Connecticut State Department of Education

 

 

Connecticut Academic Performance Test

                                        (CAPT)

Third Generation Handbook

For

 

Science

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contents

 

 

Foreword                                                                                                                            i  

 

Introduction                                                                                                                        ii

 

Position Statement on Science Education                                                                          iii

Part I:  The Third Generation of CAPT-Science Assessment                                            1

 

·      Overview of the Student Testing Program                                                             2

 

 

 

 

Part II: Effective Instructional Strategies                                                                        14 

 

·      The Nature of Science                                                                                          15

     

 

 

Part III:  Curriculum Embedded Tasks                                                                             22  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part IV:  Sample Items                                                                                                     92

                                                                                                                                            

 


 

                                             Foreword

 

On behalf of the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), I am pleased to present the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) Third Generation Handbook for Science.  The third generation CAPT will be administered for the first time in March 2007.  

 

This handbook has been developed to provide Connecticut’s public school educators with important information about the CAPT science subtest.  It should serve as a reference for all secondary science teachers as they prepare their students.  It is designed to answer the frequently asked questions about this assessment.  I urge you to review the handbook, and I hope it will be helpful in your efforts to improve science instruction in Connecticut’s classrooms. 

 

Additionally, the CSDE extends its appreciation to those educators who served as members of the CAPT science advisory and fairness committees.

 

 

George A. Coleman

Interim Commissioner of Education

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                               

 

 

 

                              

                                                           

 


Introduction

 

Like its predecessor, the 2000 CAPT Science Handbook, this CAPT Third Generation Handbook for Science has been designed to provide Connecticut’s high school science teachers with a range of background materials, ideas, tasks and other resources to better align instruction and assessment with the expectations set by the Connecticut Science Framework and the third generation CAPT science assessment.

 

The underlying philosophy of the science framework and the CAPT science assessment is that science is not only a body of knowledge, but also a way of thinking about the world around us.  The philosophy and objectives closely parallel the National Science Education Standards developed in 1996 by the National Research Council, and Benchmarks for Scientific Literacy, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1993.

 

In addition to a summary of the changes in the test and the revised test content specifications, this handbook also contains copies of recently released curriculum-embedded tasks and a set of sample items that can be used to assess understanding in each of the CAPT science content domains.  Teachers may use these materials in a variety of ways:

 

·       Background materials and teaching suggestions can be shared and discussed at department meetings

 

·       Sample items can be used to prepare ninth and tenth graders for the test, as well as to help prepare eleventh and twelfth graders who choose to retake the test

 

·       Sample items can be used to help teachers to make instructional decisions and to design instructional experiences that are aligned with the CAPT philosophy of science as inquiry

 

·       The curriculum-embedded tasks may be used and/or modified in the normal course of instruction to provide students with a variety of inquiry experiences in science

 

·       Student work generated from curriculum embedded tasks and responses to open-ended questions can be used as catalysts for discussions on teaching and learning

 

For more information about the science assessment of the Connecticut Academic Performance Test please call or e-mail:

 

Mary Anne Butler, 9-12 Science Consultant    maryanne.butler@ct.gov         (860) 713-6737

 

or

 

Madeline Bergeron, CAPT Science Program   madeline.bergeron@ct.gov      (860) 713-6851

 

 

 

                               Connecticut State Department of Education

                                     Bureau of Curriculum and Instruction

                                      Box 2219, Hartford, CT 06145-2219

 

 

                                    Connecticut State Board of Education

                                                            Hartford

 

                                  Position Statement on Science Education

 

                                                Adopted June 2, 2004

 

 

The Connecticut State Board of Education believes that every student needs and deserves a rich and challenging education in science.  Such an education will promote essential understandings of the natural world and nurture students’ abilities to apply scientific knowledge to make informed and logical judgments about personal and societal issues. Such an education requires that the fundamental approach to science is a creative process for investigating, reasoning, critiquing and communicating about ideas, not as a static body of facts to be memorized.

 

The Board believes that learning science is important for all students in order to prepare them to be informed individuals and citizens and to participate in a wide range of scientific and technological careers.  Understanding the interconnections between science and technology and their shared impact on environmental and societal issues is essential in order to preserve and improve life on Earth.

 

Learning experiences in science should lead all students to:

 

 

Quality education in science should, therefore, be an integral part of the core curriculum for all Connecticut students.  The PreK-12 scientific program should enable students to achieve the learning goals and standards outlined inn Connecticut’s Science Framework.  Improving students’ participation and achievement in science is an important component of implementing the Board’s education agenda.  Everyone has a role in providing all children education that includes rigorous scientific experiences.

 

The Department of Education plays an essential role in ensuring a quality educational program in science by:

 

 

School districts play an essential role in ensuring a quality educational program in science by:

 

 

Teachers play an essential role in ensuring a quality educational program in science by:

 

Teacher preparation programs play an essential role in improving a quality educational program in science by:

 

 

Parents play an essential role in ensuring a quality educational program in science by:

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

  Part I

 

 

The Third Generation of CAPT Science Assessment

 

 

·     Overview of Student Testing Program

·     Summary of Changes from Second to Third Generation

·     Core Science Curriculum (Grades 9 & 10)

·     Overview of the CAPT Science Assessment

 


 

 

Overview of the CAPT Assessment

 

For well over 20 years Connecticut has been recognized as a national leader in the development of rigorous and reliable tests. These assessments measure what students know and are able to do in relation to specific educational standards set forth in Connecticut’s Curriculum Frameworks. 

 

The Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) is administered in the spring to all Grade 10 students and was implemented in 1994.  The third generation of the test will be administered for the first time in the spring of 2007.  In addition to science and mathematics, the CAPT also measures reading and writing across the disciplines.

 

The CAPT is part of a testing system that provides a logical progression from assessing specific objectives at the lower grades to focusing more on the integration and application of skills at the high school level.  These tests provide a challenging and accurate assessment of student achievement statewide.  More specifically, the CAPT helps to:

 

·       assess students’ academic strengths and weaknesses;

 

·       analyze and modify instructional techniques to address student achievement;

 

·       review curriculum and school wide educational strategies to target academic improvements; and

 

·       increase the accountability of the educational system.

 

The Tests

 

The CAPT is not at all like the traditional standardized achievement tests.  Instead of being tested to see where each student ranks compared to others who took the test, students take criterion-referenced tests designed to measure how well they perform against established standards in a variety of essential and specific skills.  Not only do they measure what students know, but Connecticut’s tests also measure what students can do with what they know by asking them to respond in writing to questions in order to show or explain their work.

 

The CAPT includes a science section that consists of a combination of multiple-choice questions and those requiring written responses.  Students’ understanding of important concepts in life science, physical science and earth science, and their ability to apply those concepts in problem-solving situations is assessed.  In addition, scientific inquiry and communication skills are assessed by asking students to use scientific reasoning to solve problems.  The constructed response items will assess scientific inquiry and communication skills in the context of the curriculum-embedded tasks. Specific information about the design of the science assessment, including the Connecticut Science Curriculum Framework, the assessment format and sample test items can be found in this handbook.

 

 

The Results

 

Results of the CAPT are reported in various ways and are intended to help improve the performance of students, support modifications in curriculum and instructional practices, and stimulate higher expectations for student achievement.

 

School districts receive sets of student reports, which show how well individual students performed on each section of the CAPT.  Students are tested in the spring of 10th grade.  Results are sent to the school districts during the summer and parents are informed about test results in the early fall.

 

The Connecticut General Statutes (Section 10-14n) mandates a statewide assessment to be administered to all public school students in Grade 10.  The legislation specifies that the test cannot be used as the sole criterion for graduation or promotion, but that it will be the basis for awarding Certification of Mastery for those students who achieve the state goals on any of the subjects tested.  It further specifies that a record of such performance should become part of the student’s permanent record and the official high school transcript. C.G.S. (Section 10-223a) further states that by September 1, 2002, local and regional boards of education must include results from the CAPT when developing criteria to be used in assessing whether students have the basic skills necessary for graduation.  This applies to classes graduating in 2006 and thereafter.

 

Students who meet the state goal standards on the CAPT receive a “Certification of Mastery” on their high school transcripts.  Students who do not meet the goal state standard in one or more areas have the option of retaking those parts of the test in Grades 11 and 12 in order to gain “Certification of Mastery.”

 

The Standard

 

In December 1994, a standard-setting panel composed of science teachers and supervisors, college and university science educators, and business representatives was convened to review the CAPT science assessment and student performance results for the purpose of setting a standard or “state goal” or “cut score.”

 

The panel was informed that this standard should be conceptualized as follows:

 

The standard for each subtest of the Connecticut Academic Performance Test represents a demanding level of achievement, reasonable to expect of students in the spring of 10th grade.  Students who score at this level possess the knowledge, skills and critical thinking abilities expected of Connecticut’s high school students as they prepare for the workplace and/or higher education.  These students can apply what they know to complex problems and can effectively communicate their understanding.

 

Each year the raw score to scale score conversions are adjusted based on item difficulty.   

 

The standard for each year may be found in the Technical Bulletin and may be

accessed online at the following address:

http://www.csde.state.ct.us/public/cedar/assessment/capt/resources.htm.


 

Summary of Changes to the CAPT Science Assessment

 

The policy of the Connecticut State Department of Education has been to review the major components of the statewide student assessment system about every five to seven years.  These review periods are used to examine the direction of the assessment programs and to allow for curriculum changes at the state and national level to be integrated into the assessment.

 

The third generation of the CAPT will be administered beginning in the spring of 2007.  During the past two years, staff members have been engaged in discussions with advisory committees of Connecticut educators, as well as the testing contractor, Measurement Incorporated, to make the numerous decisions that will guide the development of the test.  New test items for the CAPT were field tested in spring 2005 and 2006.

 

 

 

CAPT Area                  Content Included                   Summary of Changes

 

Science              All science expected                     -Increased emphasis on inquiry skills

                                                performances as listed                       

                                                in the 2004 Connecticut    -Constructed responses use context

                                                Science Framework                      of the curriculum-embedded tasks

(lab and Science, Technology and  

Society [STS] administered throughout  

ninth and tenth grade ) for assessing

scientific inquiry skills

                                                                                               

-Elimination of performance task

                                                                                                 preceding the written test

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 The Science Assessment

 

Content (Changes)

 

The new Connecticut Science Framework approved by the Connecticut State Board of Education in October 2004 serves as the foundation of the CAPT – Third Generation assessment. The framework delineates the core content knowledge and inquiry skills all students are expected to master by the time they are assessed on the CAPT- Third Generation assessment.  The CAPT assesses the expected performances listed in the right hand column for both the inquiry and content standards in the Connecticut Science Framework. One marked change from the second to the third generation of the CAPT science assessment is the increase in items that assess scientific reasoning and communication skills also known as science inquiry skills.  The percentage of questions that assess scientific inquiry skills has increased from 33 percent to 47 percent of the assessment.  These questions will be in the form of constructed response and multiple choice questions.

 

The performance task associated with previous CAPT assessments has been eliminated from the CAPT Third Generation.  The CSDE has provided five suggested curriculum embedded performance tasks for teachers to use in the normal course of instruction.  The tasks are posted online at http://www.state.ct.us/sde under the curriculum menu in the science content area.  Each of the five content strands has an inquiry laboratory investigation and a Science, Technology and Society (STS) activity.  The activities are provided in a WordPerfect format for easy modification by classroom teachers to meet individual student needs.  These tasks are strongly suggested but not mandated and will remain in place throughout the CAPT Third Generation.  A teacher may prefer to use a pre-existing laboratory or STS activity to assess student understanding of the expected performances identified in any of the curriculum embedded tasks.   The five constructed responses that appear on the CAPT use the context of the tasks, either the laboratory investigation or the STS, to assess scientific communication and inquiry skills.  Each test includes one constructed response per content strand that results in a total of five constructed responses.

 

The science test will assess conceptual understanding and applications of scientific knowledge and experimentation in five content domains:  (1) Energy Transformations; (2) Chemical Structures and Properties; (3) Global Interdependence; (4) Cell Chemistry and Biotechnology; and (5) Genetics, Evolution and Biodiversity. 

 

The content in each of the strands is listed on pages 7-11.  Each test form will include items from all five of the content strands.  The test specifications have been developed based upon the expected performances listed under each content strand.

 

 

 

 

 

                       

   

 

 

 

               


Core Science Curriculum Framework for Grades 9 and 10

THE STANDARDS FOR SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY, LITERACY AND NUMERACY ARE INTEGRAL PARTS OF THE CONTENT STANDARDS FOR EACH GRADE LEVEL IN THIS CLUSTER.

Grades 9-10 Core Scientific Inquiry, Literacy and Numeracy

How is scientific knowledge created and communicated?

Content Standards

Expected Performances

SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY

¨     Scientific inquiry is a thoughtful and coordinated attempt to search out, describe, explain and predict natural phenomena.

¨     Scientific inquiry progresses through a continuous process of questioning, data collection, analysis and interpretation.

¨     Scientific inquiry requires the sharing of findings and ideas for critical review by colleagues and other scientists.

 

SCIENTIFIC LITERACY

¨     Scientific literacy includes the ability to read, write, discuss and present coherent ideas about science.

¨     Scientific literacy also includes the ability to search for and assess the relevance and credibility of scientific information found in various print and electronic media.

 

SCIENTIFIC NUMERACY

¨     Scientific numeracy includes the ability to use mathematical operations and procedures to calculate, analyze and present scientific data and ideas.

 

D INQ.1      Identify questions that can be answered through scientific investigation.

D INQ.2      Read, interpret and examine the credibility and validity of scientific claims in different sources of information.

D INQ.3      Formulate a testable hypothesis and demonstrate logical connections between the scientific concepts guiding the hypothesis and the design of the experiment.

D INQ.4      Design and conduct appropriate types of scientific investigations to answer different questions.

D INQ.5      Identify independent and dependent variables, including those that are kept constant and those used as controls.

D INQ.6      Use appropriate tools and techniques to make observations and gather data.

D INQ.7      Assess the reliability of the data that was generated in the investigation.

D INQ.8      Use mathematical operations to analyze and interpret data, and present relationships between variables in appropriate forms.

D INQ.9      Articulate conclusions and explanations based on research data, and assess results based on the design of the investigation.

D INQ.10   Communicate about science in different formats, using relevant science vocabulary, supporting evidence and clear logic.

 

 


 

 

Grade 9

Core Themes, Content Standards and Expected Performances

Strand I: Energy Transformations

Content Standards

Expected Performances

Energy Transfer and Transformations – What is the role of energy in our world?

9.1 - Energy cannot be created or destroyed; however, energy can be converted from one form to another.

¨     Energy enters the Earth system primarily as solar radiation, is captured by materials and photosynthetic processes, and eventually is transformed into heat.

 

 

D 1.        Describe the effects of adding energy to matter in terms of the motion of atoms and molecules, and the resulting phase changes.

D 2.        Explain how energy is transferred by conduction, convection and radiation.

D 3.        Describe energy transformations among heat, light, electricity and motion.

 

Energy Transfer and Transformations – What is the role of energy in our world?

9.2 - The electrical force is a universal force that exists between any two charged objects.

¨     Moving electrical charges produce magnetic forces, and moving magnets can produce electrical force.

¨      Electrical current can be transformed into light through the excitation of electrons.

 

 

D 4.        Explain the relationship among voltage, current and resistance in a simple series circuit.

