New York State Standards
The following New York science standards are excerpted
from their Intermediate Level Science Core Curriculum.
Complete text of these standards can be found at the
New York Department of Education website. The core curriculum
describes content and skills on which student’s
get tested. Like many states, NY's assessment emphasizes
the understanding of concepts and processes over the
simple memorization of facts.
Standard 1 – Analysis, Inquiry, and
Students use engineering design, , scientific inquiry,
and mathematical analysis to pose question, seek answers,
and develop design solutions.
Engineering design is an iterative process involving
modeling and optimization (finding the best solution
within given constraints). This process is used to develop
technological solutions to problems within given constraints.
- Iterative trials of design ideas is important in
all design tasks, the Activity
Chooser Chart gives insight into how easily iterations
are performed in each task.
- DITC describes techniques that help facilitate
group discussion, brainstorming,
teacher control with student autonomy.
- Construction of models and drawings
help in the development of a new design idea in DITC
& Constraints, typically specified in a Design
Brief, force students to consider trade-offs when
making design decisions.
A. The central purpose of scientific inquiry is to develop
explanations of natural phenomena in a continuing creative
B. Scientific inquiry involves testing proposed explanations
using conventional techniques and procedures, while usually
requiring considerable ingenuity.
- Following NSES' lead, in NY the process of scientific
inquiry is seen as closely related to engineering
design. The key difference is that science investigates
nature and engineering inquires into the world's built
C. Observations made while testing proposed explanations,
when analyzed using conventional and invented methods,
provide new insights into phenomena.
- Observing the performance of design prototypes
to determine Key
Design Criteria fits this standard. Measurement
and experimentation help in developing Design
Rules-of-Thumb that help make informed design
- Giving explanations for changes from one design
iteration to another involves making reasoned arguments
about the relationships of variables that have been
studied in design tests.
A. Abstraction and symbolic representation are used
to communicate mathematically.
B. Deductive and inductive reasoning are used to reach
- Students are asked to use mathematical equations
to describe relationships among variables in design
C. Critical thinking skills are used in the solution
of mathematical problems
- To make reasonable and informed design decisions,
students need to recognize patterns and trends in
the data collected during design trials.
- Students use appropriate materials and tools to
solve more open-ended design tasks.
- Using charts and graphs to solve problems can be
helpful in design tasks found in DITC.
Standard 6 – Connecting Common Themes
Students need to understand common themes that connect
math, science, and technology and apply them to other
areas of learning.
A. Systems thinking can help people recognize commonalities
between products by noting how parts of a system interrelate
and combine to perform particular functions.
That Works! activities have learners note differences
and similarities between engineering and natural systems,
open and closed loops, and how the output of one part
of a system becomes the input to another.
B. Models are simplified representations of objects,
structures, or systems and can be used when analyzing,
explaining, and designing.
C. Noting patterns of change is necessary when making
predictions and doing diagnostic reasoning.
D. To arrive at an optimal solution that meets criteria
within constraints, designers often must make trade-offs.
- In DITC, students observe patterns in the way their
Parachute descends, and the effects that changing
the surface area of the chute has on performance.
In the Baking
Soda challenge, students observe the levels of
carbon dioxide produced by various proportion of vinegar
to baking soda. In Vehicles
In Motion, They also observe how changing the
wheel size of a coaster car effects its performance
- Working within Criteria & Constraints is a
hallmark of all of the design tasks as students consider
Trade-offs when making design decisions.