SC.7.N.1.5

Describe the methods used in the pursuit of a scientific explanation as seen in different fields of science such as biology, geology, and physics.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 7
Body of Knowledge: Nature of Science
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
Big Idea: The Practice of Science -

A: Scientific inquiry is a multifaceted activity; The processes of science include the formulation of scientifically investigable questions, construction of investigations into those questions, the collection of appropriate data, the evaluation of the meaning of those data, and the communication of this evaluation.

B: The processes of science frequently do not correspond to the traditional portrayal of "the scientific method."

C: Scientific argumentation is a necessary part of scientific inquiry and plays an important role in the generation and validation of scientific knowledge.

D: Scientific knowledge is based on observation and inference; it is important to recognize that these are very different things. Not only does science require creativity in its methods and processes, but also in its questions and explanations.

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.3.2 Identify the benefits and limitations of the use of scientific models.

    SC.8.N.1.5 Analyze the methods used to develop a scientific explanation as seen in different fields of science.

    SC.8.E.5.10 Assess how technology is essential to science for such purposes as access to outer space and other remote locations, sample collection, measurement, data collection and storage, computation, and communication of information.

  • Clarification :
    Students will describe and/or analyze common methods and/or models used in different fields of study.

    Students will identify the benefits and/or limitations of the use of scientific models.

    Students will identify how technology is essential to science.
  • Content Limits :
    Items assessing technology will focus on the role of technology in science as opposed to specific technologies.
  • Stimulus Attributes :
    None specified
  • 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.3.2, SC.3.N.3.3, SC.4.N.3.1, and SC.6.N.3.4.
Sample Test Items (1)
  • Test Item #: Sample Item 1
  • Question: Two types of models that can be used to show details of the structures of cells are shown below.
    which of the following describes a limitation of the drawing but not the clay model?
  • Difficulty: N/A
  • Type: MC: Multiple Choice

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
2002070: M/J Comprehensive Science 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002080: M/J Comprehensive Science 2, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2001010: M/J Earth/Space Science (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2001020: M/J Earth/Space Science, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000010: M/J Life Science (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000020: M/J Life Science, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2003010: M/J Physical Science (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2003020: M/J Physical Science, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7820016: Access M/J Comprehensive Science 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
2002085: M/J Comprehensive Science 2 Accelerated Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2003030: M/J STEM Physical Science (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002200: M/J STEM Environmental Science (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2001025: M/J STEM Astronomy and Space Science (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000025: M/J STEM Life Science (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
SC.7.N.1.In.4: Identify ways that science can be used to study different areas, such as life science, earth and space science, and physical science.
SC.7.N.1.Su.4: Recognize that science includes different areas, such as life science, earth and space science, and physical science.
SC.7.N.1.Pa.3: Associate objects and activities with science.

Related Resources

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

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This site uses text and images to describe methods that the U.S. Geological Survey measures water temperature, pH, specific conductance, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, hardness, and suspended sediment.

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Lesson Plans

SYMBIOSIS - Episode 4: From Pests to People (Dr. Wilson's Amazing Pea Aphids):

Dr. Alex Wilson of the University of Miami is an evolutionary biologist whose research centers on symbiotic relationships. "" from Day's Edge Productions on Vimeo is the last of four films created with funding from the National Science Foundation. This lesson, which includes a pre-test, slide presentation, and activity, was developed to support the learning concepts provided by Dr. Wilson's films.

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SYMBIOSIS - Episode 1: Symbiotic Super Powers (Dr. Alex Wilson's Amazing Pea Aphids!):

Dr. Alex Wilson of the University of Miami is an evolutionary biologist whose research centers on symbiotic relationships. In this short animated film, she introduces the concept of symbiosis to the viewers. from Day's Edge Productions on Vimeo is the first of four films created with funding from the National Science Foundation. This lesson, which includes a pre-test, slide presentation, activity, and formative assessment was developed to support the learning concepts provided by Dr. Wilson's films.

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Irrigation Station:

This STEM lesson, complete with a design challenge, helps students design, build, and test irrigation methods. Students will incorporate and develop math skills through solving proportions as they work in teams to solve an engineering challenge.

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Microscope Investigations Lab:

This is a lesson to energize your classroom with real world, hands-on advanced science equipment. This lesson could work well at the beginning of the school year when students learn about the Nature of Science or to start off the second semester with an exciting exploration of the objects invisible to the unaided eye.

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Dig It! (A Thematic Integrated Geology Unit):

This lesson (2 parts) is an engaging way to strengthen student understanding of the Law of Superposition and evidence of Earth's changes over time. Students will excavate "fossils" from plastic tubs in class and then have the option of a larger outside excavation. The lesson not only supports science benchmarks but Math and Language Arts Standards as well and has an optional Social Studies extension. Materials are required but can be easily obtained and are reusable year after year. The more imagination you put into setting the context, the more powerful the lesson's outcome.

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Original Student Tutorials

Different Scientists:

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Science in Action: Engineer:

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Science in Action: Geoscientist:

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Science in Action: Physicist:

Learn about the world of physics and explore what physicists do. In this interactive tutorial, you'll discover where they work and what kinds of questions they try to answer. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Science in Action: Chemist:

Learn about the work of chemists, various fields of chemistry, where chemists work and the types of questions they strive to answer in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Science in Action: Biologist:

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Perspectives Video: Experts

Birdsong Series: STEM Team Collaboration :

Researchers Frank Johnson, Richard Bertram, Wei Wu, and Rick Hyson explore the necessity of scientific and mathematical collaboration in modern neuroscience, as it relates to their NSF research on birdsong.

