A set of consensus comments in response to the National Research Council’s Conceptual Framework for New Science Education Standards

July 22, 2010 Gatlinburg, Tennessee

To:      The National Research Council Committee on K-12 Science Education

Fr:       The Ocean Literacy Community

Re:       Comments on the Draft NRC Science Framework for Science Education

We, the scientists and educators on the Board of Directors of the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA), and on the NMEA Ocean Literacy Committee, are pleased to offer our comments on the recently distributed DRAFT “Framework for Science Education.” NMEA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the NSF Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence, the College of Exploration, National Geographic Society and the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley have worked diligently in a nationwide, grassroots, collaborative effort for several years to develop and publish The Ocean Literacy Framework, comprised of two key documents, “Ocean Literacy: The Essential Principles of Ocean Sciences K-12,” and “The Ocean Literacy Scope & Sequence for Grades K-12.” These documents were developed slowly, iteratively and thoughtfully with significant and substantive participation by hundreds of scientists, science educators and classroom teachers around the country. Over 150 participants were involved in working groups on the actual development of the documents while another 200 were involved in the iterative review of the documents. Thus, they represent a solid, uncontroversial, community consensus regarding the few essential ideas in ocean sciences that we think all students should understand by the end of Grade 12. To learn more about the process we used to develop the Ocean Literacy Framework, and the people who were involved, please see, “NMEA Special Report #3 on Ocean Literacy, Featuring the Ocean Literacy Scope and Sequence for Grades K-12,” March 2010. It can also be found at http://www.oceanliteracy.net. Our comments in this letter are submitted on behalf of the entire Ocean Literacy community.

We recognize that this draft Framework represents a major evolutionary step forward in science education and that it applies many of the principles and research findings about the learning and teaching of science that have arisen over the last decade. We especially applaud your effort to overcome the mile wide, inch deep syndrome by including a limited number of core ideas, and so, want to be clear that we are not simply recommending the addition of our “favorite science topics” (Chapter 1, p. 14) to an already overstuffed curriculum. Our intent is to adjust the core ideas and their components that you have identified so that they reflect the true complexity of the natural world, including the tremendous influence of the ocean on living things, Earth systems and Earth processes. We also recognize and applaud your commitment to the notion of learning as an ongoing developmental progression.  We hope that “The Ocean Literacy Scope and Sequence for Grades K-12” will support this research-based vision, especially as you complete the “Prototype Learning Progressions,” and as Achieve begins to develop grade-by-grade Common Core Science Standards. While we do not yet have the evidence to claim that the Scope and Sequence is a learning progression, it represents a carefully thought out, viable and plausible hypothesis of how learning might progress from Kindergarten through Grade 12 related to each of the seven Essential Principles of Ocean Literacy. We also support the balancing and intertwining of science knowledge with the practices of science, and we recognize that unique practices are often required in exploring remote and extreme environments in the ocean. Allowing time for students to engage in investigations and argumentation will be a significant advancement in science teaching and learning.

We applaud the inclusion of water (and so, ocean sciences) in the Earth and Space Science section, particularly under the framing question, “Why do we call Earth the Water Planet?” We have made several recommendations to further strengthen this section. We are concerned, however, that the essential role of the ocean in influencing and shaping all systems, living and non-living, on Earth has, as in previous standards and benchmarks, been largely overlooked in other sections of the Draft Framework. There are aspects of life in the ocean and of ocean processes that are quite unique and unlike their counterparts on land and in the atmosphere. There appears to be a default assumption that science exists exclusively in a terrestrial environment. In some cases, using ocean examples can simply provide a more full understanding of a complex concept; in other cases, the omission of ocean examples can lead to misconceptions or even factual incorrectness, e.g., referring to “organisms” as “plants, animals and microorganisms” might lead learners to ignore the important ecological role of macro-algae or to think that algae are plants, or worse yet, to never know that algae exist. Similarly, referring to only photosynthesis when discussing primary productivity denies learners the opportunity to understand the critical global ecological importance of chemosynthesis in deep sea hydro-thermal vents. While considerable attention is finally and rightfully being placed nationwide on understanding the causes and consequences of climate change, we have observed that many climate change education efforts have ignored the critical importance of the influence of the ocean on the climate, and vice-versa, the influence of the changing climate on the ocean. We hope that this Framework for Science Education will reflect the most current research by climate and ocean scientists, showing the inextricable interconnections between the two. Our ability as a race to respond to climate change depends on our accurate and full understanding of this complex relationship.

