The Standards

High School

Structure and Function

Students who demonstrate understanding can:




Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the structure of DNA determines the structure of proteins which carry out the essential functions of life through systems of specialized cells. HS-LS1-1

Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

Clarification Statement: none

Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include identification of specific cell or tissue types, whole body systems, specific protein structures and functions, or the biochemistry of protein synthesis.


Develop and use a model to illustrate the hierarchical organization of interacting systems that provide specific functions within multicellular organisms. HS-LS1-2

Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on functions at the organism system level such as nutrient uptake, water delivery, and organism movement in response to neural stimuli. An example of an interacting system could be an artery depending on the proper function of elastic tissue and smooth muscle to regulate and deliver the proper amount of blood within the circulatory system.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include interactions and functions at the molecular or chemical reaction level.


Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that feedback mechanisms maintain homeostasis. HS-LS1-3

Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

Clarification Statement: Examples of investigations could include heart rate response to exercise, stomate response to moisture and temperature, and root development in response to water levels.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include the cellular processes involved in the feedback mechanism.

Science and Engineering Practices

Developing and Using Models

Modeling in 9–12 builds on K–8 experiences and progresses to using, synthesizing, and developing models to predict and show relationships among variables between systems and their components in the natural and designed world(s).

Develop and use a model based on evidence to illustrate the relationships between systems or between components of a system. (HS-LS1-2)

Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

Planning and carrying out investigations in 9-12 builds on K–8 experiences and progresses to include investigations that provide evidence for and test conceptual, mathematical, physical, and empirical models.

Plan and conduct an investigation individually and collaboratively to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence, and in the design: decide on types, how much, and accuracy of data needed to produce reliable measurements and consider limitations on the precision of the data (e.g., number of trials, cost, risk, time), and refine the design accordingly. (HS-LS1-3)

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 9–12 builds on K–8 experiences and progresses to explanations and designs that are supported by multiple and independent student-generated sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories.

Construct an explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from a variety of sources (including students' own investigations, models, theories, simulations, peer review) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future. (HS-LS1-1)

Common Core State Standards Connections

  • RST.11-12.1 - Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to important distinctions the author makes and to any gaps or inconsistencies in the account. (HS-LS1-1)
  • SL.11-12.5 - Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest. (HS-LS1-2)
  • WHST.11-12.7 - Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. (HS-LS1-3)
  • WHST.11-12.8 - Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the strengths and limitations of each source in terms of the specific task, purpose, and audience; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and overreliance on any one source and following a standard format for citation. (HS-LS1-3)
  • WHST.11-12.9 - Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (HS-LS1-1)
  • WHST.9-12.2 - Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes. (HS-LS1-1)

Model Course Mapping

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