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Antarctic Core Research:

Charlotte Sjunneskog, curator of the Antarctic Research Facility, discusses the aspects of the cores that are collected and what researchers are looking for in the samples.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

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Camera Trapping as a Research Method in Biology:

Dr. Bill McShea from the Smithsonian Institution discusses how camera trapping allows him to study elusive organisms he might not otherwise be able to find.

This video was created in collaboration with the Okaloosa County SCIENCE Partnership, including the Smithsonian Institution and Harvard University.

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Perspectives Video: Teaching Ideas

The Value of Marine Science Field Research Experiences for Teachers:

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Enhancing Teaching Practices through Watershed Research Outreach Programs:

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Applying Marine Field Experiences to Classroom Practices: Susan Cullum:

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Applying Marine Field Experiences to Classroom Practices: Patty Smukall:

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Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

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Applying Marine Field Experiences to Classroom Practices: Lauren Watson:

Listen as science teacher Lauren Watson explains how marine field experiences are translated for the classroom.

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Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

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Problem-Solving Task

Scientific Method - Group Project:

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Teaching Ideas

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A Certain Uncertainty:

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MIT BLOSSOMS - Geologic Time: The Ticking of Our Planet’s 4.6 Billion Year Clock:

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This BLOSSOMS lesson will help students conceptualize the enormity of geologic time and learn about important events in Earth's history. Students will also learn how geologic time can help explain seemingly incomprehensible processes, like the formation of the Himalayan Mountains from a flat plain to their current height, and the evolution of a tiny group of reptiles into enormous dinosaurs.

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Text Resources

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Gold Can Grow on Trees:

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World’s Biggest Volcano is Hiding Under the Sea:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article explores scientists' identification of the largest volcano on Earth—Tamu Massif—which is found below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. Due to its underlying geology, the volcano is mostly found below the ocean floor at the edge of two tectonic plates. It formed when magma emerged as the plates pulled apart. The article compares Tamu Massif to other giant volcanoes on Earth and on other planets.

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Surprise! Fossils in a Flash:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. In this article, scientists explore the fossil of a dead fish whose cells were perfectly preserved from 100 million years ago. The remains led to further studies of decay and fossilization. Taphonomy, the study of what happens after plants and animals die, is discussed in detail, showing how studying fossilized animals can tell us about how they evolved.

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Video/Audio/Animation

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Original Student Tutorials Science - Grades K-8

Different Scientists:

Learn how different scientists all over the world use vastly different skills to work toward the common goal of understanding and fighting an emerging disease in this interactive tutorial

Science in Action: Biologist:

Learn about the varied job of a biologist; where they work, what they do and the types of questions they try to answer. 

Science in Action: Chemist:

Learn about the work of chemists, various fields of chemistry, where chemists work and the types of questions they strive to answer in this interactive tutorial.

Science in Action: Engineer:

Engineering and science may be similar but their goals are somewhat different. In this interactive tutorial, learn about engineers; some of the different fields of engineering, where engineers work, what they do, and some of their goals. 

Science in Action: Geoscientist:

Learn about the work of geo-scientists: What they do, where they work and the types of questions they strive to answer in this interactive tutorial. 

Science in Action: Physicist:

Learn about the world of physics and explore what physicists do. In this interactive tutorial, you'll discover where they work and what kinds of questions they try to answer. 

Student Resources

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

Original Student Tutorials

Different Scientists:

Learn how different scientists all over the world use vastly different skills to work toward the common goal of understanding and fighting an emerging disease in this interactive tutorial

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Science in Action: Engineer:

Engineering and science may be similar but their goals are somewhat different. In this interactive tutorial, learn about engineers; some of the different fields of engineering, where engineers work, what they do, and some of their goals. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Science in Action: Geoscientist:

Learn about the work of geo-scientists: What they do, where they work and the types of questions they strive to answer in this interactive tutorial. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Science in Action: Physicist:

Learn about the world of physics and explore what physicists do. In this interactive tutorial, you'll discover where they work and what kinds of questions they try to answer. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Science in Action: Chemist:

Learn about the work of chemists, various fields of chemistry, where chemists work and the types of questions they strive to answer in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Science in Action: Biologist:

Learn about the varied job of a biologist; where they work, what they do and the types of questions they try to answer. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Image/Photograph

Common Water Measurements USGS:

This site uses text and images to describe methods that the U.S. Geological Survey measures water temperature, pH, specific conductance, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, hardness, and suspended sediment.

Type: Image/Photograph

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

What's the Distance from Here to the Middle of Nowhere?:

Find out how math and technology can help you (try to) get away from civilization.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Video/Audio/Animation

Autism Genes:

This 13-minute video segment produced by NOVA Science Now explores the work by one committed family and researchers to identify patterns in the genetic information of autism patients.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Parent Resources

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

Image/Photograph

Common Water Measurements USGS:

This site uses text and images to describe methods that the U.S. Geological Survey measures water temperature, pH, specific conductance, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, hardness, and suspended sediment.

Type: Image/Photograph

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

What's the Distance from Here to the Middle of Nowhere?:

Find out how math and technology can help you (try to) get away from civilization.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Video/Audio/Animation

Autism Genes:

This 13-minute video segment produced by NOVA Science Now explores the work by one committed family and researchers to identify patterns in the genetic information of autism patients.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation