National Science Education Standard

Science Content Standards

The science content standards outline what students should know, understand, and be able to do in the natural sciences over the course of K-12 education. They are divided into eight categories:

National Science Content Standard K-4

National Standard Grades K-4 Objectives
Science as inquiry Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
  Understanding about scientific inquiry 
Physical science Properties of objects and materials 
  Position and motion of objects 
  Light, heat, electricity, and magnetism 
Life science The characteristics of organisms 
  Life cycles of organisms 
  Organisms and environments 
Earth and space science Properties of earth materials 
  Objects in the sky 
  Changes in earth and sky 
Science and technology Abilities of technological design 
  Understanding about science and technology 
  Abilities to distinguish between natural 
  objects and objects made by humans 
Science in personal  Personal health 
and social perspective Characteristics and changes in populations 
  Types of resources 
  Changes in environments 
  Science and technology in local challenges 
History and nature of science Science as a human endeavor 

National Science Content Standard Grades 5-8

National Standard Grades 5-8 Science Content Objectives
Science as inquiry Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry 
  Understandings about scientific inquiry 
Physical science Properties and changes of properties in matter 
  Motions and forces 
  Transfer of energy 
Life science Structure and function in living systems 
  Reproduction and heredity 
  Regulation and behavior 
  Populations and ecosystems 
  Diversity and adaptations of organisms 
Earth and space science Structure of the earth system 
  Earth's history 
  Earth in the solar system 
Science and technology Abilities of technological design 
  Understandings about science and technology 
Science in personal  Personal health 
and social perspective Populations, resources, and environments 
  Natural hazards 
  Risks and benefits 
  Science and technology in society 
History and nature of science Science as a human endeavor 
  Nature of science 
  History of science 

National Science Content Standard Grades 9-12

National Standard Grades 9-12 Science Content Standard 
Science as inquiry Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry 
  Understandings about scientific inquiry 
Physical science Structure of atoms 
  Structure and properties of matter 
  Chemical reactions 
  Motions and forces 
  Conservation of energy and increase in disorder 
  Interactions of energy and matter 
Life Science The cell 
  Molecular basis of heredity 
  Biological evolution 
  Interdependence of organisms 
  Matter, energy, and organization in living systems 
  Behavior of organisms 
Earth and Space Science Energy in the earth system 
  Geochemical cycles 
  Origin and evolution of the earth system 
  Origin and evolution of the universe 
Scienceand technology Abilities of technological design 
  Understandings about science and technology
Science in personal  Personal and community health 
and social perspective Population growth 
  Natural resources 
  Environmental quality 
  Natural and human-induced hazards 
  Science and technology in local, national, and global challenges 
History and nature of science Science as a human endeavor 
  Nature of scientific knowledge 
  Historical perspectives