We provide specific, section-by-section comments below, but first some general summary thoughts and recommendations:

1)     Ocean sciences are not limited to Earth and Space Science. We are not suggesting that the Science Framework should be packed with ocean sciences or that ocean sciences should claim a separate strand of the curriculum. Rather, in a few key places, simple editing and the addition of a word or two can give a much richer and more accurate description of a concept, and can avoid the inescapable default of having learners think only from their human-centric, terrestrial perspective.

2)     We hope that one or more of the many ocean scientists who have been so deeply involved in thinking about K-12 education over the last decade can play a role on each of your Framework design teams, and on the Achieve team that will write the standards themselves. In this time of melting ice caps, increasing ocean temperatures, crashing fisheries, ocean acidification, and dramatic increase in the national effort toward ocean exploration and research, it is critical to have ocean sciences fully represented by people with special expertise in this area. Ocean exploration and research are advancing at an unprecedented rate, and have been acknowledged as a matter of great national importance, akin to the space program of the 1960s. Ocean observing, remote sensing, advanced robotics and computer modeling are daily revising what we thought we knew and influencing our lives and futures. The discipline must be represented by those conversant with these advances.

Congratulations on your excellent work so far!

Specific Comments:

Core Disciplinary Ideas

Life Sciences

LS 1 Organisms have structures and functions that facilitate…

p. 3-2 Line 13-17 should be:

In most cases, the energy needed is ultimately derived from the sun (photosynthesis), though in some ecologically important cases, energy is derived from reactions involving inorganic chemicals in the absence of sunlight (chemosynthesis). Plants, algae and other energy fixing organisms, such as microbes, use sunlight and chemical compounds from the air, water and soil to facilitate a chemical process that stores energy. These organisms form matter and maintain activities that sustain the rest of the food web. Most of the photosynthesis and chemosynthesis on Earth take place in the ocean. Most of the oxygen in the atmosphere originally came from the activities of photosynthetic organisms in the ocean.

LS 3 Organisms and populations of organisms obtain necessary resources…

p. 3-4, Lines 7-12 should be:

Materials cycle within ecosystems through the predator/prey interactions of different organisms in complex food webs. Some organisms are primary producers, some are consumers, some are predators and some are decomposers. Ecosystems are continuously changing. Changes in environmental factors can result in changes in populations and species, in the maintenance or extinction of species in the ecosystem, or in migration of species into or out of the region. Ecosystems with a wide variety of species tend to be more resilient to change than those with few species. Most of the living space on Earth, and so most of Earth’s ecosystems are found in the ocean. As a result, there is a tremendous diversity of organisms in the ocean, and many major groups (Phyla and Classes) of organisms occur only in the ocean.

p. 3-5, Line 1 should be: How can we explain many different kinds of plants, algae, animals and microorganisms?

p. 3-6 Line 6: add: “…surroundings (from species to landscapes and seascapes)…

LS3.A. Should be: How do organisms depend on the other members of their food web, and on the physical (abiotic) environment?

LS3.B. Should be: How do organisms in an ecosystem get the materials and energy they need? Do organisms accomplish this differently in the ocean compared to how they do it on land?

LS3.C. Should be: What happens to organisms and ecosystems when there are changes in the environment? What environments and ecosystems are most susceptible to change?

LS 4, p. 3-5 Line 1 Should be:  How can we explain the many different kinds of plants, algae, animals, and microorganisms?

Lines 10-11 are incomplete. Should be: Organic evolution, and the net result of speciation minus extinction has led to the planet’s biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Sustaining biodiversity is essential for the maintenance and enhancement of the human population’s quality of life. Most of Earth’s different ecosystems and most of Earth’s biodiversity reside in the ocean.

LS 4, p. 3-5 Line 13 is incomplete. Should be: Fossil record provides evidence of different life forms at different periods of geologic history. The earliest evidence of life is found in the ocean.

