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Nebraska, Montana and South Dakota Curriculum Standards supported by the Energy Electric Universe®

Nebraska Science Standards supported by the Northwestern Energy Electric Universe® and Energy Underground® website content.






Students will combine scientific processes and knowledge with scientific reasoning and critical thinking to ask questions about phenomena and propose explanations based on gathered evidence.


1.1. Abilities to do Scientific Inquiry

5.1.1Students will plan and conduct investigations that lead to the development of explanations.

Scientific Questioning

5.1.1.a Ask testable scientific questions

Scientific Investigations

5.1.1.b Plan and conduct investigations and identify factors that have the potential to impact an investigation

Scientific Tools

5.1.1.c Select and use equipment correctly and accurately

Scientific Observations

5.1.1.d Make relevant observations and measurements

Scientific Data Collection

5.1.1.e Collect and organize data

Scientific Interpretations, Reflections, and Applications

5.1.1.f Develop a reasonable explanation based on collected data

Scientific Communication

5.1.1.g Share information, procedures, and results with peers and/or adults

5.1.1.h Provide feedback on scientific investigations


1.2. Nature of Science

5.1.2 Students will describe how scientists go about their work.

Scientific Knowledge

5.1.2.a Recognize that scientific explanations are based on evidence and scientific knowledge

Science and Society

5.1.2.b Recognize that new discoveries are always being made which impact scientific knowledge

Science as a Human Endeavor

5.1.2.c Recognize many different people study science


1.3. Technology


5.1.3 Students will solve a simple design problem.

Abilities to do Technical Design

5.1.3.a Identify a simple problem

5.1.3.b Propose a solution to a simple problem

5.1.3.c Implement the proposed solution

5.1.3.d Evaluate the implementation

5.1.3.e Communicate the problem, design, and solution



Students will integrate and communicate the information, concepts, principles, processes, theories, and models of the Physical Sciences to make connections with the natural and engineered world.


2.1. Matter

5.2.1 Students will explore and describe the physical properties of matter and its changes

Properties and Structure of Matter

5.2.1.a Identify mixtures and pure substances

5.2.1.b Identify physical properties of matter (color, odor, elasticity, weight,


5.2.1.c Use appropriate metric measurements to describe physical properties

States of Matter

5.2.1.d Identify state changes caused by heating and cooling solids, liquids, and



2.2. Force and Motion

5.2.2Students will identify the influence of forces on motion.


5.2.2.a Describe motion by tracing and measuring an object’s position over a period of time (speed)

Forces/Newton’s 2nd law

5.2.2.b Describe changes in motion due to outside forces (push, pull, gravity)

Universal Forces

5.2.2.c Describe magnetic behavior in terms of attraction and repulsion


2.3. Energy

5.2.3 Students will observe and identify signs of energy transfer.

Sound/Mechanical Waves

5.2.3.a Recognize that sound is produced from vibrating objects; the sound can be changed by changing

the vibration


5.2.3.b Recognize that light travels in a straight line and can be reflected by an object


5.2.3.c Recognize that light can travel through certain materials and not others (transparent, translucent, opaque)



5.2.3.d Identify ways to generate heat (friction, burning, incandescent light bulb)

5.2.3.e Identify materials that act as thermal conductors or insulators


5.2.3.f Recognize that the transfer of electricity in an electrical circuit requires a closed loop




Students will integrate and communicate the information, concepts, principles, processes, theories, and models of the Life

Sciences to make connections with the natural and engineered world.

3.1. Structure and Function of Living Systems

5.3.1 Students will investigate and compare the characteristics of living things.

Characteristics of Life

5.3.1.a Compare and contrast characteristics of living and nonliving things

Characteristics of Living Organisms

5.3.1.b Identify how parts of plants and animals function to meet basic needs (e.g., leg of an insect helps an insect move, root of a plant helps the plant obtain water)

3.2. Heredity

5.3.2 Students will identify variations of inherited characteristics and life cycles.

Inherited Traits

5.3.2.a Identify inherited characteristics of plants and animals


5.3.2.b Identify the life cycle of an organism

3.3. Flow of Matter and Energy in Ecosystems

5.3.3 Students will describe relationships within an ecosystem

Flow of Energy

5.3.3.a Diagram and explain a simple food chain beginning with the Sun

5.3.3.b Identify the role of producers, consumers, and decomposers in an ecosystem


5.3.3.c Recognize the living and nonliving factors that impact the survival of organisms in an ecosystem

Impact on Ecosystems

5.3.3.d Recognize all organisms cause changes, some beneficial and some detrimental, in the environment where they live

3.4. Biodiversity

5.3.4 Students will describe changes in organisms over time.

Biological Adaptations

5.3.4.a Describe adaptations made by plants or animals to survive environmental change




Students will integrate and communicate the information, concepts, principles, processes, theories, and models of Earth and Space Sciences to make connections with the natural and engineered world.

4.1. Earth in Space

5.4.1Students will observe and describe characteristics, patterns, and changes in the sky.

