Secrets of Sound Science Standards

Educational Standards, Science

Secrets of Sounds: Studying the Calls and Songs of Whales, Elephants, and Birds

Science Standards:

Grade 4

4.1.1 Observe and describe that scientific investigations generally work the same way in different places.

4.1.3 Explain that clear communication is an essential part of doing science since it enables scientists to inform others about their work, to expose their ideas to evaluation by other scientists, and to allow scientists to stay informed about scientific discoveries around the world.

4.1.4 Describe how people all over the world have taken part in scientific investigation for many centuries.

4.1.5 Demonstrate how measuring instruments, such as microscopes, telescopes, and cameras, can be used to gather accurate information for making scientific comparisons of objects and events. Note that measuring instruments, such as rulers, can also be used for designing and constructing things that will work properly.

4.1.7 Discuss and give examples of how technology, such as computers and medicines, has improved the lives of many people, although the benefits are not equally available to all.

4.2.5 Write descriptions of investigations, using observations and other evidence as support for explanations.

4.2.6 Support statements with facts found in print and electronic media, identify the sources used, and expect others to do the same.

4.2.7 Identify better reasons for believing something than “Everybody knows that …” or “I just know,” and discount such reasons when given by others.

4.4.7 Describe that human beings have made tools and machines, such as x-rays, microscopes, and computers, to sense and do things that they could not otherwise sense or do at all, or as quickly, or as well.


Grade 55

5.1.1 Recognize and describe that results of similar scientific investigations may turn out differently because of inconsistencies in methods, materials, and observations*.

* observation: gaining information through the use of one or more of the senses, such as sight, smell, etc.

5.1.2 Begin to evaluate the validity of claims based on the amount and quality of the evidence cited.

5.1.3 Explain that doing science involves many different kinds of work and engages men, women, and children of all ages and backgrounds.

5.1.4 Give examples of technology, such as telescopes, microscopes, and cameras, that enable scientists and others to observe things that are too small or too far away to be seen without them and to study the motion of objects that are moving very rapidly or are hardly moving.

5.1.5 Explain that technology extends the ability of people to make positive and/or negative changes in the world.

5.1.6 Explain how the solution to one problem, such as the use of pesticides in agriculture or the use of dumps for waste disposal, may create other problems. (Example: The use of wind turbines to create electricity affects migrating birds.)

5.2.3 Choose appropriate common materials for making simple mechanical constructions and repairing things.

5.2.4 Keep a notebook to record observations and be able to distinguish inferences* from actual observations.

5.2.8 Recognize when and describe that comparisons might not be accurate because some of the conditions are not kept the same.

5.5.7 Explain that predictions can be based on what is known about the past, assuming that conditions are similar.

5.5.8 Realize and explain that predictions may be more accurate if they are based on large collections of objects or events.

5.6.4 Investigate, observe, and describe that things change in steady, repetitive, or irregular ways, such as toy cars continuing in the same direction and air temperature reaching a high or low value. Note that the best way to tell which kinds of changes are happening is to make a table or a graph of measurements. (Example: Bird calls vary between night and day but carry enough similarities for technology to detect.)


Grade 6

6.1.2 Give examples of different ways scientists investigate natural phenomena and identify processes all scientists use, such as collection of relevant evidence, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses* and explanations, in order to make sense of the evidence.

6.1.3 Recognize and explain that hypotheses are valuable, even if they turn out not to be true, if they lead to fruitful investigations.

* hypothesis: an informed guess or tentative explanation for which there is not yet much evidence

6.1.4 Give examples of employers who hire scientists, such as colleges and universities, businesses and industries, hospitals, and many government agencies.

6.1.5 Identify places where scientists work, including offices, classrooms, laboratories, farms, factories, and natural field settings ranging from space to the ocean floor.

6.1.6 Explain that computers have become invaluable in science because they speed up and extend people’s ability to collect, store, compile, and analyze data; prepare research reports; and share data and ideas with investigators all over the world.

