Science Curriculum – Grade 5

How Can We Provide Freshwater to Those in Need?

In this unit of study, students will explore the topic of water scarcity and the various ways humans have attempted to get water to where it is needed. Students will collect evidence and experiences on their water footprints and on how little accessible freshwater actually exists. The culminating activity asks students to create a water scarcity–based public service announcement for a region in distress. Students are asked to solve a water pumping challenge, develop models based on the interaction of Earth’s four spheres, and then design a solution to a water pollution problem.

How Can We Identify Materials Based on Their Properties?

In this unit of study, students learn how they can use the properties of materials to identify them. Students use their senses to compare the properties of six solids, including sugar and cornstarch. They read about how sugar and cornstarch are made by plants and used as food by animals. Students learn that dissolving and evaporation can be explained by particles. They compare how six solids behave when mixed with water. Students learn that melting points can be used to identify solids. They look at the effect of heat on six solids. In the culminating activity, students apply what they have learned about properties to identify four unknown solids.

How Can We Predict Changes in Ecosystems?

In this unit of study, students will explore how plants and animals get the matter and energy they need to live and grow, how they interact in food webs, how change in one part of an ecosystem can have various effects, and how newly introduced species can sometimes become invasive.

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