energy (10)

Wave Properties (8)


Chemical Reactions (8)

Types of Interaction (9)

Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer (5)

Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) (2)


Nuclear Process (1)


Relationship between Energy and Forces (2)

Information Technologies and Instrumentation  (1)




Energy in Chemical Processes and Everyday (1)




PS1 Matter and Its Interactions


PS1 Matter and its Interactions

(# MLS)

A Structure and Properties of
Matter (15)

B Chemical
Reactions (8)

C Nuclear
Processes (1)

K (5)

1. qualitative observations of object properties



1 (3)




2 (4)

1. classify objects by properties
2. analyze materials for properties



3 (3)

1. changes in states of water (gas, liquid, solid)

1. some changes caused by heating/cooling reversible, some not


4 (9)




5 (7)

1. matter made of particles too small to see
2. prove conservation of mass

1. separate mixture by physical properties
2. whether combos of substances -> new substances


6-8 (18)

1. atomic composition simple molecules & extended structures
2. if chem rx has occurred
3. synthetics from nat res & their impact 
4. thermal energy -> motion, temp, state

1. consv of atoms/mass
2. device that releases or absorbs thermal energy by chemical processes


9-12 (23)

1. periodic table : element properties
2. periodic table -> simple chem rx products
3. substance properties -> attractive forces
4. +/- forces -> macroscopic properties
5. exo/endo thermic : bond energy change

1. temp or conc : rx rate
2. D conditions : product amt (Le Chatelier’s Principle) 3. balanced chem equations, mole

1. changes in nucleus : fission, fusion, radioactive decay




PS2 Motion and Stability: Forces and Motion


PS2 Motion and Stability: Forces and Motion

(# MLS)

A Forces and Motion (10)

B Types of
Interaction (9)

K (5)

1. push/pull 2. desc ways to change direction and speed;


1 (3)



2 (4)

1. D in object motion : D appl force or object’s mass


3 (3)


1. cause/effect of magnetic, electrical forces acting at distance

4 (9)

1. predict future motion
2. effect of balanced or unbalanced forces on object

1. forces in Newtons to overcome friction
2. force or mass effect on motion

5 (7)


1. earth pulls objects to its center (down)

6-8 (18)

1. solution to minimizing force during collision
2. change = sum of forces & object mass

1. factors affecting EM forces 2. graph gravity : mass of interacting objects
3. exp to show existence of EM fields, eval exp design

9-12 (23)

1. F=ma (2nd Law) 2. consv of momentum 3. principles momentum and motion to minimize force during collision

1. predict grav forces using F = G ((m1*m2)/r2);
2. current > magnetic field & vice versa





PS3 Energy


PS3  Energy


A Definitions of
Energy (10)

B Conservation of Energy and Energy
Transfer (5)

C Relationship between Energy and Forces (2)

D Energy in Chemical Processes & Everyday (1)


1. observations to detect effect of sunlight

1. structure to reduce warming by sun




1. id energy source causing increase in temp















1. speed of object : energy of object

1. explain energy transform  2. energy transform device

1. how simple machines transform energy






1. food is from sun

6 - 8

1. kinetic energy : object mass, speed 2. pot energy storage : object position
3. optimal thermal energy transfer structure 4. energy transfer : matter type : mass : temp change

1. object’s kinetic energy change : object’s energy transfer




1. model of energy change in system 2. particle motions > macro motion 3. energy converting device

1. 2nd Law of Energy

1. forces betw, energy changes in interacting objects




PS4 Waves and their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer


PS4 Waves and their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer


A Wave Properties (8)

B Electromag-netic Radiation (EMR) (2)

C Waves and their Applications in Technology (1)






1. vibrations : sound & vice versa


1. light or sound  comm device


1. vibration D : sound D








1. patterns by ampl/wavelength, & that waves can move objects




1. seeing needs light reflected from object



6 - 8

1. wave amplitude : wave energy 2. wave reflection, absorp, transmission thru various materials




1. freq : wavelength : wave speed in var media 2. EMR either wave or particle, both useful

1.  tech info how EMR interacts w/ matter 2. effects of absorbed EMR on matter






NGSS Science and Engineering Practices

1. ask questions and define problems
2. develop and use models
3. plan and carry out investigations/fair tests
4. analyze and interpret data
5. use mathematics and computational thinking
6. construct explanations and design solutions CEDS
7. engage in argument from evidence
8. obtain, evaluate and communicate information


NGSS Cross Cutting Concepts

1. Patterns
2. Cause and Effect: Mechanism and explanation
3. Scale, Proportion and Quantity
4. Systems and System Models
5. Energy and Matter: Flows, cycles and conservation
6. Structure and Function
7. Stability and Change



Instruction is more effective when students investigate compelling natural phenomena (in science) or work on meaningful design problems (in engineering). Characteristics of good phenomena for instruction are:

  1. Connected to Experience - they are relatively familiar to students' everyday experiences (keep diversity and accessibilty in mind)
  2. Observable - they are observable directly, or with the aid of demonstrations, images, video, scienctific procedures, tools or devices
  3. Relatively Complex - they are too complex for students to explain or design a solution for in one lesson, but not so complex that students can't gain meaningful understanding
  4. Multidimensional - they require students to develop understanding of and apply multiple NGSS standards while engaging in reading, writing, communication, and mathematics, and if possible, social studies (see 6 below)
  5. Information Rich - there is a ready supply of relevant data, images and text students can use to develop their understanding
  6. Meaningful - there is an audience or stakeholder community that cares about the findings or the products


Socio-scientific Issues

SSI are complex, contested social questions with a scientific component. They provide an authentic opportunity to dig into science concepts. All environmental issues are SSI.


5 E Model

Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate -




: proportional to, in relation to
-> causes or has an effect on
= equals
/ separating items on a list
delta symbol (a triangle) - change in or change