Objects in the Sky and Universe

5.4.1.a Recognize that the observed shape of the Moon changes from day to day during a one-month period

Motion of Objects in the Solar System

5.4.1.b Recognize the motion of objects in the sky (the Sun, the Moon, stars) changeover time in recognizable patterns

4.2. Earth Structures and Processes

5.4.2 Students will observe and describe Earth’s materials, structure, and processes.

Properties of Earth Materials

5.4.2.a Describe the characteristics of rocks, minerals, soil, water, and the atmosphere

Earth’s Processes

5.4.2.b Identify weathering, erosion, and deposition as processes that build up or break down Earth’s surface

Use of Earth Materials

5.4.2.c Identify how Earth materials are used (fuels, building materials, sustaining plant life


4.3. Energy in Earth’s Systems

5.4.3 Students will observe and describe the effects of energy changes on Earth.

Energy Sources

5.4.3.a Describe the Sun’s warming effect on the land and water

Weather and Climate

5.4.3.b Observe, measure, and record changes in weather (temperature, wind direction and speed, precipitation)

5.4.3.c Recognize the difference between weather, climate, and seasons

4.4. Earth’s History

5.4.4 Students will describe changes in Earth.

Past/Present Earth

5.4.4.a Describe how slow processes (erosion, weathering, deposition) and rapid processes (landslides, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes) change Earth’s surface



Montana Instructional Alignment - Science

Grade Level: 3


Grade Level: 5

South Dakota

Standards for 3rd and 5th Grade

Third Grade



The Core Ideas of the Third Grade standards include:

  • Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
  • From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  • Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
  • Biological Unity and Diversity
  • Earth's Systems
  • Earth and Human Activity


Third Grade Physical Science Conceptual Understanding:

The effect of unbalanced forces on an object results in a change of motion. Patterns of motion can be used to predict future motion. Some forces act through contact, some forces act even when the objects are not in contact. The gravitational force of Earth acting on an object near the Earth's surface pulls that object toward the planet's center.


Third Grade Physical Science Standards



Plan and carry out an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object. (SEP: 3; DCI: PS2.A, PS2.B; CCC: Cause/Effect)



Make observations and/or measurements of an object's motion to provide evidence for how a pattern can be used to predict future motion. (SEP: 3; DCI: PS2.A; CCC Patterns)



Ask questions about cause and effect relationships of electric or magnetic interactions between two objects not in contact with each other. (SEP: 1; DCI: PS2.B; CCC: Cause/Effect)



Define a simple design problem that can be solved by applying scientific ideas about magnets.* (SEP:1; DCI: PS2.B; CCC Technology)


Natural Gas


Third Grade Life Science Conceptual Understanding:

Reproduction is essential to every kind of organism. Organisms have unique and diverse life cycles. When the environment changes, some organisms survive and reproduce, some move to new locations, some move into the transformed environment, and some die. Being part of a group helps animals obtain food, defend themselves, and cope with changes. Different organisms vary in how they look and function because they have different inherited information; the environment also affects the traits that an organism develops. Some living organisms resemble organisms that once lived on Earth. Fossils provide evidence about the types of organisms and environments that existed long ago. Differences in characteristics between individuals of the same species provide advantages in surviving and reproducing. Particular organisms can only survive in particular environments. Populations of organisms live in a variety of habitats. Change in those habitats affects the organisms living there.



Analyze and interpret data from fossils to provide evidence of the organisms and the environments

in which they lived long ago. (SEP: 4; DCI: LS4.A; CCC: Scale/Prop.)



Fifth Grade

Electricity and Natural Gas


Fifth Grade Physical Science Standards



Develop a model to describe that matter is made of particles too small to be seen. (SEP: 2; DCI: PS1.A;CCC: Scale/Prop.)



Measure and graph quantities to provide evidence that regardless of the type of change that occurs when heating, cooling, or mixing substances, the total weight of matter is conserved. (SEP: 5; DCI: PS1.A, PS1.B; CCC: Scale/Prop.)



Make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties. (SEP: 3; DCI: PS1.A; CCC Scale/Prop.)



Conduct an investigation to determine whether the mixing of two or more substances results in new substances. (SEP: 3; DCkPSl.B; CCC: Cause/Effect)



Support an argument that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down. (SEP: 7; DCI: PS2.B; CCC: Cause/Effect)



Use models to describe that energy in animals' food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun. (SEP: 2; DCI: PS3.D, LSI.C; CCC: Energy/Matter)


Fifth Grade Life Science Conceptual Understanding:

Food provides animals with the materials and energy they need for body repair, growth, warmth, and motion. Plants acquire material for growth chiefly from air, water, and process matter and obtain energy from sunlight, which is used to maintain conditions necessary for survival. Movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment and that energy in animals' food was once energy from the sun.


Fifth Grade Life Science Standards



Support an argument that plants get the materials they need for growth chiefly from air and water.

(SEP: 7; DCI: LS1.C; CCC: Energy/Matter)



Develop a model to describe the movement of matter and energy among producers, consumers,

decomposers, and the environment. (SEP: 2; DCI:LS2.A, LS2.B; CCC: Systems)


Fifth Grade


The Core Ideas of the Fifth Grade standards include:

  • Matter and Its Interactions
  • Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
  • Energy
  • From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  • Earth's Place in the Universe
  • Earth's Systems
  • Earth and Human Activity


Fifth Grade Physical Science Conceptual Understanding:

Because matter exists as particles that are too small to see, matter is always conserved even if it seems to disappear. Measurements of a variety of observable properties can be used to identify particular materials. Chemical reactions that occur when substances are mixed can be identified by the emergence of substances with different properties; the total mass of substances when a reaction occurs remains the same. Energy can be "produced," "used," or "released" by converting stored energy. Plants capture energy from sunlight, which can later be used as fuel or food.


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