[See Unifying Concepts and Processes]
TRANSFER OF ENERGY
Energy is a property of many substances and is associated with heat, light, electricity, mechanical motion, sound, nuclei, and the nature of a chemical. Energy is transferred in many ways.
Heat moves in predictable ways, flowing from warmer objects to cooler ones, until both reach the same temperature.
Light interacts with matter by transmission (including refraction), absorption, or scattering (including reflection). To see an object, light from that object—emitted by or scattered from it—must enter the eye.
Electrical circuits provide a means of transferring electrical energy when heat, light, sound, and chemical changes are produced.
In most chemical and nuclear reactions, energy is transferred into or out of a system. Heat, light, mechanical motion, or electricity might all be involved in such transfers.
The sun is a major source of energy for changes on the earth's surface. The sun loses energy by emitting light. A tiny fraction of that light reaches the earth, transferring energy from the sun to the earth. The sun's energy arrives as light with a range of wavelengths, consisting of visible light, infrared, and ultraviolet radiation.
As a result of their activities in grades 5-8, all students should develop understanding of
Structure and function in living systems
Reproduction and heredity
Regulation and behavior
Populations and ecosystems
Diversity and adaptations of organisms
In the middle-school years, students should progress from studying life science from the point of view of individual organisms to recognizing patterns in ecosystems and developing understandings about the cellular dimensions of living systems. For example, students should broaden their understanding from the way one species lives in its environment to populations and communities of species and the ways they interact with each other and with their environment. Students also should expand their investigations of living systems to include the study of cells. Observations and investigations should become increasingly quantitative, incorporating the use of computers and conceptual and mathematical models. Students in grades 5-8 also have the fine-motor skills to work with a light microscope and can interpret accurately what they see, enhancing their introduction to cells and microorganisms and establishing a foundation for developing understanding of molecular biology at the high school level.