Earth and Space Science

ESS 2 Earth is a complex and dynamic 4.6-billion year-old system of rock, water, air and life.

p. 3-8 Lines 9-11 are incomplete. Should be: These plates are the top parts of giant convection cells that bring hot materials from the deep mantle up to he surface to cool off at seafloor spreading centers, then fall back into subduction zones.

p. 3-8 Line 15 is incomplete. Should be: Earth’s rocks and other materials provide a record of its 4.6 billion-year-old history, which can be deciphered from fossil-bearing layers and radioactive and other dating methods. The ocean and life in the ocean continually shape the features of Earth. Most rock formations now exposed on land were formed in the ocean.

ESS 3: Line 22 is incomplete. Should be: “Earth’s surface continually changes from the movement and cycling of water and rock driven by sunlight and gravity.

This sentence should read, “…by gravity and energy from the sun.”

  1. 3-9 Line 1: The question, “Why do we call Earth the Water Planet?” Should be re-phrased as, “Why do we call Earth the Ocean Planet?” We now know that water does exist on other planets and on our moon. No other planet that we know of, however, has an ocean. It is this large reservoir of water that defines our planet and allows for life to exist.

p. 3-9 Line 4: Add after “…surface systems”: Nearly all water, which covers over 70% of Earth’s surface, resides in one interconnected reservoir called the ocean. This large reservoir makes Earth unique among all known planets.

Physical Sciences

PS 3  p. 3-12 and 3-13 Lines 19 – 4

“In everyday language we speak of producing, using or wasting energy. This is because energy that is in concentrated form is useful for running machines, generating electricity for heat and light etc., while dissipated energy in the environment is not readily recaptured. Most processes tend to dissipate energy. Food, fuel and electric power are concentrated energy resources that can be moved from place to place to provide energy where needed. Food and fuel contain carbohydrates. These substances react with oxygen in burning or digestive processes to release thermal energy and carbon dioxide and other by-products. This process is a key energy provider for most animal life and for many forms of electrical generation, transportation and industrial machines.”

Add light to list of energy resources in line 22, page 3-12 because light is a vital concentrated energy resource.

Fuel is an imprecise term and equates fuel to carbohydrates inappropriately. For example, animal fats are used as fuels, but are not carbohydrates – they are lipids.

Replace “animal” with “living organisms” in line 3 of page 3 – 13. The implication is that other organisms, including plants, do not respire.

We recommend the inclusion of the existence of life in extreme environments and the energy processes found there as it is a fundamental concept of both energy transfer and the basis for theories of the beginnings of life.

Engineering and Technology

ET 1 Page 3-15, line 7:

A tool is a physical or cyber object that improves people’s abilities to design, build and utilize products, processes and systems; to cut, shape, or put together materials, to move things from one place to another, to grow and process food, and to explore the planet’s land, water, and space.


Et 4 Page 3-18, line 7 and 8: insert:

…how long people live. Exploration technology has dramatically affected our understanding of space and will continue to affect our understanding of our planet, land and ocean. Understanding our planet and all of its currently unknown resources will also influence the future of mankind.


Prototype Learning Progressions:


Life Sciences

LS1.A. p. 7-9

Grades 3-5

The internal and external structures of plants, animals and other organisms serve…

Grades 6-8 

…and chloroplasts in plants and algae use light…

Grades 9-12

remove “molecular concentration” and replaces with: …”(e.g., light, temperature, nutrients, salinity, and pH).”

LS1.B. p. 7-10

Grades K-2

Most animals have offspring, usually with two parents involved. (NOTE to authors: Not “all,” e.g., colonial anemones clone…)

Grades 3-5

Plants, animals, and other organisms have unique and diverse life cycles that include being born (sprouting in plants)… The details of the life cycle vary greatly for different groups of organisms.

Grades 6-8 

All organisms reproduce sexually or asexually and transfer their genetic information to their offspring.

Grades 9-12 

This question seems unnecessarily exclusive of other reproductive processes. Perhaps it could be, How is genetic information transmitted from one generation to the next.

