Science - Introduction

SNC-Science-Required Standards and SLOs (Download)

SNC-Science Suggested Guidelines (Download)

Science

GRADES 4 - 8

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Children are curious and inquisitive by nature. They seek meaning, connection, and understanding, as they interact with the world around them. Pakistani children may live across different geographies, speak different languages, experience different climates, and have access to different resources; however, their innate natural curiosity is a common denominator amongst them. This curiosity is evident when we see a Pakistani child play with a paper plane, roll a rubber tyre, speak into a drain pipe or milk their cow.  Little do they know that they are making their first important discoveries about the forces of aerodynamics, friction, and velocity, the reflection of sound, and the profound interdependence between living organisms in their ecosystem. As they expand the wingspan of their paper plane or redirect their tyre to an incline on the road, they are little scientists sans lab coats, engaging in their earliest experiments. The vision of the Single National Curriculum for Science is to nurture this curiosity and help learners meaningfully understand, experience and relate to their world – both natural and human-designed – and the universe.

 

A scientifically literate workforce is a critical need of Pakistan. Climate change, the global public health crises, social unrest, technology integration and increased automation of work, and mismatch in the demand and supply of skills in the domestic labour market all place unique demands on the 5 year old today, who will likely enter the workforce in the period of 2035-2039. To withstand an uncertain future both rife with challenges and rich with opportunities, requires a scientifically literate person who can think critically, and ideate and design thoughtfully to solve problems and evolve new solutions critical to Pakistan’s sustainability as an economy and a nation. To this end, this curriculum has been designed as a structured road map of formal scientific study, with the intent to enable and inspire the next generation of scientists, thinkers, innovators, researchers, teachers, and decision makers.

 

The Science curriculum document has been designed with the belief that scientific literacy is fundamental to understanding the world around us. It provides guidance for structured learning of Science in schools, and entails a systematic study of the living, physical, material, and technological components of our environment. It aims to provide learners with the skills and vocabulary to process and understand the world in which they live, clarify ideas, ask questions and apply their knowledge and skills in problem solving and decision making such that they can purposely improve the quality of their own lives and those around them. As they graduate from the K-VIII education stream, the curriculum’s goal is to equip them with (1) a broad base of scientific knowledge across various domains and disciplines, and (2) develop in them the scientific thinking and learning skills and attitudes that will be beneficial and transferable to their academic, and professional pursuits in future. 

 

This document has been designed to provide teachers, science educators and curriculum designers a summary of key science content and skills that should be taught in each grade in the learner’s K-VIII journey. The curriculum is based on a student-centred approach that recognizes how students learn, how scientific learning experiences should be designed, and how learning can be assessed. Students learn science through concrete learning experiences, related to a particular context or situation. The process of learning involves ascertaining what the student already knows, and linking it with new knowledge, making learning relevant to the learner’s life and context. The curriculum introduces age appropriate scientific ideas and concepts and these concepts and ideas are progressively extended, in a spiral manner, throughout the primary and middle years. 

 

The Science curriculum features learning outcomes that are further disaggregated into knowledge and skills to emphasize the afore-cited two goals of the curriculum. It also features recommended learning activities and experiences that will aid in acquisition of new knowledge and development of important scientific skills. Moreover, formative and summative assessments have been suggested which will enable teachers and assessment designers to measure student progress vis-à-vis the stated curriculum benchmarks and aspired outcomes.  

 

We hope that through structured study of science guided by this document, students will:

  • Develop a critical sense of wonder and curiosity about the world around them;
  • Develop a broad base of knowledge about various systems, processes and interactions in the fields of Life Sciences, Earth and Space Sciences, and Physical Sciences; 
  • Become scientific thinkers and problem solvers, who understand the principles of scientific inquiry and are able to apply them to investigate and understand complex problems and generate new insights, information and solutions;
  • Build a deeper, more meaningful connection with nature and the world they live in, and understand, with a sense of responsibility, the role they can play in making it better;
  • Become change agents, who are able to apply science and technology to make decisions and take actions to address social, economic, ethical, and environmental issues, and, 
  • Feel inspired and motivated to pursue careers in science, regardless of their gender, and recognize that a wide variety of careers and entrepreneurship opportunities related to science, technology, and the environment are accessible to them. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GRADES 4-5

STRANDS, CROSS CUTTING ELEMENTS and BENCHMARKS 

 

1 STRAND-1: LIFE SCIENCES 

The Life Sciences strand focuses on the life processes of plants and animals and the specific needs of each. This strand begins and builds from basic to more complex understandings of a system, both at the level of the cell and at the ecosystem. The major topics developed in the strand include basic needs and life processes of organisms, their physical characteristics and orderly changes in life cycles. The other major topics developed in this strand include the types of relationships among organisms in a food chain and their nonliving environment. 

