Scope & Sequence


Grade 3

By the end of grade three, gifted students should be able to:

Concept of scale:

  • Understand that there are parts of things that are not visible with our eyes such as atoms, molecules, cells, and electrons.

Traits and habits of mind of scientists:

  • Know that scientists are curious; students should demonstrate curiosity by examining a wide range of issues in science.
  • Know that scientists are creative; Students should generate many, varied and unusual solutions and related ideas for specific problems.
  • Know that scientists are analytical; Students should practice clarifying problems and transforming ideas into solutions.
  • Understand the growth mindset; Intelligence is malleable and that even highly intelligent people have to be persistent and work hard.
  • Understand intrinsic motivation; Scientists choose to work on subjects that are interesting to them.

Interrelated science process skills:

  • Raise questions about the world and be willing to seek answers to these questions by making careful observations and trying things out.
  • Understand that scientists' explanations about what happens in the world come partly from what they observe, partly from what they think.

Knowledge of nanoscience content:

  • Understand that all materials have certain physical properties, such as strength, hardness, flexibility, durability, resistance to water and fire, and ease of conducting heat.
  • Use measuring devices (length, mass, time) and understanding of units such as meter, gram, and second. Use metric prefixes that are common to objects on the human scale: kilo, milli, centi.
  • Name numbers such as 1,000, 1,000,000 and so on. Develop understanding of relative sizes and amounts.

Grade 5

By the end of grade five, gifted students should be able to:

Concept of scale:

  • Understand that natural phenomena often involve sizes, durations, and speeds that are extremely small or extremely large. These phenomena may be difficult to appreciate because they involve magnitudes far outside human experience.
  • Understand that objects that are not visible with our eyes have very different sizes such as: atoms, molecules, cells, cell organelles, and protein molecules.

Traits and habits of mind of scientists:

  • Know that creative production in science involves both divergent and convergent thinking; Students should denerate options using divergent thinking tools and select optimal solutions using convergent thinking.
  • Understand that creative products can have associated risks; Students should explore the broader implications of intended outcomes.
  • Understand that real-world problems are often "messy"; Student should analyze issues and determine appropriate pathways for problem solving.
  • Understand that scientists select the best solution from multiple possible solutions; Students should analyze different novel solutions stemming from a single problem.
  • Develop a growth mindset; Students should think of their own abilities as malleable and understand that need for hard work is not an indication of low ability.
  • Develop intrinsic motivation; Students should develop an area of interest and study it in a variety of ways.

Interrelated science process skills:

  • Conduct scientific investigations that involve the collection of relevant data, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses and explanations to make sense of the collected data.
  • Use clear communication in science. Present a brief scientific explanation orally or in writing that includes a claim and the evidence and reasoning that supports the claim.

Knowledge of nanoscience content:

  • Know that a substance has characteristic properties such as density, a boiling point, and solubility, all of which are independent of the amount of the substance and can be used to identify it.
  • Understand that some properties of an object depend on its length, some depend on its area, and some depend on its volume.
  • Use basic units of the metric system and additional prefixes such as mega, micro, and nano. Use prefixes to express measurements in appropriate units and to compare sizes of objects.
  • Use a light microscope to examine objects that are not visible with our eyes.

Grade 8

By the end of grade eight, gifted students should be able to:

Concept of scale:

  • Understand that when the linear dimensions of an object change by some factor, its area and volume change disproportionately: area in proportion to the square of the factor and volume in proportion to its cube. Properties of an object that depend on its area or volume also change disproportionately.
  • Make accurate size comparisons of nanosized objects with other small objects.

Traits and habits of mind of scientists:

  • Understand that scientists use creative thinking skills to innovate; Students should demonstrate fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration in the creation of novel products.
  • Understand that our initial ideas about how something works many be incorrect and that scientists revise their ways of thinking based on observations an inferences; Students should reflect on differences between their preconceived notions and a discrepant event to modify cognitive schema.
  • Understand that scientific knowledge is developed by many scientists working together; Students should participate in meaningful discussions about science topics.
  • Develop intrinsic motivation; Students should research a topic of personal interest and conduct a scientific investigation designed to answer a question about the topic.
  • Apply Creative Problem Solving or scientific method processes to a complex problem to determine one or more viable solutions.
  • Understand that changes in foundations of science often result in technological innovation over time; Students should connect scientific discoveries with technological innovations.

