- Explain how the transfer of energy through radiation, conduction, and convection contributes to global atmospheric processes, e.g., storms, winds.
- Explain how the revolution of the earth and the inclination of the axis of the earth cause the earth's seasonal variations (equinoxes and solstices).
- Explain the dynamics of oceanic currents, including upwelling, density and deep water currents, the local Labrador Current, and the Gulf Stream, and their relationship to global circulation within the marine environment and climate.
- Describe how glaciers, gravity, wind, temperature changes, waves, and rivers cause weathering and erosion. Give examples of how the effects of these processes can be seen in our local environment.
- Explain how water flows into and through a watershed, e.g., aquifers, wells, porosity, permeability, water table, capillary water, runoff.
- Describe the rock cycle, and the processes that are responsible for the formation of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. Compare the physical properties of these rock types.
- Describe the absolute and relative dating methods used to measure geologic time, e.g., index fossils, radioactive dating, law of superposition, and cross-cutting relationships.
- Trace the development of a lithospheric plate from its growing margin at a divergent boundary (mid-ocean ridge) to its destructive margin at a convergent boundary (subduction zone). Explain the relationship between convection currents and the motion of the lithospheric plates.
- Explain how the sun, earth, and solar system formed from a nebula of dust and gas in a spiral arm of the Milky Way Galaxy about 4.6 billion years ago.
- Describe the composition and functions of the four major categories of organic molecules (carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids).
- Relate cell parts/organelles to their functions.
- Differentiate between prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells, in terms of their general structures and degrees of complexity.
- Distinguish between plant and animal cells.
- Explain the role of cell membranes as a highly selective barrier (diffusion, osmosis, and active transport).
- Provide evidence that the organic compounds produced by plants are the primary source of energy and nutrients for most living things.
- Explain the interrelated nature of photosynthesis and cellular respiration.
- Describe and compare the processes of mitosis and meiosis, and their role in the cell cycle.
- Describe the structure and function of DNA, and distinguish among replication, transcription, and translation.
- Use a Punnett Square to determine the genotype and phenotype of monohybrid crosses.
- Describe how the taxonomic system classifies living things into domains (eubacteria, archaebacteria, and eukaryotes) and kingdoms (animals, plants, fungi, etc.).
- Explain how biotic and abiotic factors cycle in an ecosystem (water, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen).
- Use a food web to identify and distinguish producers, consumers, and decomposers, and explain the transfer of energy through trophic levels.
- Identify and explain some of the physical properties that are used to classify matter, e.g., density, melting point, and boiling point.
- Explain the difference between mixtures and pure substances.
- Describe the four states of matter (solid, liquid, gas, plasma) in terms of energy, particle motion, and phase transitions.
- Identify the major components of the nuclear atom (protons, neutrons, and electrons) and explain how they interact.
- Compare nuclear fission and nuclear fusion and mass defect.
- Explain the relationship of an element's position on the periodic table to its atomic number and mass.
- Explain how atoms combine to form compounds through both ionic and covalent bonding.
- Balance chemical equations by applying the law of conservation of mass.
- Describe the process by which solutes dissolve in solvents.
- Identify and explain the factors that affect the rate of dissolving, i.e., temperature, concentration, and mixing.
- Define Arrhenius' theory of acids and bases in terms of the presence of hydronium and hydroxide ions, and Bronsted's theory of acids and bases in terms of proton donor and acceptor, and relate their concentrations to the pH scale.
- Explain the relationship between mass and inertia.
- Interpret and apply Newton's first law of motion.
- Interpret and apply Newton's second law of motion to show how an object's motion will change only when a net force is applied.
- Understand conceptually Newton's law of universal gravitation.
- Interpret and provide examples that illustrate the law of conservation of energy.
- Relate thermal energy to molecular motion.
- Differentiate between wave motion (simple harmonic nonlinear motion) and the motion of objects (nonharmonic).
- Recognize the measurable properties of waves (e.g., velocity, frequency, wavelength) and explain the relationships among them.
- Distinguish between mechanical and electromagnetic waves.
- Describe the electromagnetic spectrum in terms of wavelength and energy, and be able to identify specific regions such as visible light.