5th Grade Science

  • Students in 5th grade study motion and design which combines the physics of forces and motion with technological design. Students also work with magnifiers such as lenses and microscopes to extend their sense of sight in order to view objects in greater detail.  Finally, fifth graders will explore the principles of buoyancy by making and testing predictions about whether objects will sink or float.

    In order to be able to fully answer these questions at the end of the course students will engage in the development and use of models, plan and carry out investigations, analyze and interpret data, use mathematical and computational skills, engage in evidence based argument, and evaluate and communicate this information using diagrams, graphs, written responses and drawings. Through these practices students will demonstrate their understanding of the core ideas, which are based on the Next Generation Science Standards and the PA Science and Technology and Environment and Ecology Standards.

    Students in 5th Grade Science will know...

    Motion and Design

    • Each force acts on one particular object and has both strength and a direction.
    • An object at rest typically has multiple forces acting on it, but they add to give zero net force on the object.
    • Forces that do not sum to zero can cause changes in the object’s speed or direction of motion.
    • Patterns of an object’s motion in various situations can be observed and measured.
    • Objects in contact exert forces on each other.
    • Successful vehicle design requires an understanding of energy, force, and friction, as well as of the properties of materials and cost considerations.
    • Models may be used to test and adapt the variables and components that affect the efficiency of a design.

    Floating and Sinking

    • Measurements of a variety of properties can be used to identify materials.
    • When an object is placed in a fluid, the difference in the weights of equal volumes of the object and fluid determine the buoyant force that acts on the object.
    • Objects that weigh more than an equal volume of fluid, sink; those that weigh less than an equal volume of fluid, float.

    Microworlds

    • An object can be seen when light reflected from its surface enters the eyes.
    • Materials allow light to pass through them in varying degrees.
    • All living things are composed of cells, the fundamental unit of life.
    • Cells have structures that help them survive in specific environmental conditions.
    • Magnification reveals that all living things are made up of one or more cells.
    • Organisms can survive only in environments in which their particular needs are met.
    • Plants and animals have internal and external structures that serve various functions to survive.

    Students in 5th Grade Science will develop the following skills:

    Motion and Design

    • Investigate the variables that may affect how objects move across a floor, down a ramp, etc.
    • Construct an explanation for why an object subjected to multiple pushes and pulls might stay in one place or move.
    • Through the use of objects, design an investigation and demonstrate that forces can cause changes on an object’s speed or direction of motion.
    • Take measurements of objects in motion and represent the movement of objects in multiple representations.
    • Design and implement an investigation to demonstrate that objects in contact exert forces on each other.
    • Formulate and refine questions that can be answered empirically.
    • Construct and use a model to test a design, or aspects of a design or system.
    • Specify how a design solution solves a problem.
    • Review data from a simple experiment, summarize the data, and form a logical argument about the cause-and-effect relationships in the experiment.
    • Freely engage in discussions with others about scientific investigations and observed phenomena.
    • Approach science as a reliable and tentative way of knowing and explaining the natural world and apply this understanding to a variety of situations.
    • Weigh evidence and use scientific approaches to ask questions, investigate, make informed decisions about how they live their daily lives, and engage in their vocations and communities.
    • Make and use observations to identify and analyze relationships and patterns in order to explain phenomena, develop models, and make predictions.
    • Evaluate systems, including their components and subsystems, in order to connect how form determines function and how any change to one component affects the entire system.

    Floating and Sinking

    • Make observations and measurements to identify given materials based on their properties.
    • Formulate and refine questions that can be answered empirically.
    • Construct and use a model to test a design, or aspects of a design or system.
    • Specify how a design solution solves a problem.
    • Review data from a simple experiment, summarize the data, and form a logical argument about the cause-and-effect relationships in the experiment.
    • Freely engage in discussions with others about scientific investigations and observed phenomena.
    • Approach science as a reliable and tentative way of knowing and explaining the natural world and apply this understanding to a variety of situations.
    • Weigh evidence and use scientific approaches to ask questions, investigate, make informed decisions about how they live their daily lives, and engage in their vocations and communities.
    • Make and use observations to identify and analyze relationships and patterns in order to explain phenomena, develop models, and make predictions.
    • Evaluate systems, including their components and subsystems, in order to connect how form determines function and how any change to one component affects the entire system.

    Microworlds

    • Investigate and explain that for an object to be seen, light must be reflected off the object and enter the eye.
    • Investigate to determine the effect of placing objects made of different materials in a beam of light.
    • Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
    • Formulate and refine questions that can be answered empirically.
    • Freely engage in discussions with others about scientific investigations and observed phenomena.
    • Approach science as a reliable and tentative way of knowing and explaining the natural world and apply this understanding to a variety of situations.
    • Weigh evidence and use scientific approaches to ask questions, investigate, make informed decisions about how they live their daily lives, and engage in their vocations and communities.
    • Make and use observations to identify and analyze relationships and patterns in order to explain phenomena, develop models, and make predictions.
    • Evaluate systems, including their components and subsystems, in order to connect how form determines function and how any change to one component affects the entire system.