6.1.7 Explain that technology is essential to science for such purposes as access to outer space and other remote locations, sample collection and treatment, measurement, data collection and storage, computation, and communication of information.

6.1.8 Describe instances showing that technology cannot always provide successful solutions for problems or fulfill every human need.

6.1.9 Explain how technologies can influence all living things.

6.2.3 Select tools, such as cameras and tape recorders, for capturing information.

6.2.5 Organize information in simple tables and graphs and identify relationships they reveal. Use tables and graphs as examples of evidence for explanations when writing essays or writing about lab work, fieldwork, etc.

6.2.6 Read simple tables and graphs produced by others and describe in words what they show.

6.3.22 Demonstrate that vibrations in materials set up wavelike disturbances, such as sound and earthquake waves*, that spread away from the source.

6.4.13 Give examples of how human beings use technology to match or exceed many of the abilities of other species.

6.5.2 Evaluate the precision and usefulness of data based on measurements taken.

6.5.4 Demonstrate how graphs may help to show patterns — such as trends, varying rates of change, gaps, or clusters — which can be used to make predictions.

6.5.6 Predict the frequency of the occurrence of future events based on data.


Grade 7

7.1.3 Explain why it is important in science to keep honest, clear, and accurate records.

7.1.4 Describe that different explanations can be given for the same evidence, and it is not always possible to tell which one is correct without further inquiry.

7.1.7 Explain how engineers, architects, and others who engage in design and technology use scientific knowledge to solve practical problems.

7.1.8 Explain that technologies often have drawbacks as well as benefits. Consider a technology, such as the use of pesticides, which helps some organisms but may hurt others, either deliberately or inadvertently.

7.1.10 Identify ways that technology has strongly influenced the course of history and continues to do so.

7.2.6 Read analog and digital meters on instruments used to make direct measurements of length, volume, Lose Weight Exercise, elapsed time, rates, or temperatures, and choose appropriate units.

7.2.7 Incorporate circle charts, bar and line graphs, diagrams, scatterplots*, and symbols into writing, such as lab or research reports, to serve as evidence for claims and/or conclusions.

* scatterplot: a coordinate graph showing ordered pairs of data

7.3.18 Describe that light waves, sound waves, and other waves move at different speeds in different


7.5.4 Describe that the larger the sample, the more accurately it represents the whole. Understand,

however, that any sample can be poorly chosen and this will make it unrepresentative of the whole.


Grade 8

 8.1.1 Recognize that and describe how scientific knowledge is subject to modification as new information challenges prevailing theories and as a new theory* leads to looking at old observations in a new way.

8.1.3 Recognize and describe that if more than one variable changes at the same time in an experiment, the outcome of the experiment may not be attributable to any one of the variables.

8.1.4 Explain why accurate record keeping, openness, and replication are essential for maintaining an investigator’s credibility with other scientists and society.

8.1.8 Explain that humans help shape the future by generating knowledge, developing new technologies, and communicating ideas to others.

8.2.7 Participate in group discussions on scientific topics by restating or summarizing accurately what others have said, asking for clarification or elaboration, and expressing alternative positions.

8.2.8 Use tables, charts, and graphs in making arguments and claims in, for example, oral and written presentations about lab or fieldwork.

8.5.7 Recognize and describe the danger of making over-generalizations when inventing a general rule based on a few observations.

8.7.2 Explain that even in some very simple systems, it may not always be possible to predict accurately the result of changing some part or connection.


Grades 9 – 12

Environmental Science, Advanced

Env.1.3 Understand and explain that ecosystems have cyclic fluctuations, such as seasonal changes or changes in population, as a result of migrations.

Env.1.4 Understand and explain that human beings are part of Earth’s ecosystems and give examples of how human activities can, deliberately or inadvertently, alter ecosystems.

Env.1.6 Describe and give examples about how the decisions of one generation both provide and limit the range of possibilities open to the next generation.





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