and express the misconception that matter is created and destroyed at each step of the cycle rather than undergoing continuous transformation. Instruction using charts of the flow of matter through an ecosystem and emphasizing the reasoning involved with the entire process may enable students to develop more accurate conceptions.

Many high-school students hold the view that science should inform society about various issues and society should set policy about what research is important. In general, students have rather simple and naive ideas about the interactions between science and society. There is some research supporting the idea that S-T-S (science, technology, and society) curriculum helps improve student understanding of various aspects of science- and technology-related societal challenges.

Guide to the Content Standard

Fundamental concepts and principles that underlie this standard include


[See Content Standard C (grades 9-12)]

  • Hazards and the potential for accidents exist. Regardless of the environment, the possibility of injury, illness, disability, or death may be present. Humans have a variety of mechanisms—sensory, motor, emotional, social, and technological—that can reduce and modify hazards.

  • The severity of disease symptoms is dependent on many factors, such as human resistance and the virulence of the disease-producing organism. Many diseases can be prevented, controlled, or cured. Some diseases, such as cancer, result from specific body dysfunctions and cannot be transmitted.

  • Personal choice concerning fitness and health involves multiple factors. Personal goals, peer and social pressures, ethnic and religious beliefs, and understanding of biological consequences can all influence decisions about health practices.

  • An individual's mood and behavior may be modified by substances. The modification may be beneficial or detrimental depending on the motives, type of substance, duration of use, pattern of use, level of influence, and short- and long-term effects. Students should understand that drugs can result in physical dependence and can increase the risk of injury, accidents, and death.

  • Selection of foods and eating patterns determine nutritional balance. Nutritional balance has a direct effect on growth and development and personal well-being. Personal and social factors—such as habits, family income, ethnic heritage, body size, advertising, and peer pressure—influence nutritional choices.

  • Families serve basic health needs, especially for young children. Regardless of the family structure, individuals have families that involve a variety of physical, mental, and social relationships that influence the maintenance and improvement of health.

  • Sexuality is basic to the physical, mental, and social development of humans. Students should understand that human sexuality involves biological functions, psychological motives, and cultural, ethnic, religious, and technological influences. Sex

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