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Coastal Encounters 4th-12th grade

School Standards

4.P.2: Understand the composition and properties of matter before and after they undergo a change or interaction. 
  • 4.P.2.3 Classify rocks as metamorphic, sedimentary, or igneous based on their composition, how they are formed and the processes that create them 

4.P.3: Recognize that energy takes various forms that may be grouped based on their interaction with matter.

  • 4.P.3.1 Recognize the basic forms of energy (light, sound, heat, electrical, and magnetic) as the ability to cause motion or create change. 

4.E.2: Understand the use of fossils and changes in the surface of the earth as evidence of the history of Earth and its changing life forms. 

  • 4.E.2.1: Compare fossils (including molds, casts, and preserved parts of plants and animals) to one another and to living organisms. 
  • 4.E.2.2: Infer ideas about Earth’s early environments from fossils of plants and animals that lived long ago. 
  • 4.E.2.3: Give examples of how the surface of the earth changes due to slow processes such as erosion and weathering, and rapid processes such as landslides, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes.

 4.L.1: Understand the effects of environmental changes, adaptations and behaviors that enable animals (including humans) to survive in changing habitats. 

  • 4.L.1.1: Give examples of changes in an organism’s environment that are beneficial to it and some that are harmful. 
  • 4.L.1.2: Explain how animals meet their needs by using behaviors in response to information received from the environment. 
  • 4.L1.3: Explain how humans can adapt their behavior to live in changing habitats (e.g., recycling wastes, establishing rain gardens, planting trees and shrubs to prevent flooding and erosion). 
  • 4.L.1.4: Explain how differences among animals of the same population sometimes give individuals an advantage in surviving and reproducing in changing habitats. 
5.P.2: Understand the interactions of matter and energy and the changes that occur.
  • 5.P.2.1 Explain how the sun’s energy impacts the processes of the water cycle (including evaporation, transpiration, condensation, precipitation and runoff).

5.P.3: Explain how the properties of some materials change as a result of heating and cooling.
  • 5.P.3.1: Explain the effects of the transfer of heat (either by direct contact or at a distance) that occurs between objects at different temperatures. (conduction, convection or radiation)
  • 5.P.3.2: Explain how heating and cooling affect some materials and how this relates to their purpose and practical applications.

5.E.1: Understand weather patterns and phenomena, making connections to the weather in a particular place and time.
  • 5.E.1.1: Compare daily and seasonal changes in weather conditions (including wind speed and direction, precipitation, and temperature) and patterns.
  • 5.E.1.2: Predict upcoming weather events from weather data collected through observation and measurements
  • 5.E.1.3: Explain how global patterns such as the jet stream and water currents influence local weather in measurable terms such as temperature, wind direction and speed, and precipitation.

5.L.1: Understand how structures and systems of organisms (to include the human body) perform functions necessary for life.
  • 5.L.1.1: Explain why some organisms are capable of surviving as a single cell while others require many cells that are specialized to survive.
  • L.1.2: Compare the major systems of the human body (digestive, respiratory, circulatory, muscular, skeletal, and cardiovascular) in terms of their functions necessary for life.

5.L.2: Understand the interdependence of plants and animals with their ecosystem.
  • 5.L.2.1: Compare the characteristics of several common ecosystems, including estuaries and salt marshes, oceans, lakes and ponds, forests, and grasslands.
  • 5.L.2.2: Classify the organisms within an ecosystem according to the function they serve: producers, consumers, or decomposers (biotic factors).
  • 5.L.2.3: Infer the effects that may result from the interconnected relationship of plants and animals to their ecosystem.

5.L.3: Understand why organisms differ from or are similar to their parents based on the characteristics of the organism.
  • 5.L.3.1: Explain why organisms differ from or are similar to their parents based on the characteristics of the organism

6.P.1: Understand the properties of waves and the wavelike property of energy in earthquakes, light and sound waves.

  • 6.P.1.1: Compare the properties of waves to the wavelike property of energy in earthquakes, light and sound.
  • 6.P.1.3: Explain the relationship among the rate of vibration, the medium through which vibrations travel, sound and hearing.

6.P.3: Understand characteristics of energy transfer and interactions of matter and energy.

  • 6.P.3.1: Illustrate the transfer of heat energy from warmer objects to cooler ones using examples of conduction, radiation and convection and the effects that may result.

6.E.2: Understand the structure of the earth and how interactions of constructive and destructive forces have resulted in changes in the surface of the Earth over time and the effects of the lithosphere on humans.

  • 6.E.2.2: Explain how crustal plates and ocean basins are formed, move and interact using earthquakes, heat flow and volcanoes to reflect forces within the earth.
  • 6.E.2.3: Explain how the formation of soil is related to the parent rock type and the environment in which it develops.
  • 6.E.2.4: Conclude that the good health of humans requires: monitoring the lithosphere, maintaining soil quality and stewardship.