D 5.        Explain how electricity is used to produce heat and light in incandescent bulbs and heating elements.

D 6.        Describe the relationship between current and magnetism.

Science and Technology in Society – How do science and technology affect the quality of our lives?

9.3 - Various sources of energy are used by humans and all have advantages and disadvantages.

¨     During the burning of fossil fuels, stored chemical energy is converted to electrical energy through heat transfer processes.

¨     In nuclear fission, matter is transformed directly into energy in a process that is several million times as energetic as chemical burning.

Alternative energy sources are being explored and used to address the disadvantages of using fossil and nuclear fuels.

D 7.        Explain how heat is used to generate electricity.

D 8.        Describe the availability, current uses and environmental issues related to the use of fossil and nuclear fuels to produce electricity.

D 9.        Describe the availability, current uses and environmental issues related to the use of hydrogen fuel cells, wind and solar energy to produce electricity.

 


 

Grade 9

Core Themes, Content Standards and Expected Performances

Strand II: Chemical Structures and Properties

Content Standards

Expected Performances

Properties of Matter – How does the structure of matter affect the properties and uses of materials?

9.4 - Atoms react with one another to form new molecules.

¨     Atoms have a positively charged nucleus surrounded by negatively charged electrons.

¨     The configuration of atoms and molecules determines the properties of the materials.

 

D 10.     Describe the general structure of the atom, and explain how the properties of the first 20 elements in the Periodic Table are related to their atomic structures.

D 11.     Describe how atoms combine to form new substances by transferring electrons (ionic bonding) or sharing electrons (covalent bonding).

D 12.     Explain the chemical composition of acids and bases, and explain the change of pH in neutralization reactions.

 

Properties of Matter – How does the structure of matter affect the properties and uses of materials?

9.5 – Due to its unique chemical structure, carbon forms many organic and inorganic compounds.

¨     Carbon atoms can bond to one another in chains, rings and branching networks to form a variety of structures, including fossil fuels, synthetic polymers and the large molecules of life.

 

 

 

D 13.     Explain how the structure of the carbon atom affects the type of bonds it forms in organic and inorganic molecules.

D 14.     Describe combustion reactions of hydrocarbons and their resulting by-products.

D 15.     Explain the general formation and structure of carbon-based polymers, including synthetic polymers, such as polyethylene, and biopolymers, such as carbohydrate.

 

Science and Technology in Society – How do science and technology affect the quality of our lives?

9.6 - Chemical technologies present both risks and benefits to the health and well-being of humans, plants and animals.

¨     Materials produced from the cracking of petroleum are the starting points for the production of many synthetic compounds.

¨     The products of chemical technologies include synthetic fibers, pharmaceuticals, plastics and fuels.

 

D 16.     Explain how simple chemical monomers can be combined to create linear, branched and/or cross-linked polymers.

D 17.     Explain how the chemical structure of polymers affects their physical properties.

D 18.     Explain the short- and long-term impacts of landfills and incineration of waste materials on the quality of the environment.

 

 


 

Grade 9

Core Themes, Content Standards and Expected Performances

Strand III:  Global Interdependence

Content Standards

Expected Performances

The Changing Earth – How do materials cycle through the Earth’s systems?

9.7 - Elements on Earth move among reservoirs in the solid earth, oceans, atmosphere and organisms as part of biogeochemical cycles.

¨     Elements on Earth exist in essentially fixed amounts and are located in various chemical reservoirs.

¨     The cyclical movement of matter between reservoirs is driven by the Earth’s internal and external sources of energy.

 

 

D 19.     Explain how chemical and physical processes cause carbon to cycle through the major earth reservoirs.

D 20.     Explain how solar energy causes water to cycle through the major earth reservoirs.

D 21.     Explain how internal energy of the Earth causes matter to cycle through the magma and the solid earth.

Science and Technology in Society – How do science and technology affect the quality of our lives?

9.8 - The use of resources by human populations may affect the quality of the environment.

¨     Emission of combustion by-products, such as SO2, CO2 and NOx by industries and vehicles is a major source of air pollution.

¨     Accumulation of metal and non-metal ions used to increase agricultural productivity is a major source of water pollution.

 

 

D 22.     Explain how the release of sulfur dioxide (SO2) into the atmosphere can form acid rain, and how acid rain affects water sources, organisms and human-made structures.

D 23.     Explain how the accumulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere increases Earth’s “greenhouse” effect and may cause climate changes.

D 24.     Explain how the accumulation of mercury, phosphates and nitrates affects the quality of water and the organisms that live in rivers, lakes and oceans.

Science and Technology in Society – How do science and technology affect the quality of our lives?

9.9 - Some materials can be recycled, but others accumulate in the environment and may affect the balance of the Earth systems.

¨     New technologies and changes in lifestyle can have positive and/or negative effects on the environment.

 

D 25.     Explain how land development, transportation options and consumption of resources may affect the environment.

D 26.     Describe human efforts to reduce the consumption of raw materials and improve air and water quality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grade 10

Core Themes, Content Standards and Expected Performances

Strand IV: Cell Chemistry and Biotechnology

Content Standards

Expected Performances

Structure and Function – How are organisms structured to ensure efficiency and survival?

10.1 - Fundamental life processes depend on the physical structure and the chemical activities of the cell.

¨     Most of the chemical activities of the cell are catalyzed by enzymes that function only in a narrow range of temperature and acidity conditions.

¨     The cellular processes of photosynthesis and respiration involve transformation of matter and energy.

 

 

 

D 27.     Describe significant similarities and differences in the basic structure of plant and animal cells.

D 28.     Describe the general role of DNA and RNA in protein synthesis.

D 29.     Describe the general role of enzymes in metabolic cell processes.

D 30.     Explain the role of the cell membrane in supporting cell functions.

 

Science and Technology in Society – How do science and technology affect the quality of our lives?

10.2 - Microorganisms have an essential role in life processes and cycles on Earth.

¨     Understanding the growth and spread patterns of viruses and bacteria enables the development of methods to prevent and treat infectious diseases.

 

 

D 31.     Describe the similarities and differences between bacteria and viruses.

D 32.     Describe how bacterial and viral infectious diseases are transmitted, and explain the roles of sanitation, vaccination and antibiotic medications in the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. 

D 33.     Explain how bacteria and yeasts are used to produce foods for human consumption.

Science and Technology in Society – How do science and technology affect the quality of our lives?

10.3 - Similarities in the chemical and structural properties of DNA in all living organisms allow the transfer of genes from one organism to another.

¨     The principles of genetics and cellular chemistry can be used to produce new foods and medicines in biotechnological processes.

 

D 34.     Describe, in general terms, how the genetic information of organisms can be altered to make them produce new materials.

D 35.     Explain the risks and benefits of altering the genetic composition and cell products of existing organisms. 


 

Grade 10

Core Themes, Content Standards and Expected Performances

Strand V: Genetics, Evolution and Biodiversity

Content Standards

Expected Performances

Heredity and Evolution – What processes are responsible for life’s unity and diversity?

10.4. - In sexually reproducing organisms, each offspring contains a mix of characteristics inherited from both parents.

¨     Genetic information is stored in genes that are located on chromosomes inside the cell nucleus.

¨     Most organisms have two genes for each trait, one on each of the homologous chromosomes in the cell nucleus.

 

D 36.     Explain how meiosis contributes to the genetic variability of organisms.

D 37.     Use the Punnet Square technique to predict the distribution of traits in mono- and di-hybrid crossings.

D 38.     Deduce the probable mode of inheritance of traits (e.g., recessive/dominant, sex-linked) from pedigree diagrams showing phenotypes.

D 39.     Describe the difference between genetic disorders and infectious diseases.

Heredity and Evolution – What processes are responsible for life’s unity and diversity?

