Grades 58 Performance Task
Contributed by: Oregon State Department of Education
Description:
Students will design investigations to test various materials to
prevent heat gain in frozen water.
The task assesses students' understanding of scientific inquiry
including the following skills: observation, data collection, measurement,
graphing, scientific questions, hypothesis.
This task is designed to take students approximately 3 class periods
(about 45 minutes each).
Overall Task Content Area:
 Physical Science
Specific Knowledge Areas:
 Transfer of energy
Performance Expectations:
 conducting investigations
 using equipment
 gathering, organizing, and representing data
 formulating conclusions from investigational data
National Science Education Standards:
8 A SI 1: Abilities necessary to do scientific
inquiry: Grades 58
1.2 Design and conduct a scientific investigation. Students
should develop general abilities, such as systematic observation,
making accurate measurements, and identifying and controlling variables.
They should also develop the ability to clarify their ideas that
are influencing and guiding the inquiry, and to understand how those
ideas compare with current scientific knowledge. Students can learn
to formulate questions, design investigations, execute investigations,
interpret data, use evidence to generate explanations, propose alternative
explanations, and critique explanations and procedures.
1.4 Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and
models using evidence. Students should base their explanation on
what they observed, and as they develop cognitive skills, they should
be able to differentiate explanation from description — providing
causes for effects and establishing relationships based on evidence
and logical argument. This standards requires a subject knowledge
base so the students can effectively conduct investigations, because
developing explanations establishes connections between the content
of science and the contexts within which students develop new knowledge.
1.7 Communicate scientific procedures and explanations.
With practice, students should become competent at communicating
experimental methods, following instructions, describing observations,
summarizing the results of other groups, and telling other students
about investigations and explanations.
8 B PS 3: Transfer of energy: Grades 58
3.1 Energy is a property of many substances and is associated
with heat, light, electricity, mechanical motion, sound, nuclei
and the nature of a chemical. Energy is transferred in many ways.
(Use the "hot" link on the PALS home page
to check the full text of related National Science Education Standards,
if desired.)
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics:
AL1: Understand patterns, relations and functions:
Grades 68 f. represent, analyze, and generalize a variety
of patterns with tables, graphs, words, and, when possible, symbolic
rules
AL3: Use mathematical models to represent and understand
quantitative relationships:
Grades 68 c. model and solve contextualized problems using
various representations, such as graphs, tables, and equations
DAP2: Select and use appropriate
statistical methods to analyze data:
Grades 68 e. find, use, and interpret measures
of center and spread, including mean and interquartile range
DAP3: Develop and evaluate
inferences and predictions that are based on data:
Grades 68 e. use conjectures to formulate
new questions and plan new studies to answer them
CNX2: Understand how mathematical ideas
interconnect and build on one another to produce a coherent whole:
Grades 68
REP2: Select, apply, and translate among
mathematical representations to solve problems:
Grades 68
General Instructions to the Teacher:
This task is designed to take students approximately 3 class periods
(about 45 minutes each).
Students will be working individually during this exercise.
Students should be ready to work as soon as periods begin. A central
supply area, if needed, should be easily accessible. All supplies
should be clearly labeled.
Materials for "Ice Melting":
 newspaper
 packing foam
 straw
 plastic bags (same brand/size through out)
 foil
 fabric
 ice cubes
 cups
 thermometers
Advance Preparation:
Observation: As an ice cube melts, heat is transferred from
the room to the ice cube.
Discuss: Brainstorm ways to prevent heat gain in the ice
cube.
Safety:
 Be careful.
 Teachers and students should always exercise appropriate safety
precautions and utilize appropriate laboratory safety procedures
and equipment when working on science performance tasks.
Extensions/modifications:
 To expand and target the specific NCTM standard(s) to be measured,
ask students to compare data by calculating class averages.
