Experimental Science 3 Honors   (#2002360)

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Course Standards

General Course Information and Notes

General Notes

In addition to the course related benchmarks, this course requires additional science content that must include benchmarks from at least one other Body of Knowledge. The additional benchmarks must include rigor appropriate for Level 3 courses and should not duplicate additional content addressed in Experimental Science 1 and 2. Laboratory investigations that include the use of scientific inquiry, research, measurement, problem solving, laboratory apparatus and technologies, experimental procedures, and safety procedures are an integral part of this course. The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) recommends that at the high school level, all students should be in the science lab or field, collecting data every week. School laboratory investigations (labs) are defined by the National Research Council (NRC) as an experience in the laboratory, classroom, or the field that provides students with opportunities to interact directly with natural phenomena or with data collected by others using tools, materials, data collection techniques, and models (NRC, 2006, p. 3). Laboratory investigations in the high school classroom should help all students develop a growing understanding of the complexity and ambiguity of empirical work, as well as the skills to calibrate and troubleshoot equipment used to make observations. Learners should understand measurement error; and have the skills to aggregate, interpret, and present the resulting data (National Research Council, 2006, p.77; NSTA, 2007).

Special Notes:

Instructional Practices
Teaching from a range of complex text is optimized when teachers in all subject areas implement the following strategies on a routine basis:

  1. Ensuring wide reading from complex text that varies in length.
  2. Making close reading and rereading of texts central to lessons.
  3. Emphasizing text-specific complex questions, and cognitively complex tasks, reinforce focus on the text and cultivate independence.
  4. Emphasizing students supporting answers based upon evidence from the text.
  5. Providing extensive research and writing opportunities (claims and evidence).

Science and Engineering Practices (NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education, 2010)

  • Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering).
  • Developing and using models.
  • Planning and carrying out investigations.
  • Analyzing and interpreting data.
  • Using mathematics, information and computer technology, and computational thinking.
  • Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering).
  • Engaging in argument from evidence.
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information.

Honors and Advanced Level Course Note: Advanced courses require a greater demand on students through increased academic rigor.  Academic rigor is obtained through the application, analysis, evaluation, and creation of complex ideas that are often abstract and multi-faceted.  Students are challenged to think and collaborate critically on the content they are learning. Honors level rigor will be achieved by increasing text complexity through text selection, focus on high-level qualitative measures, and complexity of task. Instruction will be structured to give students a deeper understanding of conceptual themes and organization within and across disciplines. Academic rigor is more than simply assigning to students a greater quantity of work.

Literacy Standards in Science
Secondary science courses include reading standards for literacy in science and technical subjects 6-12 and writing standards for literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects 6-12. The courses also include speaking and listening standards. For a complete list of standards required for this course click on the blue tile labeled course standards. You may also download the complete course including all required standards and notes sections using the export function located at the top of this page.

English Language Development ELD Standards Special Notes Section:
Teachers are required to provide listening, speaking, reading and writing instruction that allows English language learners (ELL) to communicate information, ideas and concepts for academic success in the content area of Science. For the given level of English language proficiency and with visual, graphic, or interactive support, students will interact with grade level words, expressions, sentences and discourse to process or produce language necessary for academic success The ELD standard should specify a relevant content area concept or topic of study chosen by curriculum developers and teachers which maximizes an ELL's need for communication and social skills. To access an ELL supporting document which delineates performance definitions and descriptors, please click on the following link: https://cpalmsmediaprod.blob.core.windows.net/uploads/docs/standards/eld/sc.pdf

General Information

Course Number: 2002360
Course Path:
Abbreviated Title: EXP SCI 3 HON
Number of Credits: One (1) credit
Course Length: Year (Y)
Course Attributes:
  • Honors
Course Type: Elective Course
Course Level: 3
Course Status: Course Approved
Grade Level(s): 9,10,11,12

Educator Certifications

One of these educator certification options is required to teach this course.

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this course.

Original Student Tutorials

Newton's Insight: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants:

Discover how Isaac Newton's background, talents, interests, and goals influenced his groundbreaking work in this interactive tutorial.

This is part 4 in a 4-part series. Click below to explore the other tutorials in the series.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

How Viral Disease Spreads:

Learn how scientists measure viral spread and use this information to make recommendations for the public in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Testing Scientific Claims:

Learn how to test scientific claims and judge competing hypotheses by understanding how they can be tested against one another in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Hallowed Words: Evaluating a Speaker's Effectiveness:

Learn how to evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence. In this interactive tutorial, you'll examine Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" and evaluate the effectiveness of his words by analyzing his use of reasoning and evidence. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Ecological Data Analysis:

See how data are interpreted to better understand the reproductive strategies taken by sea anemones with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Ecology Sampling Strategies:

Examine field sampling strategies used to gather data and avoid bias in ecology research. This interactive tutorial features the CPALMS Perspectives video .