10.5 - Evolution and biodiversity are the result of genetic changes that occur over time in constantly changing environments.

¨     Mutations and recombination of genes create genetic variability in populations.

¨     Changes in the environment may result in the selection of organisms that are better able to survive and reproduce. 

 

 

D 40.     Explain how the processes of genetic mutation and natural selection are related to the evolution of species.

D 41.     Explain how the current theory of evolution provides a scientific explanation for fossil records of ancient life forms.

D 42.     Describe how structural and behavioral adaptations increase the chances for organisms to survive in their environments.

 

Science and Technology in Society – How do science and technology affect the quality of our lives?

10.6 - Living organisms have the capability of producing populations of unlimited size, but the environment can support only a limited number of individuals from each species.

¨     Human populations grow due to advances in agriculture, medicine, construction and the use of energy.

¨     Humans modify ecosystems as a result of rapid population growth, use of technology and consumption of resources.

 

D 43.     Describe the factors that affect the carrying capacity of the environment.

D 44.     Explain how change in population density is affected by emigration, immigration, birth rate and death rate, and relate these factors to the exponential growth of human populations.

D 45.     Explain how technological advances have affected the size and growth rate of human populations throughout history.

 

 

 


 

 

                                         OVERVIEW OF THE CAPT SCIENCE TEST

THIRD GENERATION

 

 

 Item Distribution

 

 

Content Knowledge

Scientific Inquiry, Literacy and Numeracy

 

Total

Strand

MC Items*

MC Items*

CR Items*

Points

I. Energy Transformations

 

 

8

 

4

 

1

 

15

II. Chemical Structures & Properties

 

8

 

 

4

 

1

 

15

III. Global Interdependence

 

 

8

 

4

 

1

 

15

IV. Cell Chemistry & Biotechnology

 

8

 

4

 

1

 

15

V. Genetics, Evolution & Biodiversity

 

8

 

4

 

1

 

15

 

Totals

 

 

40 MC Items

 

 20 MC Items

 

5 CR Items

 

75 Points

 

* Each multiple-choice (MC) item is worth 1 point.  Each constructed response (CR) item is worth 3 points.

 

General Test Format

There will be a total of 65 test questions: 60 multiple choice and five constructed response items. 

 

Each content strand will be assessed by 13 items: 12 multiple-choice and one constructed response item. Eight of the multiple-choice items will assess content knowledge and four will assess scientific inquiry, literacy and numeracy.

 

Test Scoring

The selected response items will be scored electronically as correct or incorrect.  Constructed response items will be hand-scored by trained readers using a 4-point scale (0-3). 

 

 

 

Curriculum-Embedded Performance Tasks

CSDE has developed a suggested performance task for each of the five content strands in the science framework for Grades 9-10.  Teachers are encouraged to use these tasks in the normal course of instruction when teaching the related content strand. The five constructed response items on the CAPT will assess scientific inquiry, literacy and numeracy using the context of the curriculum embedded tasks.  These constructed response items would total 15 points or 20 percent of the total test.

 

Reporting

A Total Science Score will be reported based on all 75 points.  In addition, the following subtest scores will be reported:

 

 

 

Testing Time

The science test will be divided into two sessions, each 50 minutes in length.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part II

 

Instructional Strategies

 

 

·     The Nature of Science

 

·     Teaching Science Through Inquiry

 

·     10 Instructional Strategies to Use All Year and to Prepare Students to Take the CAPT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nature of Science

 

Over the course of human history, people have developed many interconnected and validated ideas about the physical, biological and social worlds.  Those ideas have enabled successive generations to achieve an increasingly comprehensive and reliable understanding of the human species and its environment.  The means used to develop these ideas are particular ways of observing, thinking, experimenting and validating.  These ways represent a fundamental aspect of the nature of science and reflect how science tends to differ from other modes of knowing. (American Association for the Advancement of Science, Benchmarks for Scientific Literacy, Oxford University Press, 1993, p. 3).

 

When asking science teachers what is it that they teach, it is not uncommon for the response to be a list of content topics such as electricity, plants or weather.  Most teachers know that science instruction is much more than a presentation of topics; that it includes “the ability to inquire, the capacity to use scientific principles to make decisions and the ability to communicate effectively about science”(National Research Council, National Science Education Standards, 1996). The CAPT assesses science literacy by asking students to apply their knowledge of science content and scientific principles.

 

Instructional strategies and student preparation are discussed in this section of the handbook to provide guidelines to science coordinators, district administrators and teachers to assist in the improvement of students’ knowledge of science content and principles and to prepare students for the CAPT.

 

 

 

 

 


Teaching Science through Inquiry

 

The role of inquiry in science instruction is not clearly understood by many classroom teachers.  In 1996, the National Science Education Standards (NSES) were published by the National Research Council (NRC).  According to the National Science Education Standards (NRC, 1996) the role of inquiry in science instruction is as follows:

 

Students in all grade levels and in every domain of science should have the opportunity to use scientific inquiry and develop the ability to think and act in ways associated with inquiry including asking questions, planning and conducting investigations, using appropriate tools and techniques to gather data, thinking critically and logically about the relationships between evidence and explanations, constructing and analyzing alternative explanations, and communicating scientific arguments (NRC, 1996, p.105).

 

A question often asked at workshops about inquiry activities is, “How do I include inquiry activities in instruction when they are time-consuming and there is so much content to cover?”  The answer involves the construction of a well crafted curriculum aligned to the Connecticut Science Framework that provides frequent opportunities of varying length and complexity to develop the inquiry skills in all students.  By rethinking and redesigning present labs and activities, students can begin to understand science content and become independent problem solvers by formulating their own questions, planning and conducting investigations, collecting and analyzing data and communicating scientific arguments.

 

Analysis of an Inquiry Activity

 

There is no one correct model for designing an inquiry based activity. Anytime the classroom teacher provides an opportunity for the student to practice and develop the skills specified in the D Inquiry Skills portion of the Connecticut Science Framework the students are “doing inquiry.” The degree and extent to which any given laboratory investigation or Science, Technology and Society (STS) activity is considered an “inquiry activity” depends largely where it falls on the “inquiry spectrum.” A lesson in which the teacher controls the question, problem and investigation is likely a structured inquiry.  When the student acts as an active investigator, then the lesson moves further along the inquiry spectrum. 

 

That doesn’t mean that every investigation or learning activity should be placed solely on the shoulders of the learner.  A range of inquiry activities is both the most realistic and beneficial delivery of instruction for all students.  The role of the teacher is to decide what lessons are best delivered through some level of inquiry and what lessons are best delivered through direct instruction.

                                           The Inquiry Spectrum

 
 


 

 

                structured inquiry      guided inquiry       student directed inquiry      student research   

 

 

 

 

10 Instructional Strategies to Use All Year

and to Prepare Students for the CAPT

 

Traditional instruction has a well-established order.  “Information comes first, followed by questioning to determine student understanding, and ending with some sort of problem-solving activity.  While this approach is very systematic and easy for teachers to manage, it does not reflect the kind of learning which takes place in the real world” (Shelagh Gallagher, Problem-Based Learning, Center for Gifted Education, College of William and Mary, 1995). Inquiry-based instruction is much more than merely presenting a hands-on lesson. Some questions that teachers may want to consider include: Does your activity promote or confine thinking?   Does this activity define every step and procedure?   Does this lesson give the students an opportunity to think for themselves?  Can you try a different approach?  Present the problem without the specific steps and have your students explain the steps they would follow to find the solution.  Do not include a data table but have the students design and explain the resolution to the question or problem based upon their own experiment and data.

 

Opportunities to work in groups encourage students to share responsibility for learning.  Students develop approaches and explanations, exchange information, talk and listen, argue and persuade.  They learn to order their thoughts and compare their own thinking processes with those of their peers.  Students also become involved in tutoring and encouraging each other.  When students work in groups, it is essential that the teacher ensure that each member of the group contribute to the learning.