Interrelated science process skills:

  • Design and conduct experiments that control conditions in order to obtain evidence. If controls are not possible for practical or ethical reasons, observe as wide a range of natural occurrences as possible to be able to discern patterns.
  • Organize information in simple tables and graphs. Identify relationships they reveal. Communicate findings to others clearly. Prepare a visual presentation to aid in explaining procedures or ideas.

Knowledge of nanoscience content:

  • Express numbers like 100, 1,000, and 1,000,000 as powers of ten. Use powers of ten scales to compare the sizes of objects. Identify and differentiate the different ranges of object sizes.
  • Describe, using the conventional language of science, the size of a nanometer.
  • Understand that new tools for observing and manipulating matter increase our abilities to investigate and innovate. Understand how scientists observe and manipulate objects in the nanoscale.
  • Understand that nanosized materials exhibit some size-dependent effects that are not observed in bulk materials. Describe new properties that occur at the nanoscale.
  • Describe an application (or potential application) of nanoscience and its possible effects on society. Evaluate nanotechnology applications in terms of benefits to society, risks, and ethical implications.
  • Understand that the study of unique phenomena at the nanoscale could vastly change our understanding of matter and lead to new questions and answers in many areas, including health care, the environment, and technology.
  • Understand that Individuals and society must decide on proposals involving new research and the introduction of new technologies into society. Make decisions that involve assessment of alternatives, risks, costs, and benefits and consideration of who benefits and who suffers, who pays and gains, and what the risks are and who bears them. Students should understand the appropriateness and value of basic questions - "What can happen?" - "What are the odds?" - and "How do scientists and engineers know what will happen?"

Grade 12

By the end of grade twelve, gifted students should be able to:

Concept of scale:

  • Describe how different properties are not affected to the same degree by changes in size, and how large changes in size typically change the way that things work in physical, biological, or social systems.
  • Make accurate comparisons of objects with sizes that span the extant range of scale.


Traits and habits of mind of scientists:

  • Analyze the supports and obstacles to successful implementation of ideas.
  • Analyze solutions generated by opposing factions to address a common problem.
  • Generate and evaluate original solutions to real world problems through deliberate structured problem solving.
  • Design a plan for successful resolution of problem.
  • Objectively analyze the strengths and limitations of implementation options for a policy.
  • Initiate and facilitate a Socratic seminar using scientific and technical articles.
  • Evaluate commercial and informational media for multiple perspectives and biases for or against new technology or information.

Interrelated science process skills:

  • Design and conduct investigations that serve different purposes, including how to explore new phenomena, to check on previous results, to test how well a theory predicts, and to compare different theories.
  • Analyze data using appropriate technology. Use graphs and equations are to depict and analyze patterns of change. Model experimental data with equations and use the models to make predications.

Knowledge of nanoscience content:

  • Explain why properties of nanoscale objects sometimes differ from those of the same materials at the bulk scale.
  • Manipulate exponential and scientific notation. Understand that representing very large or very small numbers in terms of powers of ten makes it easier to perform calculations using those numbers.
  • Predict new properties than may occur at the nanoscale and hypothesize applications that could utilize these properties.
  • Describe how both shape and scale can have important consequences for the performance of systems.
  • Describe and compare very small and very large quantities using powers-of-ten notation and ratios.
  • Explain how nanoscale objects can be manipulated and observed. Explain how an Atomic Force Microscope and a Scanning Tunneling Microscope work, and give an example of their use.
  • Make policy recommendations regarding nanoscience that are substantiated by evidence and logic. Compare a current technology solution with a related nanotechnology-enabled solution for the same problem. Analyze issues from multiple perspectives.
  • Know that understanding basic concepts and principles of science and technology should precede active debate about the economics, policies, politics, and ethics of various science - and technology - related challenges. However, understanding science alone will not resolve local, national or global challenges.
  • Understand that sometimes there are advances in science and technology that have important and long lasting effects on science and society. Examples of such advances include the following: Copernican revolution, Newtonian mechanics, Relativity, Geologic time scale, Plate tectonics, Atomic theory, Nuclear physics, Biological evolution, Germ theory, Industrial revolution, Molecular biology, Information and communication, Quantum theory, Galactic universe, Medical and health technology, and Nanotechnology.

Website by Lori Andersen, 2012