SC.5.N.2.1

Recognize and explain that science is grounded in empirical observations that are testable; explanation must always be linked with evidence.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 5
Body of Knowledge: Nature of Science
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
Big Idea: The Characteristics of Scientific Knowledge -

A: Scientific knowledge is based on empirical evidence, and is appropriate for understanding the natural world, but it provides only a limited understanding of the supernatural, aesthetic, or other ways of knowing, such as art, philosophy, or religion.

B: Scientific knowledge is durable and robust, but open to change.

C: Because science is based on empirical evidence it strives for objectivity, but as it is a human endeavor the processes, methods, and knowledge of science include subjectivity, as well as creativity and discovery.

Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes
Test Item Specifications
  • Item Type(s): This benchmark may be assessed using: MC item(s)
  • Also Assesses
    SC.3.N.1.7 Explain that empirical evidence is information, such as observations or measurements, that is used to help validate explanations of natural phenomena.

    SC.4.N.1.3 Explain that science does not always follow a rigidly defined method (“the scientific method”) but that science does involve the use of observations and empirical evidence.

    SC.4.N.1.7 Recognize and explain that scientists base their explanations on evidence.

    SC.5.N.1.5 Recognize and explain that authentic scientific investigation frequently does not parallel the steps of “the scientific method.”

    SC.5.N.1.6 Recognize and explain the difference between personal opinion/interpretation and verified observation

  • Clarification :
    Students will identify and/or explain that science is grounded in verifiable observations (empirical) that are testable.

    Students will distinguish between personal interpretation and verified observation.

    Students will distinguish between examples of evidence or observations (empirical) and personal opinions.
  • Content Limits :
    Items will not assess steps or order of scientific method.
  • Stimulus Attributes :
    The term observation should be used rather than the phrases empirical observations or verified observations.

    The term evidence should be used rather than the phrase empirical evidence.
  • Response Attributes :
    None specified
  • Prior Knowledge :
    Items may require the student to apply science knowledge described in the NGSSS from lower grades. This benchmark requires prerequisite knowledge from SC.2.N.1.5, SC.2.N.1.6, SC.4.N.2.1, and SC.4.N.1.8.
Sample Test Items (1)
  • Test Item #: Sample Item 1
  • Question: Rashan is performing an investigation using several earthworms. He places a rectangular box under a bright lamp and covers one-half of the box so that it is shaded. Then, he puts the earthworms into the box on the side that is still brightly lit. Later, Rashan notices that all of the earthworms have crawled over to the shaded side of the box. Based on his investigation, which of the following is an observation and NOT a personal opinion?
  • Difficulty: N/A
  • Type: MC: Multiple Choice

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
5020060: Science - Grade Five (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7720060: Access Science Grade 5 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
SC.5.N.2.In.1: Identify that science knowledge is based on observations and evidence.
SC.5.N.2.Su.1: Recognize that science knowledge is based on careful observations.
SC.5.N.2.Pa.1: Recognize the importance of making careful observations.

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Original Student Tutorial

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Learn how to recognize and explain that science is based on testable observations and that explanations for observations must be linked to evidence in this interactive tutorial.

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Student Resources

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Original Student Tutorial

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Learn how to recognize and explain that science is based on testable observations and that explanations for observations must be linked to evidence in this interactive tutorial.

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Parent Resources

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