Ohio Academic Content Standards for Science
Benchmarks and Indicators



3-5 Science Benchmarks

 By the end of the 3-5 program:



Earth and Space Sciences



Life Sciences



A. Explain the characteristics, cycles and patterns involving Earth and its place in the solar system.


B. Summarize the processes that shape Earth's surface and describe evidence of those processes.


C. Describe Earth's resources including rocks, soil, water, air, animals and plants and the ways in which they can be conserved.


D. Analyze weather and changes that occur over a period of time.



A. Differentiate between the life cycles of different plants and animals.


B. Analyze plant and animal structures and functions needed for survival and describe the flow of energy through a system that all organisms use to survive.


C. Compare changes in an organism's ecosystem/habitat that affect its survival.



3-5 Science Benchmarks

 By the end of the 3-5 program:



Physical Sciences



Science and Technology



A. Compare the characteristics of simple physical and chemical changes.


B. Identify and describe the physical properties of matter in its various states.


C. Describe the forces that directly affect objects and their motion.


D. Summarize the way changes in temperature can be produced and thermal energy transferred.


E. Trace how electrical energy flows through a simple electrical circuit and describe how the electrical energy can produce thermal energy, light, sound and magnetic forces.


F. Describe the properties of light and sound energy.



A. Describe how technology affects human life.


B. Describe and illustrate the design process.



3-5 Science Benchmarks

 By the end of the 3-5 program:



Scientific Inquiry



Scientific Ways of Knowing



A. Use appropriate instruments safely to observe, measure and collect data when conducting a scientific investigation.


B. Organize and evaluate observations, measurements and other data to formulate inferences and conclusions.


C. Develop, design and safely conduct scientific

investigations and communicate the results.



A. Distinguish between fact and opinion and explain how ideas and conclusions change as new knowledge is gained.


B. Describe different types of investigations and use results and data from investigations to provide the evidence to support explanations and conclusions.


C. Explain the importance of keeping records of observations and investigations that are accurate and understandable.


D. Explain that men and women of diverse countries and cultures participate in careers in all fields of science.




Grade Three 


Earth and Space Sciences (3)


            Earth Systems


1. Compare distinct properties of rocks (e.g., color, layering and texture).


2. Observe and investigate that rocks are often found in layers.


3. Describe that smaller rocks come from the breakdown of larger rocks through the actions of plants and weather.


4. Observe and describe the composition of soil (e.g., small pieces of rock and decomposed pieces of plants and animals, and products of plants and animals).


5. Investigate the properties of soil (e.g., color, texture, capacity to retain water, ability to support plant growth).


6. Investigate that soils are often found in layers and can be different from place to place.



Life Sciences (3)




1. Compare the life cycles of different animals including birth to adulthood, reproduction and death (e.g., egg-tadpole-frog, egg-caterpillar-chrysalis-butterfly).


            Diversity and

            Interdependence of



2. Relate animal structures to their specific survival functions (e.g., obtaining food, escaping or hiding from enemies).


3. Classify animals according to their characteristics (e.g., body coverings and body structure).


4. Use examples to explain that extinct organisms may resemble organisms that are alive today.


5. Observe and explore how fossils provide evidence about animals that lived long ago and the nature of the environment at that time.


6. Describe how changes in an organism's habitat are sometimes beneficial and sometimes harmful.



Physical Sciences (3)


            Forces and Motion


1. Describe an objects position by locating it relative to another object or the background.




2. Describe an objects motion by tracing and measuring its position over time.


3. Identify contact/noncontact forces that affect motion of an object (e.g., gravity, magnetism and collision).


4. Predict the changes when an object experiences a force (e.g., a push or pull, weight and friction).



Science and Technology (3)






1. Describe how technology can extend human abilities (e.g., to move things and to extend senses).


2. Describe ways that using technology can have helpful and/or harmful results.


3. Investigate ways that the results of technology may affect the individual, family and community.


            Abilities To Do




4. Use a simple design process to solve a problem (e.g., identify a problem, identify possible solutions and design a solution).


5. Describe possible solutions to a design problem (e.g., how to hold down paper in the wind).



Scientific Inquiry (3)


            Doing Scientific




1. Select the appropriate tools and use relevant safety procedures to measure and record length and weight in metric and English units.