LS1.C. p. 7-11

Sub-question text     

…In most cases, the energy needed is ultimately derived from the sun…

Grades K-2

…Organisms meet their needs for survival in different ways. Organisms need to take in water and, animals need to take in food. In addition, plants and plant-like organisms need light and minerals.

Grades 6-8

…For an organism to use food energy and building materials…

In many groups of animals, oxygen is needed for the combustion of food, and may be absorbed from the environment by an organism’s lungs, gills, skin, or outer membrane. Carbon dioxide must also be eliminated.

In living things, molecules from food react with oxygen to provide energy…

Plants, algae and many micro-organisms use the energy from light to make…

Last sentence should read: Plants need minerals and other nutrients from the soil to make complex molecules from the sugar they make. Algae need minerals and nutrients dissolved in ocean water for the same purpose.

Grades 9-12

Paragraph 4 should begin: Plants, algae and photosynthetic micro-organisms take energy from light to form sugar molecule. …Through processes like photosynthesis and chemosynthesis, plants algae and bacteria take energy from one source (either sunlight or chemical reactions) to form sugar…

LS2A. p. 7-12

Grades K-2    

…(e.g., numbers of legs, eye color, fur type, fin shape, gender)


Humans and all other organisms have genes…

LS3A. p. 7-15

Grade K-2      

Animals depend on plants, algae and other animals for food…

Plants and algae depend on…

Grades 6-8    

…with similar requirements for food, water, oxygen, or other resources… (ED – Middleschoolers are old enough to refer to oxygen instead of “air.” It is also more inclusive of marine and aquatic organisms.)

LS3B. p. 7-16

Grades 3-5    

…From food, people and many other organisms obtain fuel…

Organisms are related in food webs, with plants and other plant-like  organisms, animals that eat…

Grades 6-8    

…In organisms, molecules from food…

Grades 9-12  

…therefore, a continuous source of external energy is needed – this is provided by the sun, or geothermal sources.


…Most of the energy stored in that food ultimately comes from the sun. (ED – You would think there should always be this kind of disclaimer at least, if we don’t always want to add reference to chemosynthetic processes.)

LS3.C. p. 7-17

Grades 3-5

What happens to living things when environments change?

When environments change, some organisms survive and reproduce; otheres move to new locations; some die.

LS4.A. p. 7-18

Grades K-2    

ED – This is an example of a spot where “plants and animals” is fine.

Grades 3-5    

The first two sentences (Scientists have identified…fungi. And There are also…a microscope.) don’t make sense in this context about fossils. At any rate, algae should probably be included.

Grades 6-8    

…Earth and changes in organisms whose fossil remains…Recently deposited sedimentary rock layers are most likely to contain fossils resembling existing species of plants and animals. The earliest fossil evidence of life is found in the ocean.

LS4.B. p. 7-19

Grades 9-12  

ED – Should there be a mention of asexual reproduction in here? I’m not sure how to appropriately incorporate it.

LS4.C. p. 7-20

Grades K-2

The world has many environments on land, in the ocean and in the atmosphere. Distinct environments support different types of living things.

Grades 3-5

For any particular environment, some kinds of organisms survive well…

LS4.D. p. 7-21

Grades K-2    

There are many different kinds of living things in any region.

Different kinds of living things live in different place on land, in the ocean and in the sky.

ED – Can live with the last “plants and animals” reference.

Grades 3-5    

The first two sentences are identical to those on the previous page. Appears that they belong here and not on previous page?

…have identified many plants, animals, algae and fungi…

Organisms and populations of organisms live in a variety of habitats. Most of the living space on Earth, and so, most of the habitats on Earth, are in the ocean.

Grades 9-12  

ED – Great last paragraph. It establishes a “value” for biodiversity that humans can relate to.

Earth and Space Science

ESS1.C. p. 7-25

Grades K-2

How does the sun affect the Earth? “Light from the sun helps keep Earth’s surface warm, give us light, and allows plants and algae to grow.

Grades 6-8

What causes tides?

On Earth, daily tides on the ocean and other large bodies of water are caused by gravitational attractions of the Sun and the Moon as the Earth rotates.

ESS2.A. p. 7-26

Grades K-2

How are the continents and the ocean arranged on the surface of the Earth? (NOTE: “ocean” should always be in the singular form to indicate that there is one interconnected world ocean.)