6.L.1: Understand the structures, processes and behaviors of plants that enable them to survive and reproduce.

  • 6.L.1.2: Explain the significance of the processes of photosynthesis, respiration, and transpiration to the survival of green plants and other organisms
  • 6.L.2.1: Summarize how energy derived from the sun is used by plants to produce sugars (photosynthesis) and is transferred within food chains and food webs (terrestrial and aquatic) from producers to consumers to decomposers.
  • 6.L.2.3: Summarize how the abiotic factors (such as temperature, water, sunlight, and soil quality) of biomes (freshwater, marine, forest, grasslands, desert, Tundra) affect the ability of organisms to grow, survive and/or create their own food through photosynthesis.


7.E.1: Understand how the cycling of matter (water and gases) in and out of the atmosphere relates to Earth’s atmosphere, weather and climate and the effects of the atmosphere on humans.
  • 7.E.1.1: Compare the composition, properties and structure of Earth’s atmosphere to include: mixtures of gases and differences in temperature and pressure within layers
  • 7.E.1.2: Explain how the cycling of water in and out of the atmosphere and atmospheric conditions relate to the weather patterns on Earth.
  • 7.E.1.3: Explain the relationship between the movement of air masses, high- and low-pressure systems, and frontal boundaries to storms (including thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes) and other weather conditions that may result
  • 7.E.1.4: Predict weather conditions and patterns based on information obtained from:
    • Weather data collected from direct observations and measurement (wind speed and direction, air temperature, humidity and air pressure)
    • Weather maps, satellites and radar
    • Cloud shapes and types and associated elevation
  • 7.E.1.5: Explain the influence of convection, global winds and the jet stream on weather and climatic conditions
  • 7.E.1.6: Conclude that the good health of humans requires: monitoring the atmosphere, maintaining air quality and stewardship.
7.L.1: Understand the processes, structures and functions of living organisms that enable them to survive, reproduce and carry out the basic functions of life.
  • 7.L.1.1: Compare the structures and life functions of single-celled organisms that carry out all of the basic functions of life including: euglena, amoeba, paramecium, and volvox
  • 7.L.1.2: Compare the structures and functions of plant and animal cells, including major organelles (cell membrane, cell wall, nucleus, chloroplasts, mitochondria, and vacuoles).
  • 7.L.1.4: Summarize the general functions of the major systems of the human body (digestion, respiration, reproduction, circulation, and excretion) and ways that these systems interact with each other to sustain life.
7.L.2: Understand the relationship of the mechanisms of cellular reproduction, patterns of inheritance and external factors to potential variation among offspring.
  • 7.L.2.1: Explain why offspring that result from sexual reproduction (fertilization and meiosis) have greater variation than offspring that result from asexual reproduction (budding and mitosis).
8.P.2: Explain the environmental implications associated with the various methods of obtaining, managing, and using energy resources.
  • 8.P.2.1: Explain the environmental consequences of the various methods of obtaining, transforming and distributing energy.
  • 8.P.2.2: Explain the implications of the depletion of renewable and nonrenewable energy resources and the importance of conservation.

8.E.1: Understand the hydrosphere and the impact of humans on local systems and the effects of the hydrosphere on humans.
  • 8.E.1.1: Explain the structure of the hydrosphere including:
    • Water distribution on earth
    • Local river basins and water availability
  • 8.E.1.2: Summarize evidence that Earth’s oceans are a reservoir of nutrients, minerals, dissolved gases, and life forms:
    • Estuaries
    • Marine ecosystems
    • Upwelling
    • Behavior of gases in the marine environment
    • Value and sustainability of marine resources
    • Deep ocean technology and understandings gained
  • 8.E.1.3: Predict the safety and potability of water supplies in North Carolina based on physical and biological factors, including:
    • Temperature
    • Dissolved oxygen
    • pH
    • Nitrates and phosphates
    • Turbidity
    • Bio-indicators
  • 8.E.1.4: Conclude that the good health of humans requires:
    • Monitoring of the hydrosphere
    • Water quality standards
    • Methods of water treatment
    • Maintaining safe water quality
    • Stewardship
  • 8.L.2: Understand how biotechnology is used to affect living organisms.
    • 8.L.2.1: Summarize aspects of biotechnology including:
      • Specific genetic information available
      • Careers
      • Economic benefits to North Carolina
      • Ethical issues
      • Implications for agriculture
8.L.3: Understand how organisms interact with and respond to the biotic and abiotic components of their environment.
  • 8.L.3.1: Explain how factors such as food, water, shelter and space affect populations in an ecosystem.
  • 8.L.3.2: Summarize the relationships among producers, consumers, and decomposers including the positive and negative consequences of such interactions including: coexistence and cooperation, competition (predator/prey), parasitism, mutualism.
  • 8.L.3.3: Explain how the flow of energy within food webs is interconnected with the cycling of matter (including water, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and oxygen).