2. Discuss observations and measurements made by other people.


3. Read and interpret simple tables and graphs produced by self/others.


4. Identify and apply science safety procedures.


5. Record and organize observations (e.g., journals, charts and tables).


6. Communicate scientific findings to others through a variety of methods (e.g., pictures, written, oral and recorded observations).



Scientific Ways of Knowing (3)


            Nature of Science


1. Describe different kinds of investigations that scientists use depending on the questions they are trying to answer.


            Ethical Practices

2. Keep records of investigations and observations and do not change the records that are different from someone else's work.

            Science and Society

3. Explore through stories how men and women have contributed to the development of science.


4. Identify various careers in science.


5. Discuss how both men and women find science rewarding as a career and in their everyday lives.




Grade Four

Earth and Space Sciences (4)


            Earth Systems


1. Explain that air surrounds us, takes up space, moves around us as wind, and may be measured using barometric pressure.


2. Identify how water exists in the air in different forms (e.g., in clouds, fog, rain, snow and hail).


3. Investigate how water changes from one state to another (e.g., freezing, melting, condensation and evaporation).


4. Describe weather by measurable quantities such as temperature, wind direction, wind speed, precipitation and barometric pressure.


5. Record local weather information on a calendar or map and describe changes over a period of time (e.g., barometric pressure, temperature, precipitation symbols and cloud conditions).


6. Trace how weather patterns generally move from west to east in the United States.


7. Describe the weather which accompanies cumulus, cumulonimbus, cirrus and stratus clouds.


            Processes That

            Shape Earth


8. Describe how wind, water and ice shape and reshape Earth's land surface by eroding rock and soil in some areas and depositing them in other areas producing characteristic landforms (e.g., dunes, deltas and glacial moraines).


9. Identify and describe how freezing, thawing and plant growth reshape the land surface by causing the weathering of rock.


10. Describe evidence of changes on Earth's surface in terms of slow processes (e.g., erosion, weathering, mountain building and deposition) and rapid processes (e.g. volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and landslides).



Life Sciences (4)




1. Compare the life cycles of different plants including germination, maturity, reproduction and death.


            Diversity and

            Interdependence of



2. Relate plant structures to their specific functions (e.g., growth, survival and reproduction).


3. Classify common plants according to their characteristics (e.g., tree leaves, flowers, seeds, roots and stems).


4. Observe and explore that fossils provide evidence about plants that lived long ago and the nature of the environment at that time.


5. Describe how organisms interact with one another in various ways (e.g., many plants depend on animals for carrying pollen or dispersing seeds).



Physical Sciences (4)


            Nature of Matter


1. Identify characteristics of a simple physical change (e.g., heating or cooling can change water from one state to another and the change is reversible).


2. Identify characteristics of a simple chemical change. When a new material is made by combining two or more materials, it has chemical properties that are different from the original materials (e.g., burning paper, vinegar and baking soda).


3. Describe objects by the properties of the materials from which they are made and that these properties can be used to separate or sort a group of objects (e.g., paper, glass, plastic and metal).


4. Explain that matter has different states (e.g., solid, liquid and gas) and that each state has distinct physical properties.


            Nature of Energy

5. Compare ways the temperature of an object can be changed (e.g., rubbing, heating and bending of metal).



Science and Technology (4)






1. Explain how technology from different areas (e.g., transportation, communication, nutrition, healthcare, agriculture, entertainment and manufacturing) has improved human lives.


2. Investigate how technology and inventions change to meet peoples' needs and wants.


            Abilities To Do




3. Describe, illustrate and evaluate the design process used to solve a problem.



Scientific Inquiry (4)


            Doing Scientific



1. Select the appropriate tools and use relevant safety procedures to measure and record length, weight, volume, temperature and area in metric and English units.


2. Analyze a series of events and/or simple daily or seasonal cycles, describe the patterns and infer the next likely occurrence.


3. Develop, design and conduct safe, simple investigations or experiments to answer questions.


4. Explain the importance of keeping conditions the same in an experiment.


5. Describe how comparisons may not be fair when some conditions are not kept the same between experiments.


6. Formulate instructions and communicate data in a manner that allows others to understand and repeat an investigation or experiment.



Scientific Ways of Knowing (4)


            Nature of Science


1. Differentiate fact from opinion and explain that scientists do not rely on claims or conclusions unless they are backed by observations that can be confirmed.