           

Strategy 1. Create a Climate for Learning

Every teacher must provide a climate that emphasizes that all children can learn.  A climate for learning is one that recognizes and addresses the needs of all learners.  Teachers must also ensure the classroom environment is one where all students feel safe physically and emotionally.

A positive classroom environment fosters creative thinking, problem solving, and academic risk- taking.   Teachers must promote the formation, exploration and validity of different strategies to solve scientific problems. 

 

Strategy 2. Assess Prior Knowledge

Students often come to science classes with ways of understanding the world that are very different from the scientifically accepted view (called misconceptions or alternative frameworks).  Many times a laboratory investigation is used to re-emphasize a concept that has already been introduced or mastered in the learning process.  An effective demonstration or laboratory activity may actually uncover misconceptions and lead the students to new questions. Consider using a laboratory investigation to launch students into situations that challenge their misunderstandings. Think about how a laboratory activity or demonstration may assess prior knowledge and set the stage for new learning. Research has shown that students cannot make sense of science instruction if misconceptions block their understanding.  Students and teachers often are unaware that these discrepancies exist.  In order for a conceptual change to occur, teachers must become aware of students’ misconceptions and plan activities that are designed to correct them.  For instance, students may believe that substances only move from solid to liquid phase (melt) when temperature increases.

 

 

Strategy 3. Practice Effective Questioning Techniques

Engage students regularly in thinking about science through the use of questioning techniques.  Questioning is an effective strategy to move classroom instruction from teacher centered to student centered.  A simple “What do you think about that? “or “Can you tell me more?”

form the basis of a curriculum that goes beyond merely searching for the correct answer.  A student who can explain his or her answer often has a stronger understanding of the science and can help other students develop understanding.  Questions that ask students to use evidence to support their answers provide opportunities for students to communicate their understanding and for teachers to assess the degree of that understanding.  Use engaging, guiding questions to capture student interest and facilitate learning in the content area.

 

Strategy 4.  Vary the Structure of Lessons

Teachers must ensure a variety of learning opportunities for students to develop an understanding of content and scientific communication and inquiry skills. The structure of any investigation should be considered before it is assigned.  Is the total investigation structured by the teacher from the safety procedures to the analysis questions?  Does the student take ownership as investigator for the identification and design of some or all of components of the investigation? Traditional laboratory investigations include a well-defined problem or question for the student to answer. This method may be appropriate for foundational skill building or learning in a particular context.  It is important for the development of higher level problem solving and thinking skills that students be given opportunities to formulate their own questions both in the laboratory setting and the research project setting.    By allowing the student to construct part or all of the investigation the teacher may emphasize and assess a particular inquiry expected performance or a series of inquiry expected performances. As a starting point, students may be given the procedures for the activity while being required to decide what kind of data table or chart they will use to record the information.  Ultimately, students can be given the problem without the specific procedures and determine the procedures and tables prior to doing the activity.   Students should have multiple and varied experiences with inquiry based instruction.

 

Strategy 5.  Vary the Way Students Work

Most scientists do not work in isolation; they work in teams or groups.  It is important, therefore, to structure the classroom so that students have opportunities to work in groups or teams.  This will provide a more authentic scientific experience in the K-12 classroom.  Opportunities to work in groups encourage students to share responsibility for learning.  Students develop approaches and explanations, exchange information, talk and listen, argue and persuade.  They learn to order their thoughts and compare their own thinking processes with those of their peers.  Students also become involved in tutoring and encouraging each other.  When students work in groups, they all have a chance to be successful and everyone’s effort contributes to the group’s results.

Individual assignments may serve two purposes: individual accountability and individual feedback.  By requiring individual lab write-ups, each student is held accountable for doing his or her own work.  It allows each student to incorporate new ideas into his or her own understanding that may not reflect that of the team or group.  Individual work allows the teacher to assess the understanding of each student and adjust instruction accordingly.  Assignments other than laboratory reports that are the responsibility of the individual allow for choice in the particular area of research and delivery of evidence of student understanding.  These assignments may be given under a teacher controlled topic/question or under a broader theme whereby the direction of learning is controlled by the student.

 

Strategy 6.  Use Warm Up Activities

Use a warm up question or problem everyday to allow students an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of a particular content or inquiry standard. The problem may be posted for students to do as they come into class. These problems may serve as an ongoing review and reinforcement of scientific content, inquiry and communication skills. For example a graph may be displayed for students to analyze or a table of data may be displayed for students to graph and draw a conclusion.

 

Strategy 7. Create and Embed Science, Technology and Society (STS) Activities

Science, Technology and Society (STS) learning activities are designed to engage students in the applications of science through the use of their critical thinking skills and content knowledge.  They afford students the opportunity to examine ideas and data related to historical, technological and/or social aspects of science concepts and content.  In an STS activity the student has a chance to analyze, evaluate and draw conclusions about scientific research or information gathered by sources outside of their classroom.  A strong STS activity demonstrates the valuable role science plays in everyday life. Use authentic sources of information including media clips, newspapers, magazines and advertisements as vehicles to practice reading and writing, assess prior knowledge or as a springboard for students to generate questions about the text and the corresponding content.  A contemporary issue without one obvious correct answer often provides a wonderful context for an STS activity.  The use of contemporary issues in science may also provide daily embedded learning opportunities that allow for continuing growth in reading, writing, listening and presenting.

 

Strategy 8.  Strengthen Comprehension for Content Area Text

       Students must use appropriate self-selected strategies to assist with their understanding of content area text.  Prior to engaging with a text, students must examine headings, subheadings, bold/italic embedded words, captions, graphs, charts, and pictures that may accompany the text in an effort to activate prior knowledge, generate predictions, and establish connections and purposes for reading the text.  During reading, students must question and be able to answer their questions (e.g. What is my understanding about my reading?  How does the new information I am learning relate to what I already know?  Why is the author including these specific words?  Is there an underlying message the author is trying to communicate?  From what perspective is the author coming?  How is the information relevant to the authors’ purpose?  What is the most important aspect of what I am learning and why is it important?  What additional questions do I have about what I am reading?).  During reading, students may use varied strategies to assist them with understanding difficult text (e.g. re-reading portions;  re-examining the accompanying charts, graphs, and pictures; re-examining vocabulary;  asking another for clarification; using Post-it Notes with their questioning and answering).  After reading, students must be asked to respond to the text in varied ways appropriate to the task (e.g. open-ended verbal and written questions posed by the teacher, other students, and themselves).  Students must support all responses, verbal and written, with specific evidence from the text.  Teachers must sustain the habit of requiring students to look back in the text for specific evidence. The goal is to move students toward independence about how to learn regardless of the content area.  Teachers must support the process by which students use appropriate self-selected strategies to assist with their understanding of content area text.

 

 

 

Strategy 9.  Common Assessments Within and Across All Disciplines

Educators must develop common assessment tools for all courses within the content area.  Consistent and rigorous performance opportunities communicate clear expectations for all students regardless of the teacher or the course section.  Common and varied formative and summative assessment tools such as school-wide rubrics allow teachers to identify student strengths as well as areas in need of improvement within and across the content disciplines.  Teachers must analyze and share student work to monitor and adjust instruction on a regular basis. The use of common assessment tools, both formative and summative, must serve as an important tool to focus teachers on processes, skills and gaps in student understanding that are addressed through re-teaching and re-assessment. 

