Ohio Model Curriculum – Physical Science

Alignment with Primary Headwater Habitat Protocol


1) Overall Goals

• Know, use and interpret scientific explanations of the natural world;

-Stream morphology (substrate, pool depth and bankfull width) all relate to the creation of habitat for living organisms. High scores correlate with better habitat improving biodiversity

• Generate and evaluate scientific evidence and explanations, distinguishing science from pseudoscience;

-The HHEI metric scores predict the suitability of the habitat for aquatic life.

-Absence of living creatures when HHEI metrics indicate they should be present is a sign of environmental degradation. Predictions are based on evidence.

• Understand the nature and development of scientific knowledge;

-PHWH protocol is based on empirical evidence from thousands of streams that allow predictions about other streams to be made. New evidence may change the protocols or their interpretations

• Participate productively in scientific practices and discourse.

- Students learn about common scientific protocols, metrics and how they are used to compare results gathered by anyone using the protocol.

- Students see how to interpret their results in light of the results gathered by others using the same protocols increasing discourse among scientists


2) Specific Curricular Goals

Science Inquiry and Application

• Identify questions and concepts that guide scientific investigations;

-Students determine the quality of primary headwater streams to support life using three metrics based on physical measurements. They then collect biological evidence and determine if the quality of the stream determined using biological data supports the quality of the stream determined using physical data. They identify questions and concepts that link biological findings to the physical environment, i.e. what kind of organisms are found in what kind of physical environments.

• Design and conduct scientific investigations;

- Students Observe Streams, Hypothesize what kind of organisms will be found based on habitat, Predict what kinds of organisms will be found, Follow a standardized protocol to gather data using replicates and different variables, Analyze results using data aligned to standardized protocol outcomes and then support or reject their hypotheses.

• Use technology and mathematics to improve investigations and communications;

- Data can be entered electronically using an App that reports results to a central database. GPS coordinates are used to identify field site.

• Formulate and revise explanations and models using logic and evidence (critical thinking);

- Results are compared with other streams and other sites where the biological data do not support the physical data, and students have to hypothesize why.

- Results are used to determine the best place to sight future development and to conserve habitat.

• Recognize and analyze explanations and models; and

-Students relate habitat to the biology of organisms determining why specific habitats support organisms that are more sensitive to changes in high quality environments

• Communicate and support a scientific argument.

- Students use their own data to determine best uses for streams based on data.


Course Content

  • Study of Matter


A) Classification of Matter

- Homogeneous vs Heterogeneous

Students will be looking at different kinds of rocks and different levels of oxygen, phosphorus, and nitrate in the streams to determine the turbidity of the water

- Properties of Matter

- States of Matter and its Changes

Correlating Next Generation Science Standards: HS-PS1-1 HS-PS1-3

B) Atoms

- Models of the Atom (components)

- Ions (cations and anions)

- Isotopes

The students can take a sample of the water source and determine the molecular structure of the particles contained within that source. When doing this the students can then model what the atom structure looks like. Through this discovery the students will be able to understand and gain the knowledge of protons and neutrons located in each atom’s nucleus.

Correlating Next Generation Science Standards: HS-PS2-6 HS-PS1-8

C) Periodic Trends of the Elements

- Periodic Law

- Representative Groups

After the students collect soil samples they will be able to identify the different elements that make up the soil. The students can then identify where the metals are located on the periodic table. Once the students have discovered the placement on the table they can then research and discover the relationship between the metals and the placement on the periodic table.

Correlating Next Generation Science Standards: HS-PS1-1 HS-PS1-2

D) Bonding and Compounds

- Bonding (ionic and covalent)

- Nomenclature

After the students collect and analyze the soil collections and identified where the elements that make up the soil are located on the periodic table the students can determine the compound formula for the contents of the soil.

Correlating Next Generation Science Standards: HS-PS1-4

E) Reactions of Matter

- Chemical Reactions

- Nuclear Reactions

  • Energy and Waves


A) Conservation of Energy

- Quantifying Kinetic Energy

- Quantifying Gravitational Potential Energy

- Energy is Relative

Students can identify the slope of the river/ stream  and calculate the speed of the flow of the water. In doing so the students can determine if there is a correlation between the energy of the flow of the water and the slope of the bank.

B) Transfer and Transformation of Energy

Correlating Next Generation Science Standards: HS-PS3-1, HS-PS3-2, HS-PS3-3, HS-PS3-4,


C) Waves

- Refraction, reflection, diffraction, absorption, superposition

- Radiant energy and the electromagnetic spectrum

- Doppler shift

The students can hypothesize about the water color and ground color and how the color affects the absorption of light and energy from the sun. The students could also determine at what rate energy waves are being reflected, diffracted, and absorbed into the stream.

Correlating Next Generation Science Standards: HS-PS4-1. HS-PS4-5

D) Thermal Energy

While testing the subrate of the bottom of the stream the student could also take the temperature of the ground and determine if the temperature of the ground and the temperature of the water have a correlation.

E) Electricity

- Movement of electrons

- Current

- Electric potential (voltage)

- Resistors and transfer of energy

Correlating Next Generation Science Standards: HS-PS4-4

  • Forces and Motions

Correlating Next Generation Science Standards: HS-PS3-5, HS-PS2-1, HS-PS2-2, HS-PS2-4


A) Motions

- Introduction to one-dimensional vectors

- Displacement, velocity (constant, average and instantaneous) and acceleration

- Interpreting position vs. time and velocity vs. time graphs

The students to place debris in the water and see how long it takes to get to a certain part of the stream and graph the solutions of the velocity time and position interactions.

B) Forces

- Force diagrams

- Types of forces (gravity, friction, normal, tension)

- Field model for forces at a distance


C) Dynamics

-Students will be measuring the stream flow using various methods to determine the quality of life. A flow motion chart may be used to diagram the areas of greater velocity as well as the displaced areas

  • The Universe

Correlating Next Generation Science Standards:HS-ESS1-6

A) History of the Universe

B) Galaxy Formation

C) Stars

Correlating Next Generation Science Standards: HS-ESS1-2, HS-ESS1-3,

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