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Earliest Beginnings:

Learn how to identify and describe the leading scientific explanations of the origin of life on Earth.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Graphing Quadratic Functions:

Follow as we discover key features of a quadratic equation written in vertex form in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Observation vs. Inference:

Learn how to identify explicit evidence and understand implicit meaning in a text and demonstrate how and why scientific inferences are drawn from scientific observation and be able to identify examples in biology.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Cool Case Files:

Learn that a scientific theory is the culmination of many experiments and supplies the most powerful explanation that scientists have to offer with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Lesson Plan

CO2: Find Out What It Means to You:

This BLOSSOMS lesson discusses Carbon Dioxide, and its impact on climate change. The main learning objective is for students to become more familiar with human production of Carbon Dioxide gas, as well as to gain an awareness of the potential for this gas to effect the temperature of Earth’s atmosphere. This lesson should take about an hour to complete. In order to complete the lesson, the teacher will need: printed copies of signs representing the different products and processes that take place in the carbon cycle (included), samples of matter that represent those products, handouts for the students to create a graphic of the carbon cycle (included) and graph paper or graphing software for students to create graphs. In the breaks of this BLOSSOMS lesson, students will be creating models of the carbon cycle as well as observing experiments and analyzing data from them. It is hoped that this lesson will familiarize students with ways in which carbon moves through our environment and provide them with some personal connection to the impact that an increased concentration of CO2 can have on air temperature. The goal is to spark their interest and hopefully to encourage them to ask and investigate more questions about the climate. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Perspectives Video: Experts

Jumping Robots and Quadratics:

<p>Jump to it and learn more about how quadratic equations are&nbsp;used in robot navigation problem solving!</p>

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Mathematically Exploring the Wakulla Caves:

The tide is high! How can we statistically prove there is a relationship between the tides on the Gulf Coast and in a fresh water spring 20 miles from each other?

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Oil Fingerprinting:

Humans aren't the only ones who get their fingerprints taken. Learn how this scientist is like a crime scene investigator using oil "fingerprints" to explain the orgins of spilled oil.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Unit Conversions:

<p>Get fired up as you learn more about ceramic glaze recipes and mathematical units.</p>

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast


What Killed the Dinosaurs?:

It is often difficult, sometimes impossible, to get a definitive answer to some of life's most enduring questions. Scientific processes provide alternative explanations for a wide variety of phenomena by piecing together all the available information. This interactive activity on the Evolution website explores four possible hypotheses to explain what caused the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, inviting the viewer to consider the evidence and come to their own decision.

Type: Presentation/Slideshow

Problem-Solving Tasks

Words and Music II:

The purpose of this task is to assess (1) ability to distinguish between an observational study and an experiment and (2) understanding of the role of random assignment to experimental groups in an experiment.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Finding Parabolas through Two Points:

This problem-solving task challenges students to find all quadratic functions described by given equation and coordinates, and describe how the graphs of those functions are related to one another.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Weed Killer:

The principal purpose of the task is to explore a real-world application problem with algebra, working with units and maintaining reasonable levels of accuracy throughout. Students are asked to determine which product will be the most economical to meet the requirements given in the problem.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Dinosaur Bones:

The purpose of this task is to illustrate through an absurd example the fact that in real life quantities are reported to a certain level of accuracy, and it does not make sense to treat them as having greater accuracy.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Bus and Car:

This task operates at two levels. In part it is a simple exploration of the relationship between speed, distance, and time. Part (c) requires understanding of the idea of average speed, and gives an opportunity to address the common confusion between average speed and the average of the speeds for the two segments of the trip.

At a higher level, the task addresses MAFS.912.N-Q.1.3, since realistically neither the car nor the bus is going to travel at exactly the same speed from beginning to end of each segment; there is time traveling through traffic in cities, and even on the autobahn the speed is not constant. Thus students must make judgments about the level of accuracy with which to report the result.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Accuracy of Carbon 14 Dating I:

This task examines, from a mathematical and statistical point of view, how scientists measure the age of organic materials by measuring the ratio of Carbon 14 to Carbon 12. The focus here is on the statistical nature of such dating.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Accuracy of Carbon 14 Dating II:

This task examines, from a mathematical and statistical point of view, how scientists measure the age of organic materials by measuring the ratio of Carbon 14 to Carbon 12. The focus here is on the statistical nature of such dating.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Fuel Efficiency:

The problem requires students to not only convert miles to kilometers and gallons to liters but they also have to deal with the added complication of finding the reciprocal at some point.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

How Much Is a Penny Worth?:

This task asks students to calculate the cost of materials to make a penny, utilizing rates of grams of copper.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Runner's World:

Students are asked to use units to determine if the given statement is valid.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Harvesting the Fields:

This is a challenging task, suitable for extended work, and reaching into a deep understanding of units. Students are given a scenario and asked to determine the number of people required to complete the amount of work in the time described. The task requires students to exhibit , Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. An algebraic solution is possible but complicated; a numerical solution is both simpler and more sophisticated, requiring skilled use of units and quantitative reasoning. Thus the task aligns with either MAFS.912.A-CED.1.1 or MAFS.912.N-Q.1.1, depending on the approach.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Graphs of Quadratic Functions:

Students compare graphs of different quadratic functions, then produce equations of their own to satisfy given conditions.

This exploration can be done in class near the beginning of a unit on graphing parabolas. Students need to be familiar with intercepts, and need to know what the vertex is. It is effective after students have graphed parabolas in vertex form (y=a(x–h)2+k), but have not yet explored graphing other forms.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Traffic Jam:

This resource poses the question, "how many vehicles might be involved in a traffic jam 12 miles long?"

This task, while involving relatively simple arithmetic, promps students to practice modeling (MP4), work with units and conversion (N-Q.1), and develop a new unit (N-Q.2). Students will also consider the appropriate level of accuracy to use in their conclusions (N-Q.3).

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Selling Fuel Oil at a Loss:

The task is a modeling problem which ties in to financial decisions faced routinely by businesses, namely the balance between maintaining inventory and raising short-term capital for investment or re-investment in developing the business.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Felicia's Drive:

This task provides students the opportunity to make use of units to find the gas needed (). It also requires them to make some sensible approximations (e.g., 2.92 gallons is not a good answer to part (a)) and to recognize that Felicia's situation requires her to round up. Various answers to (a) are possible, depending on how much students think is a safe amount for Felicia to have left in the tank when she arrives at the gas station. The key point is for them to explain their choices. This task provides an opportunity for students to practice MAFS.K12.MP.2.1: Reason abstractly and quantitatively, and MAFS.K12.MP.3.1: Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Graphs of Power Functions:

This task requires students to recognize the graphs of different (positive) powers of x.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Calories in a Sports Drink:

This problem involves the meaning of numbers found on labels. When the level of accuracy is not given we need to make assumptions based on how the information is reported. An unexpected surprise awaits in this case, however, as no reasonable interpretation of the level of accuracy makes sense of the information reported on the bottles in parts (b) and (c). Either a miscalculation has been made or the numbers have been rounded in a very odd way.

Type: Problem-Solving Task


Graphs and Solutions of Functions in Quadratic Equations:

You will learn how the parent function for a quadratic function is affected when f(x) = x2.

Type: Tutorial

Graphing Quadractic Functions in Vertex Form:

This tutorial will help the students to identify the vertex of a parabola from the equation, and then graph the parabola.

Type: Tutorial

Graphing Quadratic Equations:

This tutorial helps the learners to graph the equation of a quadratic function using the coordinates of the vertex of a parabola and its x- intercepts.

Type: Tutorial

Graphing Exponential Equations:

This tutorial will help you to learn about exponential functions by graphing various equations representing exponential growth and decay.

Type: Tutorial

Refraction of Light:

This resource explores the electromagnetic spectrum and waves by allowing the learner to observe the refraction of light as it passes from one medium to another, study the relation between refraction of light and the refractive index of the medium, select from a list of materials with different refractive indicecs, and change the light beam from white to monochromatic and observe the difference.

Type: Tutorial

Human Eye Accommodation:

  • Observe how the eye's muscles change the shape of the lens in accordance with the distance to the object being viewed
  • Indicate the parts of the eye that are responsible for vision
  • View how images are formed in the eye

Type: Tutorial

Concave Spherical Mirrors:

  • Learn how a concave spherical mirror generates an image
  • Observe how the size and position of the image changes with the object distance from the mirror
  • Learn the difference between a real image and a virtual image
  • Learn some applications of concave mirrors

Type: Tutorial

Convex Spherical Mirrors:

  • Learn how a convex mirror forms the image of an object
  • Understand why convex mirrors form small virtual images
  • Observe the change in size and position of the image with the change in object's distance from the mirror
  • Learn some practical applications of convex mirrors

Type: Tutorial

Color Temperature in a Virtual Radiator:

  • Observe the change of color of a black body radiator upon changes in temperature
  • Understand that at 0 Kelvin or Absolute Zero there is no molecular motion

Type: Tutorial

Solar Cell Operation:

This resource explains how a solar cell converts light energy into electrical energy. The user will also learn about the different components of the solar cell and observe the relationship between photon intensity and the amount of electrical energy produced.