 

Strategy 10.  Allow Opportunities for Peer Review

Teachers must provide regular opportunities for students to review the work of their peers and provide feedback. These experiences parallel the questions used to assess the inquiry and communication skills on the CAPT.  The CAPT science assessment frequently asks students to evaluate the quality of a laboratory procedure or assess the validity of students’ data/conclusions.  The scientific inquiry and communication skills of all students improve when given regular experiences to analyze the work of their peers and to provide appropriate feedback. The use of common assessment tools by the students in the peer review process allows students to identify their own areas strengths and weaknesses in the content area in addition to the strengths and weaknesses of their peers. Such collaborative initiatives naturally invite students to revise their work based on peer observations and ultimately improve their understanding and performance.

 

Helping Students

 

Teachers are the best judges of the type and level of assistance students need. The Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) and Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) provide useful information to support those judgments.  Optimum learning occurs if data is used wisely when teachers create learning environments in which:

 

 

·       there is respect for all students;

·       there are expectations that all students can be highly successful;

·       challenging content is taught;

·       opportunities to reason and solve problems together are integral parts of the daily learning experience for all students;

·       learning is made active, exciting and applicable to real-life experiences; and

·       both teachers and students are actively engaged in exploring thought-provoking ideas.

 

To help your students learn science better, teachers can:

 

·       ensure that students have opportunities to learn and explore life, earth and physical sciences each year of their K-12 school experience;

·       regularly incorporate laboratory experiences that require them both to use scientific equipment and think critically about scientific concepts;

·       regularly incorporate STS activities which require students to think critically and apply their content knowledge to authentic situations; and

·       develop and use common formative and summative assessment tools for the evaluation of student work

 

Generally, to help students learn better, teachers are encouraged to enlist:

 

·       parents to regularly monitor and discuss their youngsters’ school work;

·       colleagues to develop significant interdisciplinary experiences for students; and

·       colleagues to examine student work as evidence of the teaching-learning cycle with a focus on improving instruction.

 

There is no “quick fix” for helping students meet the CAPT goal standard in science.  Students will perform well on the CAPT when their science experiences from kindergarten through high school incorporate the scientific inquiry skills and content from the Connecticut Science Framework.

 

 

 

 

 

Part III

 

Curriculum Embedded Tasks

 

·      Strand I: Energy Transformation

-Solar Cooker, Laboratory Investigation

-Connecticut Energy Use, STS Activity

 

·      Strand II: Chemical Structures and Properties

-Synthetic Polymers, Laboratory Investigation

-Plastics Controversy, STS Activity

 

·      Strand III: Global Interdependence

-Acid Rain, Laboratory Investigation

-Connecticut Brownfield Sites, STS Activity

 

·      Strand IV: Cell Chemistry and Biotechnology

-Enzyme, Laboratory Activity

-Labeling Genetically Altered Foods, STS Activity

 

·      Strand V: Genetics, Evolution and Biodiversity

-Yeast Population Dynamics, Laboratory Investigation

-Human Population Dynamics, STS Activity

 

 

 


Grades 9-10

Curriculum-Embedded Performance Task

               Strand I: Energy Transformations

 

 

 

 

 

File written by Adobe Photoshop® 5.2

 

 

Solar Cooker 

 

 Laboratory Investigation

                         Teacher Materials

              

 


Renewable Energy

 

Teacher Materials

 

This curriculum-embedded science performance task is related to the content standards and expected performances for Grades 9-10, as described in the Core Science Curriculum Framework, under Scientific Inquiry, Literacy and Numeracy, Strand I – Energy Transformations. 

 

Targeted Content Standard

9.3 - Various sources of energy are used by humans and all have advantages and disadvantages.

Targeted Scientific Inquiry, Literacy and Numeracy Standards

D INQ. 1  Identify questions that can be answered through scientific investigation.

D INQ. 3  Formulate a testable hypothesis and demonstrate logical connections between the scientific concepts guiding the hypothesis and the design of the experiment.

D INQ. 4  Design and conduct appropriate types of scientific investigations to answer                 different questions.

D INQ. 5  Identify independent and dependent variables, including those that are kept constant and those used as controls.

D INQ. 6  Use appropriate tools and techniques to make observations and gather data.

D INQ. 7  Assess the reliability of the data that was generated in the investigation.

D INQ. 9  Articulate conclusions and explanations based on research data, and assess results based on the design of an investigation.

 

Learning objective:

 

Students will be able to use solar energy to heat water and understand the design factors that influence the effectiveness of capturing solar energy in this context.

 

Listed below are the suggested materials for the laboratory exercise. You may use additional materials if they are available.

 

 Materials:

 

            heat lamps or sunlight                              tape

            cardboard                                                           thermometer

            aluminum foil                                         water    

            containers for water                                              colored paper or paint

            safety goggles

           

 

Considerations:

 

Teams of two students are ideal for laboratory work, but circumstances may necessitate teams of three students.  Students will need a minimum of 90 minutes to complete this laboratory exercise if you expect their lab reports to be written during class time.  You should allow at least 60 minutes of instructional time for the students to design and conduct their experiment and a minimum of 30 minutes for the students to write about their results.  As an alternative, the students can write their lab report for homework.  These time frames are merely suggestions. Additional time is appropriate if the circumstances and schedule at your school call for it.  A sample scoring rubric is provided for your convenience or you may design one of your own.

 

If the weather is unfavorable and the laboratory exercise must take place indoors, heat lamps can be used as an alternative to sunlight.   If your students are unfamiliar with solar cookers, various designs and photographs of solar cookers may be found at these and many other sites:

 

http://solarcooking.org

http://pbskids.org/zoom/activities/sci/solarcookers.html

 

 

The curriculum-embedded task can be integrated into a unit on energy sources and used in any high school physical or Earth science course.  The curriculum-embedded task is intended to be used as a formative assessment during the appropriate instructional unit.  The Connecticut Academic Performance Test – Generation III will include some open-ended items that will assess scientific inquiry and communication skills in the same context as this task.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Curriculum-Embedded Laboratory Investigation

Scoring Rubric

Statement of Problem and Hypothesis

3          The problem and hypothesis are stated clearly and completely.  Clear identification of independent and dependent variables.

2          The problem and hypothesis are stated adequately.  Adequate identification of independent and dependent variables.

1          The problem and/or hypothesis are poorly stated.  Poor identification of independent and dependent variable.

0          The statement of the problem and/or hypothesis is very limited or missing altogether.  No identification of independent and dependent variables.

 

Experimental Design

3          The experimental design matches the stated problem.  Variables are held constant.  The procedures are clear, complete and replicable.  A control is included when appropriate.

2          The experimental design generally matches the stated problem.  Attempt at holding variables constant is made.  Procedures are generally complete.  Minor modifications or clarifications may be needed.

1          The experimental design matches the stated problem to some extent.  Little attempt to hold variables constant.  Procedures are incomplete.  Major modifications or clarifications may be needed.

0          The experimental design does not match the stated problem, is very incomplete or missing.  There is no attempt to hold variables constant.

 

Data Presentation

3          Data are well organized and presented in an appropriate manner.

2          Data are organized and presented in an appropriate manner.  Minor errors or omissions may be present.

1          Data are poorly organized or presented in an inappropriate manner.  Major omissions or errors may be present.

0          Data are very poorly organized or presented in an inappropriate manner or missing altogether.

 

Conclusions

3          Conclusions are fully supported by data and address the hypothesis.  Reliability of data and validity of conclusions are thoroughly discussed.

2          Conclusions are generally supported by data and address the hypothesis.  Minor errors in interpretation of results may be present. Discussion of reliability of data and validity of conclusions is limited.

1          Conclusions are supported by data and address the hypothesis to a limited extent.  Major errors in interpretation of results may be present. There is little discussion of the reliability of the data or validity of conclusions.

0          Conclusions are not supported by data, do not address the hypothesis or are missing.  There is no discussion of the reliability of data or validity of conclusions.

 

Excellent performance                         10-12 points

Proficient performance                        7-9 points

Marginal performance             4-6 points

Unsatisfactory performance     0-3 points


Student Name:_____________    Class:_____

 

 

 

File written by Adobe Photoshop® 5.2

 

 

 

 Solar Cooker

 

     Laboratory Investigation

           Student Materials


 

 

Solar Cooker

 

Student Materials

 

Most people in the United States use an electric stove or a natural gas stove to cook their food.  This is not the case in much of the world.  Approximately 50% of the people on Earth cook using fire from burning wood.  However, due to overuse, wood is becoming a scarce commodity in many countries.  In addition, burning wood is a major source of air pollution. 

 

One alternative to cooking with wood is using solar cookers.  These devices use energy from the sun to cook food without producing any pollution.  While there are many designs for solar cookers, a simple solar cooker can be made from everyday materials.  There are many factors that can influence the effectiveness of a solar cooker including the size of the collector, the orientation of the panel and the color of the container.

 

 

Your Task

 

You and your lab partner will design and conduct an experiment to investigate one factor that contributes to the effectiveness of a solar cooker in heating water. Factors you may want to investigate include: the shape of the collector, the shape of the water container, orientation of the collector, surface area or color of the container.

 

You have been provided with the following materials and equipment.  It may not be necessary to use all of the equipment that has been provided. 

 

Suggested materials:

 

heat lamps or sunlight                              tape

cardboard                                               thermometer

aluminum foil                                         water

container for water                                   colored paper or paint

safety goggles

 

 


 

 

 

 

Designing and Conducting Your Experiment

 

 

1.  In your words, state the problem you are going to investigate.  Write a hypothesis using an “If … then … because …” statement that describes what you expect to find and why.  Include a clear identification of the independent and dependent variables that will be studied.

 

2.  Design an experiment to solve the problem.  Your experimental design should match the statement of the problem and should be clearly described so that someone else could easily replicate your experiment.  Include a control if appropriate and state which variables need to be held constant.

 

3.  Review your design with your teacher before you begin your experiment. 

 

4.  Conduct your experiment.  While conducting your experiment, take notes and organize your data into tables.

 

Safety note: Students must wear approved safety goggles and follow all safety instructions.

 

When you have finished, your teacher will give you instructions for cleanup procedures, including proper disposal of all materials.

 

 


 

 

 

 

                        Communicating Your Findings

 

Working on your own, summarize your investigation in a laboratory report that includes the following:

 

 

 

 

 


Grades 9-10

Curriculum-Embedded Performance Task

               Strand I: Energy Transformations

 

 

 

 

 

File written by Adobe Photoshop® 5.2

 

 

Energy Uses in Connecticut 

 

              Science, Technology and Society              Teacher Materials

               

 

 

 

 


Energy Uses in Connecticut

 

Teacher Materials

 

This curriculum-embedded science performance task is related to the content standards and expected performances for Grades 9-10, as described in the Core Science Curriculum Framework, under Scientific Inquiry, Literacy and Numeracy, Strand I – Energy Transformations. 

 

 

Targeted Content Standard

9.3 - Various sources of energy are used by humans and all have advantages and disadvantages.

Targeted Scientific Inquiry, Literacy and Numeracy Standards

D INQ. 2  Read, interpret and examine the credibility and validity of scientific claims in different sources of information.

D INQ. 9  Articulate conclusions and explanations based on research data, and assess results based on the design of an investigation.

D INQ. 10 Communicate about science in different formats, using relevant science vocabulary, supporting evidence and clear logic.

 

 

 

Learning objective: 

 

Students will graph energy trends in Connecticut over several years and, based on their research, they will explain the advantages and disadvantages as it relates to one trend in energy use.

 

Materials:

 

Access to computers/Internet

Excel program

Graph paper and ruler (alternative)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Considerations:

 

           

If access to computers or the Excel program is difficult, the graphing portion may be done by hand.  Not all students are equally comfortable with Excel worksheets and the related program features.  Tutorial programs are available online and include features that will assist students in the conversion of units and graphing from spreadsheets.  Tutorials on the use of Excel programs may be found at the following websites and many others:

           

http://www.microsoft.com/education/Excel97Tutorial.mspx

            http://www.j-walk.com/ss/excel/usertips/index.htm

 

 

Should you prefer to have students work in metric units, you will want to provide them with the following equalities:   1 kW-hr = 3,600 kJ = 2,544 Btu (British thermal unit).

 

Two alternative Excel sheets are provided for differentiation purposes or you may use one of your own design.

 

Students will find appropriate newspaper articles by using the ProQuest Newspaper feature within the ICONN database at http://www.iconn.org to find a history of energy use in Connecticut. The Hartford Courant has information beginning in the year 1992, The Boston Globe and The New York Times have articles starting in 1980 about energy trends in Connecticut. 

 

 

 


Student Name_____________   Class_____

 

 

 

File written by Adobe Photoshop® 5.2

 

 

 

  Energy Uses in Connecticut

 

   Science, Technology and Society

           Student Materials

 

Grades 9-10

 

Energy Uses in Connecticut

 

Student Materials

 

Energy is used every day to heat and light our homes, schools and businesses.  Have you ever thought about where the energy we use every day comes from?   How have these energy sources changed during the last several decades?

 

You have been provided with a spreadsheet containing some information about energy use and its sources in Connecticut from 1960 through 2001.  Use this information and the Excel program to prepare a line graph showing the trends in energy consumption from the following sources: coal; natural gas; nuclear; hydroelectric; and wood/waste during this time span. 

 

Your task is to choose one of the fuel sources (coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric or waste) and research the advantages and disadvantages of this particular energy trend as it is illustrated on the graph.  Does this trend support Connecticut’s initiative to significantly decrease the use of nonrenewable resources by the year 2010?   You may use the ProQuest Newspaper feature within the ICONN database at http://www.iconn.org to find a history of energy use in Connecticut. The Hartford Courant, The Boston Globe and The New York Times all have articles specific to energy trends in Connecticut.  Other support materials for the study of energy resources may be found at the websites listed below.

 

Nuclear Energy Resources                                                          

           

            Energy Information Administration: Nuclear

            http://www.eia.doe.gov/fuelnuclear.html

 

            Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology

            http://www.ne.doe.gov/

 

Hydroelectric Energy Resources

 

            National Hydropower Association

            http://hydro.org

 

            Power Matters: Hydroelectric Power

            http://www.tva.gov/power/hydro.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Renewable Energy Resources

 

            Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

            http://www.eere.energy.gov/RE/bio_basics.html

 

            Connecticut Clean Energy Fund

            http://ctcleanenergy.com/renewable/biomass_tech.html

 

 

National Renewable Energy Laboratory: Education Program

http://www.nrel.gov/learning/

 

Renewable Energy Policy Project

http://www.crest.org/

 

 

Coal Energy Resources

 

            Office of Fossil Energy-U.S. Department of Energy

            http://www.fe.doe.gov/programs/powersystems/cleancoal/index.html

 

            Coal Fired Power Generation

            http://www.rst2.edu/ties/acidrain/IEcoal/how.htm

 

 

Natural Gas Energy Resources

 

            Adventures in Energy

            http://www.adventuresinenergy.org/main.swf

 

            Natural Gas Supply Organization

            http://www.naturalgas.org

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Energy Information Administration    

Last updated 12/15/2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 7. Energy Consumption Estimates by Source, 1960-2001, Connecticut

 

 

 

Petroleum Products

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year

Coal

(Trillion Btu)

Natural Gas

(Trillion Btu)

 Asphalt & Road Oil

(Trillion Btu)

Aviation Gasoline

(Trillion Btu)

Distillate Fuel

(Trillion Btu)

Jet Fuel

(Trillion Btu)

Kerosene

(Trillion Btu)

LPG

(Trillion Btu)

Lubricants

(Trillion Btu)

Motor Gasoline

(Trillion Btu)

Residential Fuel

(Trillion Btu)

Other

(Trillion Btu)

Total Petroleum Prod.

(Trillion Btu)

Nuclear Electric Power

(Trillion Btu)

Hydroelectric Power

(Trillion Btu)

Wood and Waste

(Trillion Btu)

Other a,f

(Trillion Btu)

Net Interstate Electricity Flow/Losses

(Trillion Btu)

Total

(Trillion Btu)

1960

101.7

29.4

7.2

0.5

136.1

6.4

10.9

4.4

2.1

101.6

91.9

1.3

362.4

0

4.6

12.8

0

-2.8

508.2

1961

107.5

31.4

6.5

0.5

136.1

6.2

11.1

4.4

2.1

103.9

93.5

1.4

365.8

0

3.9

13.2

0

-3.5

518.4

1962

112.1

33.4

8

0.6

135.4

6.7

9.6

5

3.2

108.4

100.6

1.6

379

0

3.1

12.8

0

-3.4

536.9

1963

117.4

35.6

6.7

0.9

133.6

6.8

8

5.7

3.2

112.3

102.3

3

382.5

0

2.9

13.3

0

-4

547.7

1964

120.8

38.6

5.9

0.8

119.5

6.6

7.1

6.1

3.4

115.6

123.7

3.8

392.5

0

2.8

13.9

0

-2.3

566.3

1965

128.6

41.7

8.8

0.9

123.4

8

7.4

5.5

3.4

120.5

107.9

3.7

389.4

0

2

13.5

0

-3.2

572

1966

136.2

48.7

7.9

0.8

117.5

8.7

5.2

5.9

3.5

126

130.8

26.9

433.1

0

2.6

13.6

0

-4.3

630

1967

109.5

50.8

7

0.7

121.1

9.6

4.5

5.8

2.9

128.8

159.6

29.7

469.7

6.1

4.1

14

0

-6.3

647.9

1968

82.4

54.1

8

0.8

130

13.2

4.1

6.5

3.2

137.4

176.1

33.1

512.5

33.9

3.7

14.9

0

-26.2

675.4

1969

59.2

58.4

8.5

0.7

134.7

14.9

4.2

7.3

3.4

142.8

203.9

33.2

553.6

40.2

4.4

15.3

0

-36.3

694.8

1970

48.6

61.5

6.8

0.6

140.5

16.4

4.4

7

3.5

150.4

223.8

34

587.4

39.6

3.5

15.8

0

-34

722.4

1971

36.4

62.4

8.1

0.6

140.4

12.4

4.4

7.1

2.9

155.2

212.6

2.7

546.4

84.2

4.1

16.1

0

-64.9

684.7

1972

4.2

65

9.7

0.6

144.3

15.9

5.1

7.9

3.1

161.8

255.9

3.1

607.4

83.9

5.6

17.1

0

-63.1

720.2

1973

2.6

63.5

10.4

0.6

148.2

14.2

3.4

8.2

3.3

166

272.2

3.4

629.8

46.9

4.6

17.2

0

-18.8

746

1974

6.5

67.1

7.3

0.5

135.1

13.8

3.1

8

3.2

165.5

236.6

3.6

576.8

89

4.5

18

0

-44.7

717.2

1975

1.3

64.3

8.4

0.5

125.9

12

3.3

8.2

2.4

167.2

204.4

3.4

535.7

89.6

5.1

17.1

0

-20.8

692.3

1976

1.2

66.4

7.4

0.4

141.1

11

4.1

8.9

2.7

171.4

206.2

6.6

559.8

136.2

4

19.9

0

-40.5

746.9

1977

1.2

64.7

6.1

0.6

138.5

12.3

2.9

8.9

2.8

174

202.2

8

556.2

141.9

4.5

19.6

0

-34

754.1

1978

0.8

66

7.6

0.5

137.3

12

2.7

8

3

174.5

215.2

8.8

569.6

151.7

3.7

22.7

0

-39.2

775.4

1979

1.1

68.8

5.6

0.4

165.9

13.5

2.1

5.4

3.1

165.4

169.2

10.5

541.2

138.2

4.8

24.6

0

-14.5

764.1

1980

0.4

74.2

4.2

0.4

129.9

11.2

2.8

5.5

2.8

158.7

184.4

11

510.9

129.1

2.7

35.3

0

-20.6

731.8

1981

0.9

78.7

5.2

0.4

114.9

8.9

2.4

4.9

2.6

158.9

135.4

13.9

447.5

139.8

2.7

36.5

0

-0.7

705.4

1982

0.8

80.4

5.2

0.3

119.4

6.1

2.2

5.1

2.4

157.9

133.9

10.7

443.1

150.9

3.9

37.2

0

-10

706.2

1983

0.7

76.6

4.9

0.3

98.5

5.4

1.7

5.2

2.5

160.4

146.6

9.3

434.8

126.4

4

39.4

0

9.5

691.4

1984

1.5

83.5

6.2

0.3

119.7

5.7

1.3

5

2.7

162.1

157.7

10.5

471.2

155

3.9

36.4

0

-31.3

720.2

1985

21.3

80.6

13.9

0.4

120.5

6.1

4

4.6

2.5

162.8

132.3

10

457.2

135.1

2.8

36

0.1

-2.6

730.4

1986

21.2

81.3

14.1

0.4

130.6

7.1

3.2

4.1

2.5

167.4

140.1

6.4

475.8

197.5

3.9

31.1

1.5

-66.9

745.3

1987

21.4

94.7

14.2

0.3

137.7

10.1

3.3

5.7

2.8

170.3

119.1

6.4

470

214.5

3.6

27.1

2

-63.8

769.4

1988

23.1

90.9

12.3

0.2

149

12.2

4.1

5.5

2.7

172.5

137.4

6.4

502.4

235.9

3.4

30.6

2.3

-87.5

801.1

1989

23.8

102

11.9

0.2

161.1

12.7

3.8

5.8

2.7

169.5

139.3

6.3

513.4

207

4.6

30.7

0.8

-65.2

817.1

1990

38.5

109

10.5

0.5

135.5

13.3

1.8

5.8

2.8

163.6

104.1

7.1

444.9

209.3

6

28.3

0.2

-64.8

771.3

1991

38.6

116

13.1

0.1

129.8

12.7

2.1

5.4

2.5

167.4

91.3

8.2

432.8

128.4

4.5

29.9

1.9

17.7

769.5

1992

39.2

126

11.1

0.1

146

13

1.4

6.8

2.6

171.2

68.3

8.5

429.1

175.6

4.4

34.1

3.2

-8.6

803.2

1993

37.3

126

10.5

0.2

134.7

13.1

1.6

6.1

2.6

173.9

55.5

8.6

406.6

229

4.2

34.2

3.7

-45

796

1994

38.6

134

11.1

0.1

128.4

13.9

1.5

5.4

2.7

170.9

47.6

8.8

390.3

210.7

5

35.2

4.2

-22.4

796

1995

40.8

145

12.7

0.2

124.2

14.1

1.4

5.1

2.7

159.5

42.8

8.4

371.1

197

3.6

43.2

4.5

-26.3

778.9

1996

41.1

139

10.4

0.2

129.1

15.4

1.3

5.5

2.6

170.4

65.4

21.8

422.1

65.4

6.5

48.3

4.7

101.4

828.6

1997

45

149

8.1

0.1

129.2

13.4

1.6

6.3

2.8

171.7

92.3

23.8

449.2

-1.3

4.5

43.7

6

126.9

822.6

1998

32.6

135

3.7

0.3

115.8

12.5

2

8.1

2.9

175.1

94.2

23.9

438.5

34

4.6

42.8

5

113.1

805.5

1999

15.2

156

4.4

0.2

130.5

13.9

2

6.1

2.9