Course title




Course description

Introductory Science Principles

Purpose: Introductory Science Principles exposes students to some of the concepts central to the sciences; and prepares these students for success in other science courses. This class includes content from Chemistry; Physics; Earth Science; and Space Science; as well as material common to all sciences; such as the Scientific Method. This course is the regular level version of the previously approved Honors Introductory Science Principles.

Unit One: Metrics & Laboratory Procedures (1 Ω weeks)
? SC08-S1C2-PO 4. Perform measurements using appropriate scientific tools (e.g.; balances; microscopes; probes; micrometers).
? SCHS-S1C2-P01 Demonstrate safe and ethical procedures (e.g.; use and care of technology; materials; organisms) and behavior in all science inquiry.

Unit Two: The Scientific Method (2 Ω weeks)
? SCHS-S1C1-PO 1. Evaluate scientific information for relevance to a given problem.
? SCHS-S1C1-PO 2. Develop questions from observations that transition into testable hypotheses.
? SCHS-S1C1-PO 3. Formulate a testable hypothesis.
? SCHS-S1C1-PO 4. Predict the outcome of an investigation based on prior evidence; probability; and/or modeling (not guessing or inferring).
? SCHS-S1C2-PO 2. Identify the resources needed to conduct an investigation.
? SCHS-S1C2-PO 3. Design an appropriate protocol (written plan of action) for testing a hypothesis:
o Identify dependent and independent variables in a controlled investigation.
o Determine an appropriate method for data collection (e.g.; using balances; thermometers; microscopes; spectrophotometer; using qualitative changes).
o Determine an appropriate method for recording data (e.g.; notes; sketches; photographs; videos; journals (logs); charts; computers/calculators).
? SCHS-S1C2-PO 4. Conduct a scientific investigation that is based on a research design.
? SCHS-S1C2-PO 5. Record observations; notes; sketches; questions; and ideas using tools such as journals; charts; graphs; and computers.
? SCHS-S1C3-P01. Interpret data that show a variety of possible relationships between variables; including:
o positive relationship
o negative relationship
o no relationship
? SCHS-S1C3-PO 2. Evaluate whether investigational data support or do not support the proposed hypothesis.
? SCHS-S1C3-PO 3. Critique reports of scientific studies (e.g.; published papers; student reports).
? SCHS-S1C3-PO 4. Evaluate the design of an investigation to identify possible sources of procedural error; including:
o sample size
o trials
o controls
o analyses
? SCHS-S1C3-PO6. Use descriptive statistics to analyze data; including:
o mean
o frequency
o range
? SCHS-S1C3-PO 7. Propose further investigations based on the findings of a conducted investigation.
? SCHS-S1C4-PO 1. For a specific investigation; choose an appropriate method for communicating the results.
? SCHS-S1C4-PO 2. Produce graphs that communicate data.
? SCHS-S1C4-PO 3. Communicate results clearly and logically.
? SCHS-S1C4-PO 4. Support conclusions with logical scientific arguments.
? SCHS-S2C1-PO1. Describe how human curiosity and needs have influenced science; impacting the quality of life worldwide.
? SCHS-S2C1-PO4. Analyze how specific cultural and/or societal issues promote or hinder scientificadvancements.
? SCHS-S2C2-PO1. Specify the requirements of a valid; scientific explanation (theory); including that it be:
o logical
o subject to peer review
o public
o respectful of rules of evidence
? SCHS-S2C2-PO2. Explain the process by which accepted ideas are challenged or extended by scientific innovation.
? SCHS-S2C2-PO3. Distinguish between pure and applied science.
? SCHS-S2C2-PO4. Describe how scientists continue to investigate and critically analyze aspects of theories.
? SCHS-S3C2-PO2. Recognize the importance of basing arguments on a thorough understanding of the core concepts and principles of science and technology.

Unit Three: Basic Chemistry (4 weeks)
? SCHS-S5C1-PO 1. Describe substances based on their physical properties.
? SCHS-S5C1-PO 2. Describe substances based on their chemical properties.
? SCHS-S5C1-PO 3. Predict properties of elements and compounds using trends of the periodic table (e.g.; metals; non-metals; bonding ? ionic/covalent).
? SCHS-S5C1-PO 6. Describe the following features and components of the atom:
o protons
o neutrons
o electrons
o mass
o number and type of particles
o structure
o organization
? SCHS-S5C3-PO 2. Describe various ways in which energy is transferred from one system to another (e.g.; mechanical contact; thermal conduction; electromagnetic radiation.)
? SCHS-S5C4-PO 1. Apply the law of conservation of matter to changes in a system.
? SCHS-S5C2-PO 1. Determine the rate of change of a quantity (e.g.; rate of erosion; rate of reaction; rate of growth; velocity).
? SCHS-S5C3-PO 3. Recognize that energy is conserved in a closed system.
? SCHS-S5C3-PO 7. Explain how molecular motion is related to temperature and phase changes.
? SCHS-S5C4-PO 2. Identify the indicators of chemical change; including formation of a precipitate; evolution of a gas; color change; absorption or release of heat energy.
? SCHS-S5C5-PO 1. Describe various ways in which matter and energy interact (e.g.; photosynthesis; phase change).
? SCHS-S1C3-PO 5. Design models (conceptual or physical) of the following to represent ?real world? scenarios: phase change.
? SCHS-S5C4-PO 3. Represent a chemical reaction by using a balanced equation.
? SCHS-S5C4-PO 4. Distinguish among the types of bonds (i.e.; ionic; covalent; metallic; hydrogen bonding).
? SCHS-S5C4-PO 11. Predict the effect of various factors (e.g.; temperature; concentration; pressure; catalysts) on the equilibrium state and on the rates of chemical reaction.
? SCHS-S5C4-PO 12. Compare the nature; behavior; concentration; and strengths of acids and bases.


Unit Four: Space Science (2 Ω Weeks)
? SCHS-S6C4-PO 1. Describe the Big Bang Theory as an explanation for the origin of the universe.
? SCHS-S6C3-PO 1. Describe the scientific theory of the origin of the solar system (solar nebular hypothesis).
? SCHS-S6C4-PO 2. Describe the fusion process that takes place in stars.
? SCHS-S6C4-PO 5. Explain the formation of the light elements in stars and the heavier elements (what astronomers call ?metals?) in supernova explosions.
? SCHS-S6C4-PO 3. Analyze the evolution of various types of stars using the Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) diagram.
? SCHS-S6C3-PO 3. Explain the phases of the Moon; eclipses (lunar and solar); and the interaction of the Sun; Moon; and Earth (tidal effect).
? SCHS-S5C2-PO 3. Explain how Newton?s 1st Law applies to objects at rest or moving at constant velocity.
? SCHS-S2C2-PO 2. Describe how diverse people and/or cultures; past and present; have made important contributions to scientific innovations. (Newton; Galileo; Kepler; etc.)
? SCHS-S5C2-PO 5. Use Newton?s 3rd Law to explain forces as interactions between bodies (e.g.; a table pushing up on a vase that is pushing down on it; an athlete pushing on a basketball as the ball pushes back on her).
? SCHS-S1C3-PO 5. Design models (conceptual or physical) of the following to represent ?real world? scenarios: collisions.
? SCHS-S5C3-PO 2. Describe various ways in which energy is transferred from one system to another (e.g.; electromagnetic radiation.)

Unit Five: History of the Earth (2 Ω Weeks)
? SCHS-S6C3-PO 4. Interpret a geologic time scale.
? SCHS-S6C3-PO 5. Distinguish between relative and absolute geologic dating techniques.
? SCHS-S6C2-PO 1. Describe the flow of energy to and from the Earth.
? PO 2. Explain the mechanisms of heat transfer (convection; conduction; radiation) among the atmosphere; land masses; and oceans.
? SCHS-S6C2-PO 4. Demonstrate the relationship between the Earth?s internal convective heat flow and plate tectonics.
? SCHS-S6C2-PO 5. Demonstrate the relationships among earthquakes; volcanoes; mountain ranges; mid-oceanic ridges; deep sea trenches; and tectonic plates.
? SCHS-S3C1-PO 2. Describe the environmental effects of the following natural and/or human-caused hazards: earthquakes.
? SCHS-S3C1-PO 4. Evaluate the following factors that affect the quality of the environment: volcanic dust.
? SCHS-S6C1-PO 1. Identify ways materials are cycled within the Earth system (i.e.; carbon cycle; water cycle; rock cycle).
? SCHS-S6C1-PO 3. Explain how the rock cycle is related to plate tectonics.

Unit Six: Water and Weather (3 Weeks)
? SCHS-S6C2-PO 3. Distinguish between weather and climate.
? SCHS-S6C2-PO 2. Explain the mechanisms of heat transfer (convection; conduction; radiation) among the atmosphere; land masses; and oceans.
? SCHS-S3C1-PO 2. Describe the environmental effects of the following natural and/or human-caused hazards: extreme weather.
? SCHS-S6C2-PO 15. List the factors that determine climate (e.g.; altitude; latitude; water bodies; precipitation; prevailing winds; topography).
? SCHS-S6C2-PO 16. Explain the causes and/or effects of climate changes over long periods of time (e.g.; glaciation; desertification; solar activity; greenhouse effect).
? SCHS-S6C2-PO 17. Investigate the effects of acid rain; smoke; volcanic dust; urban development; and greenhouse gases; on climate change over various periods of time.
? SCHS-S6C1-PO 5. Describe factors that impact current and future water quantity and quality including surface; ground; and local water issues.
? SCHS-S3C1-PO 1. Analyze the costs; benefits; and risks of various ways of dealing with the following needs or problems:
? various forms of alternative energy
? storage of nuclear waste
? abandoned mines
? greenhouse gases
? hazardous wastes
? SCHS-S3C4-PO 4. Analyze the use of renewable and nonrenewable resources in Arizona:
? water
? land
? soil
? minerals
? air
? SCHS-S3C2-PO3. Support a position on a science or technology issue.
? SCHS-S2C1-PO3. Analyze how specific changes in science have affected society.
? SCHS-S6C1-PO 6. Analyze methods of reclamation and conservation of water.

Textbook: ?Earth Science?; Holt; Rinehart; & Winston

Major Lab Activities
Metric system ? measuring items using balances; graduated cylinders; and rulers
Canister lab ? finding density
Inquiry lab ? completing various activities; such as predicting; trying to float various materials ? having the students become familiar with inquiry and deductive reasoning.
Mystery powder lab ? completing a variety of tests on powders to find out what they are.
Mendelev lab ? solve for unknowns using the periodic table
Atom lab ? make targets and use darts to represent electrons ? count how many times the darts hit areas of the target and relate that to electron shells
Gum lab ? finding averages; speed; mean; median; and modes using chewing gum ? counting the number of chews in given amount of time
pH lab ? test different solutions to determine the pH
Rock lab ? complete various test on rocks and minerals to determine what they are
Soil lab ? test the soils of from different areas ? plants; ground; etc; to determine what is in the soil and where it can be found
Acceleration lab ? make a ramp and calculate the acceleration while changing the angle of the ramp

School country

United States

School state


School city


High school

Estrella Foothills High School

School / district Address

13033 S. Estrella Parkway

School zip code


Requested competency code

Lab Science

Date submitted



Approved competency code

  • LINT
  • Integrated science

Approved date

Online / Virtual