The world map shows large areas of dry land that we call continents, while other parts of our planet are covered with water in the ocean (singular).  The continents and ocean basins have different shapes and sizes.

Grade 3-5

What do the shapes and arrangements of the continents and ocean basins suggest about their histories?

Grades 6-8

What happens when tectonic plates pull apart?

Where plates pull apart, the ground cracks open making earthquakes and hot molten rock rises to fill the crack as it cools. All of the world’s ocean floors were made by this process, called sea floor- spreading.

What happens when tectonic plates collide?

As an oceanic plate runs into a continental plate, the oceanic plate is forced under the continental plate, down into the Earth’s mantle.


When two continents collide into each other, they fold up their fronts to form mountain ranges.  The world’s tallest mountains are found along plate boundaries where continental plates are colliding.

ESS2.A. p. 7-27

Grades 9-12

Why does Earth have a magnetic field and how does it help us?

Rock records of ancient magnetic field directions help scientists determine the history of continental drift and sea floor spreading.

ESS2.B. p.7-28

Grades K-2

Where does the soil come from?

Sand and soil comes from the breaking down of rock. Sand and soil contain not only rock, but also decayed organisms. It also provides a habitat for many living organisms.

Grades 3 – 5

Why do we say, “There is only one ocean?”

Ocean water fills up all the lowest parts of Earth’s surface, the bowl-shaped ocean basins, and covers the edges of the continents, as well (continental shelves). Each ocean basin on Earth has a different name (Pacific, Atlantic, Arctic, Indian) but all the basins are interconnected, so there is really one global ocean. Water circulates throughout the global ocean.

Grades 6 – 8

Where is the Earth’s water found?

Nearly all of Earth’s available water is in the ocean.  Most of the freshwater is found underground as groundwater or as glaciers, rivers, streams, lakes, and wetlands.  Only a tiny fraction of water is found in the atmosphere.

Grades 9 – 12

Why is water important?

Water is essential for life on Earth. Earth is unique in our Solar System because

water has coexisted at Earth’s surface in three phases (solid, liquid, and gas) for

billions of years. The presence and abundance of water on Earth has allowed for the development and continuous evolution of life. The first life is thought to have started in the ocean.

What is in our atmosphere?

…Combining observations from satellites and weather balloons with what is known about the physical and chemical behavior of gases, we can model the atmosphere as a series of layers; different layers have different compositions and temperatures.

The lower part of the atmosphere interacts with the ocean and they control Earth’s weather.

ESS2.C. p. 7-29


Were fossils once living?

Rocks are not living. However, fossils are made from organisms that were once living, usually long before there were people.

Grades 3-5

How old is Earth?

Earth is 4.6 billion years old and life began almost 4 billion years ago. The earliest evidence of life is found in the ocean. Thus both Earth and life have developed over a HUGE expanse of time…… (“billions of years” is a conceptually challenging time scale to introduce at this grade band.)

How far back does the Earth’s rock record go?

Delete this: What are the ages of the rocks in your area?

ESS3.A. p. 7-30

Grades K – 2

Where is water found on Earth?

Water is found in lots of places: in the ocean, in lakes and rivers, underground, and in the air.

Grades 3 – 5

How are the rain, rivers, and ocean connected?

When energy from the Sun warms liquid water in the ocean, lakes, rivers and streams, some of it turns into a gas (water vapor) in the air. When that air is cooled, some of the water vapor condenses back into a liquid (fog and cloud, or rain droplets) or a solid (snow flakes).  Rain and snow fall back to the surface and the water runs through watersheds back to the ocean.

Grades 6-8

Why does ice float?

Water in solid form is less dense than when it is in liquid form, the reverse of most materials.  This property has many important consequences for Earth systems (e.g. surface freezing of lakes, glacial movement, formation of sea ice)

Where is water found and what drives its movement across Earth’s surface?

The movements of water and its changes in form are primarily driven by gravity and energy from the sun. Energy from the sun and gravity cause ocean circulation on a global scale. Energy from the sun causes evaporation off the ocean’s surface and drives atmospheric circulation that transports the water vapor around the globe.