The Life Sciences strand includes the relationship of knowledge and skills to develop scientific attitudes towards science and technology. It also emphasizes the impact of changes on the environment and the need for sustainable development. 

In all grades, students will develop the ability to use appropriate vocabulary and scientific terminology related to the life sciences to communicate clearly. 

 

Benchmarks are designed to be concise and accessible, with sufficient detail to communicate clearly the standards expected at the end of Grade 5.

 

  • Describe the life processes of animals and plants. 
  • Explain how plants use their body structures to survive and identify the parts of the plant transport system and describe their functions.
  • Describe the parts of the flower and their functions.
  • Explain how organ systems work together to help human bodies get what they need and carry out life processes.
  • Describe that animals receive different types of information through their senses and respond by processing it in their brains.
  • Describe some of the causes of infectious diseases and suggest measures that can control the spread of the diseases.
  • Recognize the advantages and disadvantages of microorganisms.
  • Explore the interaction of living things in an ecosystem.
  • Use diagrams to explain how energy flows in an ecosystem. 
  • Identify the causes and effects of environmental pollution and suggest measures to reduce it.  
     

 

2 STRAND 2: PHYSICAL SCIENCES 

 

This strand focuses on the students' understanding of what force, motion, and energy are and how these concepts are connected. Major topics developed in this strand include simple machines, types of motion, energy forms and their transformations, electricity and magnetism. It also focuses on the description, physical properties, and basic structure of matter. The major topics developed in this strand include concepts related to the basic description of objects, states of matter (solids, liquids, and gases), phase changes, and the classification of matter.

Students will develop their understanding of the characteristics of objects and materials they encounter daily. Students will gain an understanding about matter and energy, including their forms, the changes they undergo, and their interactions.

In all grades, students will develop the ability to use appropriate vocabulary related to the physical world to communicate clearly about scientific and technological concepts.
 

 

Benchmarks are designed to be concise and accessible, with sufficient detail to communicate clearly the standards expected at the end of grade 5.


 

  • Investigate matter and explore its chemical and physical properties through daily life examples.
  • Compare the properties of different states of matter and identify the conditions that cause matter to change states.
  • Demonstrate the effects of heat on the states of matter.
  • Describe the forms of energy, simple energy transformation and the uses of energy. 
  • Investigate and describe the flow of electric current in an electric circuit and relationship between electricity and magnetism. 
  • Demonstrate the characteristics of light and sound with the physical phenomena. 
  • Investigate different types of forces and their effects.
  • Demonstrate the understanding that simple machines help make motion and work easier.
  • Apply scientific skills to solve problems and suggest solutions. 


 

3 STRAND 3: EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCES 

 

In Earth and Space Sciences, students recognize the relationship between the Earth, our Solar System, and the Universe. They know that the Sun, Moon, and other stars appear to move relative to the Earth and that these movements correspond to the pattern of day and night, and the seasons. Students are naturally interested in everything around them.  This curiosity leads them to observe, collect, and record, information about the Earth and other objects visible in the sky. 

In Grades 4 - 5, students study the regularities of interrelated systems of the natural world. In doing so, they develop understanding of basic laws, theories, and models, that explain the world. By studying the Earth, students can make informed decisions about issues affecting the planet on which they live. They recognize that new technologies and observations change our explanations about how things in the natural world behave. 

 

Benchmarks are designed to be concise and accessible, with sufficient detail to communicate clearly the standards expected at the end of grade 5.
 


 

  • Describe the structure of the Earth, and recognize that Earth’s surface is made up of land, water and is surrounded by air.
  • Identify the Earth’s resources that we use in our everyday life and how to conserve them. 
  • Describe the composition and characteristics of soil types, providing examples of their uses
  • Demonstrate the understanding of movement of earth, sun, moon, solar system and its relationship. 
  • Demonstrate how the relationship of the Earth, moon and sun causes eclipses and moon phases.
  • Explore and investigate the importance of space exploration and the uses of various satellites.
  • Describe how the Earth spins around its axis in 24 hours resulting in day and night. 
     

4: CROSS-CUTTING ELEMENTS 

 

All cross-cutting elements are interlinked with chapter contents and are reflected in students’ learning outcomes. Within this scope students will be acquiring skills, attitudes and behaviors as well as creating links between science and their daily life activities. These elements are briefly discussed below: 

4.1: Thinking and Working Scientifically

Scientific Enquiry: Purpose and Planning

  • Ask questions to begin scientific enquiry.
  • Know the features of the five main types of scientific enquiry (observe over time, identify and classify, compare and contrast, air test, research-by finding information).
  • Make predictions.
  • Plan fair test investigations, identify and control variables.
  • Describe risks when planning practical work.

