NC Essential Science Standards: Physical Science


  1. Forces and Motion

    PSc.1.1 — Understand motion in terms of speed, velocity, acceleration and momentum.

    PSc.1.1.1 — Explain motion in terms of frame of reference, distance, and displacement.

    PSc.1.1.2 — Compare speed, velocity, acceleration and momentum using investigations, graphing, scalar quantities and vector quantities

    PSc.1.2 — Understand the relationship between forces and motion. 

    PSc.1.2.1 — Explain how gravitational force affects the weight of an object and the velocity of an object in freefall. 

    PSc.1.2.2 — Classify frictional forces into one of four types: static, sliding, rolling and fluid.
    Riding the Wind

    PSc.1.2.3 — Explain forces using Newton’s three laws of motion.

    Lesson Plan: Newton's Triple Play
  2. Matter: Properties and Change

    PSc.2.1 — Understand types, properties and structure of matter. 

    PSc.2.1.1 — Classify matter as homogeneous or heterogeneous; pure substance or mixture; element or compound; metals, nonmetals or metalloids; solution, colloid or suspension. 

    PSc.2.1.2 — Explain the phases of matter and the physical changes that matter undergoes.

    PSc.2.1.3 — Compare physical and chemical properties of various types of matter.

    PSc.2.1.4 — Interpret the data presented in the Bohr model diagrams and dot diagrams for atoms and ions of elements 1 through 18.

    PSc.2.2 — Understand chemical bonding and chemical interactions. 

    PSc.2.2.1 — Infer valence electrons, oxidation number, and reactivity of an element based on its location in the Periodic Table.

    PSc.2.2.2 — Infer the type of chemical bond that occurs, whether covalent, ionic or metallic, in a given substance.

    PSc.2.2.3 Predict chemical formulas and names for simple compounds based on knowledge of bond formation and naming conventions. 

    PSc.2.2.4 — Exemplify the law of conservation of mass by balancing chemical equations.

    PSc.2.2.5 — Classify types of reactions such as synthesis, decomposition, single replacement, or double replacement.

    PSc.2.2.6 — Summarize the characteristics and interactions of acids and bases 

    PSc.2.3 — Understand the role of the nucleus in radiation and radioactivity. 

    PSc.2.3.1 — Compare nuclear reactions including: alpha decay, beta decay, and gamma decay; nuclear fusion and nuclear fission. 

    PSc.2.3.2 — Exemplify the radioactive decay of unstable nuclei using the concept of half-life. 

  3. Energy: Conservation and Transfer

    PSc.3.1 — Understand types of energy, conservation of energy and energy transfer. 

    PSc.3.1.1 — Explain thermal energy and its transfer.

    PSc.3.1.2 — Explain the law of conservation of energy in a mechanical system in terms of kinetic energy, potential energy and heat. 

    PSc.3.1.3 — Explain work in terms of the relationship among the applied force to an object, the resulting displacement of the object, and the energy transferred to an object.

    PSc.3.1.4 — Explain the relationship among work, power and simple machines both qualitatively and quantitatively. 

    PSc.3.2 — Understand the nature of waves.

    PSc.3.2.1 — Explain the relationships among wave frequency, wave period, wave velocity, amplitude and wavelength through calculation and investigation. 

    PSc.3.2.2 — Compare waves (mechanical, electromagnetic and surface) using their characteristics. 

    PSc.3.2.3 — Classify waves as transverse or compressional (longitudinal).

    PSc.3.2.4 — Illustrate the wave interactions of reflection, refraction, diffraction and interference 

    PSc.3.3 — Understand electricity and magnetism and their relationship.

    PSc.3.3.1 — Summarize static and current electricity.

    PSc.3.3.2 — Explain simple series and parallel DC circuits in terms of Ohm’s law.

    PSc.3.3.3 — Explain how current is affected by changes in composition, length, temperature and diameter of wire.

    PSc.3.3.4 — Explain magnetism in terms of domains, interactions of poles and magnetic fields.

    PSc.3.3.5 — Explain the practical application of magnetism.
    • The Marvelous Music Machine