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New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards

May 1996

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Science Standards And Progress Indicators
Standard 5.9:
All Students Will Gain An Understanding Of Natural Laws As They Apply To Motion, Forces, And Energy Transformations

Descriptive Statement: Basic principles of physics emerge in this standard, where the study of force and motion leads students to the concept of energy. All forms of energy are introduced and investigated, and principles of transformation and laws of conservation are developed.

Cumulative Progress Indicators

By the end of Grade 4, students:


Demonstrate that the motion of an object can vary in speed and direction.


Demonstrate that the position and motion of an object can be changed by pushing or pulling and that the change is related to the strength of the push or pull.


Recognize that some forces are invisible and can act at a distance.


Investigate sources of heat and show how heat can be transferred from one place to another.


Investigate sources of light and show how light behaves when it strikes different objects.


Demonstrate how sound can be produced by vibrating objects and how the pitch of the sound depends on the rate of vibration.


Demonstrate how electricity can be used to produce heat, light, and sound.

Building upon knowledge and skills gained in the preceding grades, by the end of Grade 8, students:


Explain how a moving object that is not being subjected to a net force will move in a straight line at a steady speed.


Show that when more than one force acts on an object at the same time, the forces can reinforce or cancel each other, producing a net force that will change the speed or direction of the object.


Investigate how the force of friction acts to retard motion.


Describe the various forms of energy, including heat, light, sound, chemical, nuclear, mechanical, and electrical energy, and that energy can be transformed from one form to another.


Explain how heat flows through materials or across space from warmer objects to cooler ones until both objects are at the same temperature.


Explain that the sun is a major source of the earth's energy and that energy is emitted in various forms, including visible light, infrared and ultraviolet radiation.


Show how light is reflected, refracted, or absorbed when it interacts with matter and how colors appear as a result of this interaction.


Show how vibrations in materials can generate waves which can transfer energy from one place to another.

Building upon knowledge and skills gained in the preceding grades, by the end of Grade 12, students:


Explain the mathematical relationship between the mass of an object, the unbalanced force exerted on it, and the resulting acceleration.


Prove that whenever one object exerts a force on another, an equal amount of force is exerted back on the first object.


Know that gravity is a universal force of attraction between masses that depends on the masses and the distance between them.


Know that electrically charged bodies can attract or repel each other with a force that depends on the size and nature of the charges and the distance between them.


Explain the similarities and differences between gravitational forces and electrical forces that act at a distance.


Know that the forces that hold the nucleus of an atom together are stronger than electromagnetic forces and that significant amounts of energy are released during nuclear changes.


Explain how electromagnetic waves are generated, and identify the components of the electromagnetic spectrum.


Explain that all energy is either kinetic or potential and that the total energy of the universe is constant.



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