 

Carrying out Scientific Enquiry

  • Sort, group and classify objects, materials and living things through testing, observation and using secondary information.
  • Begin to use a simple key based on easily observed differences.
  • Choose equipment to carry out scientific investigations.
  • Decide when observations and measurements need to be repeated.
  • Take measurements and record them.

Scientific Enquiry: Analysis, Evaluation and Conclusions

  • Describe patterns in results.
  • Make a conclusion from results informed by reasoning.

                       

 

 

 

 

4. 2: Science in Context 


This refers to the students’ need for developing the attitudes or ‘habits of mind’ that are considered essential for a meaningful study of science and its relationship to society. 

Scientific attitudes have been incorporated into the students’ learning outcomes so as to enable   them to make informed decisions and demonstrating responsible behaviors.  

 

  • Describe how science is used in their local area.
  • Use science to support points when discussing issues, situations or actions.
  • Identify people who use science, including professionally, in their area and describe how they use science.
  • Discuss how the use of science and technology can have positive and negative environmental effects locally and globally.
  • Show concern for their own safety and that of others in carrying out scientific activities.
  • Take ownership of learning.
     

4.3: STEM/ STEAM - Engineering Design Process (EDP)

 

STEM is an interdisciplinary and applied approach on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM integrates these disciplines into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real life applications. STEM planning involves a blend of four disciplines to help student’s experience meaningful and deep learning. Through interdisciplinary authentic projects students develop an understanding of the nature of science and technology, the relationship between science and technology, and the social and environmental context of science and technology. 
 

Models and Representations

  • Use models to show scientific ideas and what happens in science.
  • Use a variety of technologies following the design process to identify and solve problems. by creating new, useful or imaginative solutions to challenges/ enquiry questions.
  • Apply mathematical concepts (for example; percentages and ratios) to analyze data and present the data collected in the form of graphs, charts, scatter diagrams and tables.

 

 

 

GRADES 6-8

STRANDS, CROSS-CUTTING CONCEPTS, and BENCHMARKS

 

  1. STRAND/DOMAIN: LIFE SCIENCES 

Students will develop the necessary scientific knowledge skills, values and attitudes forming a basis for their career in various fields of Life Sciences, integrated economy, advanced scientific and technological innovations. A conscious effort has been made to transit from the theoretical to a more advanced and technological application of Life Sciences. 

 

This strand begins and builds from basic to more complex understandings of a system, both at the level of the cell and at the ecosystem level. The concepts of basic science skills, life processes of plants & animals’ inheritance, the health and healthy lifestyle, causes and prevention of diseases have also been added. The other major topics developed in this strand include the type of relationships among organisms in a food chain and food web, human impact on the environment and environmental conservation. 

 

Benchmark   

By the end of Grade VIII 

  1. Explain the interdependence of non-living and living components in an ecosystem. 
  2. Describe the energy flow and nutrient cycles in an ecosystem.
  3. Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on land, water, air and/or other living things in the local environment. 
  4. Research and describe the structure and function of specialized plant and animal cells including cell division. 
  5. Describe how the genetic information stored in DNA, received from parents, determines our physical characteristics.
  6. Describe the structure of DNA and its modification and application in biotechnology in various fields.
  7. Explain the root and shoot system of plants emphasizing the process of photosynthesis, respiration and transpiration. 
  8. Compare and contrast the artificial and natural reproduction in plants and investigate ways in which artificial propagation of plants can lead to food production and food security.
  9. Explore and explain the structure and function of major human organ systems and relate them to the basic biological processes required to sustain life.
  10. Explain how the brain controls and coordinates with other organ system(s).
  11. Describe the causes and prevention of infectious diseases and how the natural immune system responds.
  12. Understand the constituents of a balanced diet and analyze the consequences of dietary deficiencies which lead to different disorders.
  13. Compare and contrast the transport system of animals and plants.

 

 

2. STRAND/ DOMAIN: PHYSICAL SCIENCES 

 

This strand focuses on students' understanding of what force, motion, and energy are and how these concepts are connected. Major topics developed in this strand include simple machines, motion, energy forms and their transformations, electricity and magnetism. It also focuses on the description of properties of matter, and basic structure of matter. The major topics developed in this strand include concepts related to the basic particle model of matter, physical and chemical changes in metals bonds and chemical reactions.  

 

Students will increase their understanding of the classification of elements in the periodic table. In all grades, students will develop the ability to use appropriate vocabulary related to the physical world to communicate clearly about scientific and technological concepts. 