When water-vapor laden air cools, water condenses forming clouds and fog, and eventually falls back to the surface by the force of gravity, where it either returns to the atmosphere through evaporation or transpiration or, if it fell on the land, flows downward to the ocean via a watershed in streams, glaciers, or through the ground. This repeating chain of events is known as the Water Cycle.

Grades 9 – 12

How does the ocean system operate?

…., The ocean’s salinity, temperature, O2, pH, light, ,nutrients, pressure, and substrate vary with depth and location. These physical factors greatly influence the wide variety of ocean ecosystems and the adjacent land ecosystems.

ESS3.B. p. 7-31


How do geologic processes change rocks from one form to another?

Rocks can form from the cooling of molten rock, the accumulation and consolidation of sediments, and the alteration of older rocks by heat, pressure, and fluids. These three processes form igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks, both on land and in the ocean.

ESS3.C. p. 7-32

Grades 3 – 5

How do scientists predict the weather?

Scientists use measurements of the atmosphere collected at land stations, ocean buoys, and by satellites to predict the weather.


What factors control Earth’s weather and climate?

The ocean exerts a major control on weather and climate by dominating Earth’s energy, carbon and water systems. It absorbs and stores large amounts of solar energy, releasing it very slowly so that it moderates and stabilizes the global climate, especially the coastal climates. Thermal energy is redistributed globally through ocean currents (e.g. the Gulf Stream).

…Temperature differences, Earth’s rotation, and the configuration of continents and ocean basins establish the large-scale atmospheric circulation.

The amount and type of precipitation varies hugely from place to place on the land.  Most water vapor evaporates from the ocean so precipitation is much greater where the prevailing winds come from the ocean; continental interiors, far from the ocean, tend to be dry.  When winds encounter mountains, the air rises, cools, and forms clouds, so that the windward sides of mountains are extra wet and the leeward sides dry (the Rain Shadow Effect).

p. 7-33


How does climate change over space and time in response to both natural and human causes? (please don’t use “man-made”)

Changes to the climate over many millions of years are dominated by the changing configuration of continents and ocean basins.

… When ocean currents change their flow patterns, such as during El Niño (note to put tilde sign over the n in El Nino) events, some regions become warmer or wetter while others become colder or drier.

…solar heat that can enter the system. The ocean absorbs roughly half of all carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere, mitigating the effects of the increased amounts of carbon released into the atmosphere by humans.

How do global climate models predict future climate change?

… The outcomes of Global Climate Models strongly depend upon the amounts of human-generated greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere and absorbed by the ocean each year and hence the outcomes depend on human choices and behavior.

ESS3.D. p.7-34

Grades K – 2

Why do living things live where they do?

Plants, animals, and other living things depend upon the resources and conditions of their habitats to survive


How are living things interconnected with their environments?


How does life affect Earth’s geology?

Plants, algae, and other photosynthetic micro-organisms produced most of the oxygen in the atmosphere through photosynthesis, allowing for the existence of animals, and providing the substance of fossil fuels and many sedimentary rocks. Most of the oxygen in the atmosphere originally came from the activities of photosynthetic organisms in the ocean.

How does Earth’s geology affect life?

Almost all food-derived energy comes originally from sunlight, but there are

environments such as mid-ocean ridges and other volcanic regions where the

energy source comes from chemicals within the Earth

Grades 9 – 12

How does life affect Earth’s climate?

The abundance of carbon in the atmosphere is reduced through seafloor accumulation of marine sediments and accumulation of plant, algae, and micro-organism biomass and is increased through processes like deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels.

ESS 4.B. p. 7-36

Grades 6-8

paragraph 3. Delete: “They are likely to remain the dominant energy source for years to come.” Replace with “Fossil fuels are becoming increasingly difficult to find and extract.”

Physical Sciences


Page 7-40 Grades 3 – 5

The avoidance of the term mass is inconsistent with the inclusion of the concept of gravity in the same grade span in ESS. We recommend the inclusion of the differentiation between weight and mass in this grade span if deemed developmentally appropriate.


