administration student task rubric student work technical quality
Sun and Temperatures
Administration Procedures
Contributed by: New York State Alternative Assessment in Science Project (NYSED)


Students consider the relationship of temperature to environmental conditions and then apply their understanding to a practical event.

The task assesses students' understanding and application of that understanding to an additional situation.

This task is designed to take students approximately 5-10 minutes to complete.

Overall Task Content Area:

Earth and Space Science
Physical Science

Specific Knowledge Areas:

Heat and Temperature

Performance Expectations:

  • applying scientific principles to develop explanations and solve new problems

National Science Education Standards:

8 A SI 1: Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry: Grades 5-8
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.

8 B PS 3: Transfer of energy: Grades 5-8
3.2 Heat moves in predictable ways, flowing from warmer objects to cooler ones, until both reach the same temperature.

(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:

DAP3: Develop and evaluate inferences and predictions that are based on data:
Grades 6-8 e. use conjectures to formulate new questions and plan new studies to answer them

AL1: Understand patterns, relations and functions:
Grades 6-8 f. represent, analyze, and generalize a variety of patterns with tables, graphs, words, and, when possible, symbolic rules

MEAS1: Understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes of measurement:
Grades 6-8 j. understand both metric and customary systems of measurement

PS3: Apply and adapt a variety of appropriate strategies to solve problems:
Grades 6-8

General Instructions to the Teacher:

This task is designed to take students approximately 5-10 minutes to complete.

Students will be working individually during this exercise.

Students should be ready to work as soon as the period begins.

Materials for "Sun and Temperature":

At this station students should have:

  • Student task sheet

Advance Preparation:

  • None


  • 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.


  • N/A



©1997-2005 SRI International. All rights reserved. Terms of Use