Benchmark  

By the end of Grade VIII 

 

  1. Analyze the interaction between  matter and energy and use the particle model of matter to account for the different states of matter and how they can convert from one state to another
  2. Use evidence to construct an explanation on how energy is transferred, transformed, and conserved.
  3. Practically investigate the nature and constituents of mixtures byapplying  separation techniques.
  4. Compare elements using the  systematic organization of the periodic table, construct formulas and account for the various kinds of chemical bonds in nature.
  5. Distinguish between physical and chemical reactions, types of chemical reactions and acids, alkalis and salts. 

 

  1. Compare types and properties of waves and explain how they interact with matter.
  2. Account for and conduct experiments to investigate the reflective, refractive and absorptive properties of light
  3. Describe the relationships between: electricity and magnetism, static and current electricity, and series and parallel electrical circuits.
  4. Investigate and describe types of forces, including contact forces and forces acting at a distance, such as electrical, magnetic, and gravitational.
  5. Measure and record data from experiments to produce speed-time graphs and interpret them to accurately describe motion. 
  6. Account for and evaluate through investigation the relationships between pressure, force and area. 

 

  

 

3. STRAND/ DOMAIN: EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCE

 

In the Earth and space sciences strand, students recognize the relationship between earth, solar system, and the universe. Students are naturally interested in everything around them and mostly focused on understanding the existence level of renewable and nonrenewable energy resources. This curiosity leads them to observe, collect, and record information about the Earth and about objects visible in the universe. 

Under this strand, student’s attention shifts from the properties of particular objects towards an understanding of the life of the star family with the understanding of formation of galaxies regarding the relevant terms neutron star, black hole and constellation. Students grapple with the importance and methods of obtaining direct and indirect evidence to support critical thinking. By studying the Earth regarding general processes for rock cycle and effect on Earth surface with understanding of relative terms like glaciations, the movement of tectonic plates and volcanic eruptions, etc. 

 

Benchmark   

By the end of Grade VIII 

 

  1. Identify the Sun as a star and source of light and heat. 
  2. Describe the physical features of planets and dwarf planets.
  3. Explain how gravity is the force that keeps objects in the solar system in regular and predictable motion and describe the resulting phenomena. 
  4. Describe how black holes can be formed during the life cycle of stars
  5. Account for how space exploration is an active area of scientific and technological research and development.

 

 

4. CROSS-CUTTING ELEMENTS 

 

Within this scope of content, students will be acquiring skills, attitudes and behaviours as well as creating links between science and their daily life activities. Skills, attitudes and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) are cross-cutting elements which are interlinked with chapter contents and are reflected in students’ learning outcomes. These elements are briefly discussed below: 
4.
1   Thinking and Working Scientifically

  • Identify whether a given hypothesis is testable.

?       Make predictions of likely outcomes for a scientific enquiry.

?       Plan a range of scientific investigations    e.g. observe and classify

?       Know the meaning of hazard symbols, and consider them when planning practical work.

?       Decide what equipment is required to carry out an investigation.        

?       Take precise measurements, explaining why accuracy and precision are important.

  • Collect and record observations and/or measurements.
  • Describe trends and patterns in results.
  • Make conclusions from results informed by reasoning.
  •   Suggest improvements while doing experiments.

 

4.2 Science in Context 

This refers to the students’ need for developing the attitudes or ‘habits of mind’ that are considered essential for a meaningful study of science and its relationship to society. 

 

Scientific attitudes have been incorporated into the students’ learning outcomes so as to enable them in making informed decisions and demonstrating responsible behaviours.  

 

  1. Describe how science is applied across societies and industries.
  2. Evaluate issues which involve and/or require scientific understanding.
  3. Describe how people develop and use scientific understanding.
  4. Discuss how the uses of science can have a global environmental impact.

4.3 STEAM Models,Investigations and Perspectives

STEAM is an interdisciplinary and applied approach on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics. STEAM integrates these disciplines into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real life applications. STEAM planning involves a blend of five disciplines to help students’ experience meaningful and deep learning. Through interdisciplinary authentic projects students develop an understanding of the nature of science and technology, the relationship between science and technology, and the social and environmental context of science and technology. 

 

By the end of Grade VIII   

  1. Describe the strengths and limitations of a model.
  2. Use symbols and formulae to represent scientific ideas.
  3. Use a variety of technologies within a design process to identify and solve problems by creating new, useful or imaginative solutions to challenges/ inquiry questions.
  4. Apply mathematical concepts (for example; percentages and ratios) to analyze data and present the data collected in the form of graphs, charts and tables.

 

 

 

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References

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