2. Record the results and data from an investigation and make a reasonable explanation.


3. Explain discrepancies in an investigation using evidence to support findings.


            Ethical Practices

4. Explain why keeping records of observations and investigations is important.



Grade Five 


Earth and Space Sciences (5)


            The Universe


1. Describe how night and day are caused by Earth's rotation.


2. Explain that Earth is one of several planets to orbit the sun, and that the moon orbits Earth.


3. Describe the characteristics of Earth and its orbit about the sun (e.g., three-fourths of Earth's surface is covered by a layer of water [some of it frozen], the entire planet surrounded by a thin blanket of air, elliptical orbit, tilted axis and spherical planet).


4. Explain that stars are like the sun, some being smaller and some larger, but so far away that they look like points of light.


            Earth Systems

5. Explain how the supply of many non-renewable resources is limited and can be extended through reducing, reusing and recycling but cannot be extended indefinitely.


6. Investigate ways Earth's renewable resources (e.g., fresh water, air, wildlife and trees) can be maintained.



Life Sciences (5)


            Diversity and

            Interdependence of




1. Describe the role of producers in the transfer of energy entering ecosystems as sunlight to chemical energy through photosynthesis.


2. Explain how almost all kinds of animals' food can be traced back to plants.


3. Trace the organization of simple food chains and food webs (e.g., producers, herbivores, carnivores, omnivores and decomposers).


4. Summarize that organisms can survive only in ecosystems in which their needs can be met (e.g., food, water, shelter, air, carrying capacity and waste disposal). The world has different ecosystems and distinct ecosystems support the lives of different types of organisms.


5. Support how an organism's patterns of behavior are related to the nature of that organism's ecosystem, including the kinds and numbers of other organisms present, the availability of food and resources, and the changing physical characteristics of the ecosystem.



6. Analyze how all organisms, including humans, cause changes in their ecosystems and how these changes can be beneficial, neutral or detrimental (e.g., beaver ponds, earthworm burrows, grasshoppers eating plants, people planting and cutting trees and people introducing a new species).



Physical Sciences (5)


            Nature of Energy


1. Define temperature as the measure of thermal energy and describe the way it is measured.


2. Trace how thermal energy can transfer from one object to another by conduction.


3. Describe that electrical current in a circuit can produce thermal energy, light, sound and/or magnetic forces.


4. Trace how electrical current travels by creating a simple electric circuit that will light a bulb.


5. Explore and summarize observations of the transmission, bending (refraction) and reflection of light.


6. Describe and summarize observations of the transmission, reflection, and absorption of sound.


7. Describe that changing the rate of vibration can vary the pitch of a sound.



Science and Technology (5)






1. Investigate positive and negative impacts of human activity and technology on the environment.


            Abilities To Do




2. Revise an existing design used to solve a problem based on peer review.


3. Explain how the solution to one problem may create other problems.



Scientific Inquiry (5)


            Doing Scientific




1. Select and safely use the appropriate tools to collect data when conducting investigations and communicating findings to others (e.g., thermometers, timers, balances, spring scales, magnifiers, microscopes and other appropriate tools).


2. Evaluate observations and measurements made by other people and identify reasons for any discrepancies.



3. Use evidence and observations to explain and communicate the results of investigations.


4. Identify one or two variables in a simple experiment.


5. Identify potential hazards and/or precautions involved in an investigation.


6. Explain why results of an experiment are sometimes different (e.g., because of unexpected differences in what is being investigated, unrealized differences in the methods used or in the circumstances in which the investigation was carried out, and because of errors in observations).



Scientific Ways of Knowing (5)


            Nature of Science


1. Summarize how conclusions and ideas change as new knowledge is gained.


2. Develop descriptions, explanations and models using evidence to defend/support findings.


3. Explain why an experiment must be repeated by different people or at different times or places and yield consistent results before the results are accepted.


4. Identify how scientists use different kinds of ongoing investigations depending on the questions they are trying to answer (e.g., observations of things or events in nature, data collection and controlled experiments).



            Ethical Practices


5. Keep records of investigations and observations that are understandable weeks or months later.



            Science and Society


6. Identify a variety of scientific and technological work that people of all ages, backgrounds and groups perform.



10. Recognize that social issues and challenges can affect progress in science and technology. (e.g., Funding priorities for specific health problems serve as examples of ways that social issues influence science and technology.)


11. Research how advances in scientific knowledge have impacted society on a local, national or global level.