Type: Tutorial

Electromagnetic Wave Propagation:

  • Observe that light is composed of oscillating electric and magnetic waves
  • Explore the propagation of an electromagnetic wave through its electric and magnetic field vectors
  • Observe the difference in propagation of light of different wavelengths

Type: Tutorial

Basic Electromagnetic Wave Properties:

  • Explore the relationship between wavelength, frequency, amplitude and energy of an electromagnetic wave
  • Compare the characteristics of waves of different wavelengths

Type: Tutorial

Geometrical Construction of Ray Diagrams:

  • Learn to trace the path of propagating light waves using geometrical optics
  • Observe the effect of changing parameters such as focal length, object dimensions and position on image properties
  • Learn the equations used in determining the size and locations of images formed by thin lenses

Type: Tutorial


Will an Ice Cube Melt Faster in Freshwater or Saltwater?:

With an often unexpected outcome from a simple experiment, students can discover the factors that cause and influence thermohaline circulation in our oceans. In two 45-minute class periods, students complete activities where they observe the melting of ice cubes in saltwater and freshwater, using basic materials: clear plastic cups, ice cubes, water, salt, food coloring, and thermometers. There are no prerequisites for this lesson but it is helpful if students are familiar with the concepts of density and buoyancy as well as the salinity of seawater. It is also helpful if students understand that dissolving salt in water will lower the freezing point of water. There are additional follow up investigations that help students appreciate and understand the importance of the ocean's influence on Earth's climate.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Inquiry and Ocean Exploration:

Ocean explorer Robert Ballard gives a TED Talk relating to the mysteries of the ocean, and the importance of its continued exploration.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Graphing Lines 1:

Khan Academy video tutorial on graphing linear equations: "Algebra: Graphing Lines 1"

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Evolving Ideas: Isn't evolution just a theory?:

This video examines the vocabulary essential for understanding the nature of science and evolution and illustrates how evolution is a powerful, well-supported scientific explanation for the relatedness of all life. A clear definition and description of scientific theory is given.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Citizen Science:

In this National Science Foundation video and reading selection lab ecologist Janis Dickinson explains how she depends on citizen scientists to help her track the effects of disease, land-use change and environmental contaminants on the nesting success of birds.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Virtual Manipulatives

Slope Slider:

In this activity, students adjust slider bars which adjust the coefficients and constants of a linear function and examine how their changes affect the graph. The equation of the line can be in slope-intercept form or standard form. This activity allows students to explore linear equations, slopes, and y-intercepts and their visual representation on a graph. This activity includes supplemental materials, including background information about the topics covered, a description of how to use the application, and exploration questions for use with the java applet.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Graphing Equations Using Intercepts:

This resource provides linear functions in standard form and asks the user to graph it using intercepts on an interactive graph below the problem. Immediate feedback is provided, and for incorrect responses, each step of the solution is thoroughly modeled.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Split Brain Experiments:

The split brain experiments revealed that the right and the left hemisphere in the brain are good at different things. For instance, the right hemisphere is good at space perception tasks and music while the left is good at verbal and analytic tasks. This game guides students through some examples of the split-brain phenomenon and how the differences are understood.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Graphing Lines:

Allows students access to a Cartesian Coordinate System where linear equations can be graphed and details of the line and the slope can be observed.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Data Flyer:

Using this virtual manipulative, students are able to graph a function and a set of ordered pairs on the same coordinate plane. The constants, coefficients, and exponents can be adjusted using slider bars, so the student can explore the affect on the graph as the function parameters are changed. Students can also examine the deviation of the data from the function. This activity includes supplemental materials, including background information about the topics covered, a description of how to use the application, and exploration questions for use with the java applet.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Function Flyer:

In this online tool, students input a function to create a graph where the constants, coefficients, and exponents can be adjusted by slider bars. This tool allows students to explore graphs of functions and how adjusting the numbers in the function affect the graph. Using tabs at the top of the page you can also access supplemental materials, including background information about the topics covered, a description of how to use the application, and exploration questions for use with the java applet.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Curve Fitting:

With a mouse, students will drag data points (with their error bars) and watch the best-fit polynomial curve form instantly. Students can choose the type of fit: linear, quadratic, cubic, or quartic. Best fit or adjustable fit can be displayed.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Equation Grapher:

This interactive simulation investigates graphing linear and quadratic equations. Users are given the ability to define and change the coefficients and constants in order to observe resulting changes in the graph(s).

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this course.