Page 7-45 Grades 3 – 5

Fourth sentence “Changing temperature…”. We recommend that it say “Changing temperature can cause some materials to change form.” to avoid the specific case of water implied by the existing sentence, or “Changing temperature can cause some materials to change form (e.g., water will evaporate or condense).”

Page 7-46, Grades 9 – 12

Fourth sentence, “Matter is stable…” is awkwardly worded, and confused. We recommend it be re-written which may require multiple sentences to achieve clarity.


Page 7 – 47 Grades 3 – 5

Fifth sentence, “For identical objects…” We recommend that this entire paragraph be re-written as it is confusing, and implies an inaccurate meaning for the word “faster”.

Page 7-47, Grades 6 – 8

Final sentence, “The term chemical energy…” We recommend replacing the word “produced” with “stored and/or released.” to avoid the implication that energy only exists as a result of the burning of food or fuel.


Page 7-50, Grades 9-12

Anaerobic energy processes are excluded, and should be included at this level.

Engineering and Technology

ET 1.A.

p. 7-55:

Sub-question: “The designed world consists of…to improve quality of life, and to better understand our environment and its many natural systems.”

Grades K-2:

…products like phones, TVs, computers, machines, cars, ships, etc., to help us do things …

Grade 3 – 5:

…new technologies often lead to societal changes (e.g., automobiles instead of horses for transportation; and later alternative energy sources to supplement or replace fossil fuels).


Grade 6 – 8:

…many more foods available in grocery stores, and improvements in exploration technologies promote advances in medicine.


Grades 9 – 12: 

Processes vary greatly…..energy, medical technologies, and exploration of our planet.

….global trade and commerce networks and exploration of our planet.




Pg. 7-56


Grade 3-5:

What is technology? Any method, tool, or organizational system to fulfill human need and to better understand our natural world is a technology (e.g. wind turbines, computers, hydroelectric plants, cell phones, sonar, desalination systems, and hybrid cars.).

Grade 6 – 8:

As new technologies become available (e.g. microwaves, cell phones, cars, laptop computers, satellites and other technologies for observing the Earth and ocean) they initiate change in society, and cultivate interest for further advancements.

Grade 9 – 12:

How does technology advance? …….such as engineering, science, business, marketing, economics, law, and environmental studies.



Page 7-57:

Grade 3-5:

What are other uses of tools? Tools can be use…to communicate, and to explore space and our vastly unexplored ocean.


Page 7 – 59:

Grades 9 – 12:

Often it helps to have multiple experts each with different disciplinary training and perspective working as a team, e.g. submersible engineers, marine biologists, and physical oceanographers to study ocean habitats, or space shuttle crew made up of microgravity experts as well as pilots and engineers.


Pg. 7-63:

Grades 9-12:

Fix sentence typos to say:

Most modern control systems include both digital and mechanical sub-components. Like any technological system usually they are designed as a subsystem during the design of the system that they regulate.



Grades K-2:

add “the medicines you take” to the first paragraph

Grades 3-5:

Why do technologies change?

Because people’s needs and wants change, new technologies are developed and old ones are improved to meet those changes. New technologies often change aspects of society and create new needs and wants, which need to be balanced with stewardship of the environment. (This point needs to be made throughout, and certainly before high school)


Grades 6 – 8:

Why do technologies vary from one locale to another?

Cultural beliefs and practices and social norms affect people’s decisions about technology. Consequently, technologies vary from country to country and even by region within countries (e.g. a simple efficient stove may work well for one culture’s cooking practice but not for another).


Pg. 7-65

Grades 6 – 8

This is a full duplication of ET4.A Grades 6-8. Was something else intended for this section.


Pg. 7-66

Grades K-2:

Typo: How can some technologies cause harm.

Grades 3 – 5:

How can people determine if a technology they are using may

be harmful to others?

People are responsible for thinking about what may happen when they use technologies that may harm other humans and/or the environment.  That means learning as much as possible about the effects of different technologies, and being open to information from others.

Grades 9 – 12:

What are the responsibilities of people who create technologies; and those who use them?

Engineers, scientists, and others who create the designed world are responsible for preventing harm to the environment and to the people who use the products, processes, and systems they design.  Users of new technologies can make conscious decisions to reduce negative impacts on individuals, society or the environment.