SC.6.N.2.2

Explain that scientific knowledge is durable because it is open to change as new evidence or interpretations are encountered.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 6
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.7.N.1.6 Explain that empirical evidence is the cumulative body of observations of a natural phenomenon on which scientific explanations are based.

    SC.7.N.1.7 Explain that scientific knowledge is the result of a great deal of debate and confirmation within the science community.

    SC.7.N.2.1 Identify an instance from the history of science in which scientific knowledge has changed when new evidence or new interpretations are encountered.

    SC.8.N.1.6 Understand that scientific investigations involve the collection of relevant empirical evidence, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses, predictions, explanations and models to make sense of the collected evidence.

  • Clarification :
    Students will explain that scientific knowledge may change as new evidence is discovered or new scientific interpretations are formed.

    Students will explain that scientific explanations are based on empirical evidence, logical reasoning, predictions, and modeling.

    Students will identify instances in the history of science in which scientific knowledge has changed as a result of new evidence.
  • Content Limits :
    Items will not require identification of the scientist(s) and/or details associated with a particular event/discovery.

    Items will not use the term durable.
  • Stimulus Attributes :
    Scenarios referring to empirical evidence will use the term evidence.

    The phrase natural event should be used rather than natural phenomenon.
  • 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.3.N.1.7, SC.4.N.1.3, SC.4.N.1.7, SC.5.N.1.5, SC.5.N.1.6, and SC.5.N.2.1.
Sample Test Items (1)
  • Test Item #: Sample Item 1
  • Question: Scientific knowledge may change as new evidence or information is discovered. Which of the following would NOT be a result of new scientific research and information?
  • Difficulty: N/A
  • Type: MC: Multiple Choice

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
2002040: M/J Comprehensive Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2002050: M/J Comprehensive Science 1, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2001010: M/J Earth/Space Science (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2000010: M/J Life Science (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2000020: M/J Life Science, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2003010: M/J Physical Science (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
7820015: Access M/J Comprehensive Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
2002055: M/J Comprehensive Science 1 Accelerated Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2003030: M/J STEM Physical Science (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2002200: M/J STEM Environmental Science (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2001025: M/J STEM Astronomy and Space Science (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2000025: M/J STEM Life Science (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
SC.6.N.2.Pa.1: Recognize objects and pictures related to science.
SC.6.N.2.In.2: Identify that scientific knowledge changes with new evidence or new interpretations.
SC.6.N.2.Su.2: Recognize that scientific knowledge changes when new things are discovered.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Lesson Plans

Think Like a Scientist:

Students will read a fun article about a caveman named Fred and his journey to discover gravity. They will trace the evidence and then conflicting evidence as he explores the world around him. Students will then research obsolete scientific theories to discover the conflicting evidence that led to changes in real scientific knowledge.

Type: Lesson Plan

Fossil DNA:

This is a lesson designed to help students explain that scientific knowledge is durable because it is open to change as new evidence or interpretations are encountered and site examples from the article that support that the history of science has changed due to new evidence or new interpretations being encountered through reading nonfiction text. This lesson follows the Comprehension Instructional Sequence (CIS) Model through a 5E lesson plan.

Type: Lesson Plan

Lesson Study Resource Kit

Exploring Diversity and Evolution grades 6-8:

This toolkit is designed to assist lesson study teams as they work to develop a unit on natural selection that conforms to the state academic standards for science mathematics and English language arts.

Type: Lesson Study Resource Kit

Original Student Tutorials

Math Models and Social Distancing:

Learn how math models can show why social distancing during a epidemic or pandemic is important in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Expedition of the Earth:

Learn how scientific knowledge is open to change and how the knowledge about the Earth's surface has changed in the past 100 years as you complete this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Science Changes:

Explore the processes of science and how it changes over time. This interactive tutorial uses the historical development of The Cell Theory to illustrate these ideas.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Presentation/Slideshow

What is Science?:

Resource provides a succinct overview of the nature of science; what science is and is not. Information includes the aims of scientific pursuits, principles, process and thinking.

Type: Presentation/Slideshow

Professional Development

The Nature of Science: Presenting Lessons for Maximum Effect & Dispelling Popular Myths :

The webmaster for the ENSI web site (), a popular repository for Nature of Science Lessons, describes some educational philosophy about teaching the Nature of Science, including dispelling some teacher-held misconceptions.

Type: Professional Development

Original Student Tutorials Science - Grades K-8

Expedition of the Earth:

Learn how scientific knowledge is open to change and how the knowledge about the Earth's surface has changed in the past 100 years as you complete this interactive tutorial.

Science Changes:

Explore the processes of science and how it changes over time. This interactive tutorial uses the historical development of The Cell Theory to illustrate these ideas.

Original Student Tutorials Mathematics - Grades 6-8

Math Models and Social Distancing:

Learn how math models can show why social distancing during a epidemic or pandemic is important in this interactive tutorial.

Student Resources

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

Original Student Tutorials

Math Models and Social Distancing:

Learn how math models can show why social distancing during a epidemic or pandemic is important in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Expedition of the Earth:

Learn how scientific knowledge is open to change and how the knowledge about the Earth's surface has changed in the past 100 years as you complete this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Science Changes:

Explore the processes of science and how it changes over time. This interactive tutorial uses the historical development of The Cell Theory to illustrate these ideas.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Presentation/Slideshow

What is Science?:

Resource provides a succinct overview of the nature of science; what science is and is not. Information includes the aims of scientific pursuits, principles, process and thinking.

Type: Presentation/Slideshow

Parent Resources

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