8.L.4: Understand the evolution of organisms and landforms based on evidence, theories and processes that impact the Earth over time.
  • 8.L.4.1: Summarize the use of evidence drawn from geology, fossils, and comparative anatomy to form the basis for biological classification systems and the theory of evolution.
  • 8.L.4.2: Explain the relationship between genetic variation and an organism’s ability to adapt to its environment

8.L.5: Understand the composition of various substances as it relates to their ability to serve as a source of energy and building materials for growth and repair of organisms.
  • 8.L.5.1: Summarize how food provides the energy and the molecules required for building materials, growth and survival of all organisms (to include plants).

Bio.1.1: Understand the relationship between the structures and functions of cells and their organelles.

  • Bio.1.1.1: Summarize the structure and function of organelles in eukaryotic cells (including the nucleus, plasma membrane, cell wall, mitochondria, vacuoles, chloroplasts, and ribosomes) and ways that these organelles interact with each other to perform the function of the cell.

Bio.1.2: Analyze the cell as a living system.
  • 1.2.1: Explain how homeostasis is maintained in the cell and within an organism in various environments (including temperature and pH).
  • 1.2.3: Explain how specific cell adaptations help cells survive in particular environments (focus on unicellular organisms).

Bio.2.1: Analyze the interdependence of living organisms within their environments.
  • 2.1.1: Analyze the flow of energy and cycling of matter (water, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen) through ecosystems relating the significance of each to maintaining the health and sustainability of an ecosystem
  • 2.1.2: Analyze the survival and reproductive success of organisms in terms of behavioral, structural, and reproductive adaptations.
  • 2.1.3: Explain various ways organisms interact with each other (including predation, competition, parasitism, mutualism) and with their environments resulting in stability within ecosystems
  • 2.1.4: Explain why ecosystems can be relatively stable over hundreds or thousands of years, even though populations may fluctuate (emphasizing availability of food, availability of shelter, number of predators and disease).

Bio.2.2: Understand the impact of human activities on the environment (one generation affects the next).
  • 2.2.1: Infer how human activities (including population growth, pollution, global warming, burning of fossil fuels, habitat destruction and introduction of nonnative species) may impact the environment.
  • 2.2.2: Explain how the use, protection and conservation of natural resources by humans impact the environment from one generation to the next.

Bio.3.2: Understand how the environment, and/or the interaction of alleles, influences the expression of genetic traits.
  • 3.2.1: Explain the role of meiosis in sexual reproduction and genetic variation

Bio.3.3: Understand the application of DNA technology.
  • 3.3.1: Interpret how DNA is used for comparison and identification of organisms.

Bio.3.4: Explain the theory of evolution by natural selection as a mechanism for how species change over time.
  • 3.4.1: Explain how fossil, biochemical, and anatomical evidence support the theory of evolution.
  • 3.4.2: Explain how natural selection influences the changes in species over time.

Bio 3.5: Analyze how classification systems are developed based upon speciation.
  • 3.5.2: Analyze the classification of organisms according to their evolutionary relationships (including dichotomous keys and phylogenetic trees).
EEn.1.1: Explain the Earth’s role as a body in space.
  • 1.1.3: Explain how the sun produces energy which is transferred to the Earth by radiation.
  • 1.1.4: Explain how incoming solar energy makes life possible on Earth

EEn.2.1: Explain how processes and forces affect the lithosphere.
  • 2.1.1: Explain how the rock cycle, plate tectonics, volcanoes, and earthquakes impact the lithosphere.
  • 2.1.3: Explain how natural actions such as weathering, erosion (wind, water and gravity), and soil formation affect Earth’s surface.

EEn.2.2: Understand how human influences impact the lithosphere.
  • 2.2.1: Explain the consequences of human activities on the lithosphere (such as mining, deforestation, agriculture, overgrazing, urbanization, and land use) past and present.
  • 2.2.2: Compare the various methods humans use to acquire traditional energy sources (such as peat, coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear fission, and wood).

EEn.2.3: Explain the structure and processes within the hydrosphere.
  • 2.3.1: Explain how water is an energy agent (currents and heat transfer).

EEn.2.4: Evaluate how humans use water.
  • 2.3.1: Explain how water is an energy agent (currents and heat transfer).
  • 2.4.2: Evaluate human influences on water quality in North Carolina’s river basins, wetlands and tidal environments

EEn.2.5: Understand the structure of and processes within our atmosphere.
  • 2.5.1: Summarize the structure and composition of our atmosphere.
  • 2.5.2: Explain the formation of typical air masses and the weather systems that result from air mass interactions.
  • 2.5.3: Explain how cyclonic storms form based on the interaction of air masses.
  • 2.5.4: Predict the weather using available weather maps and data (including surface, upper atmospheric winds, and satellite imagery).
  • 2.5.5: Explain how human activities affect air quality.

EEn.2.6: Analyze patterns of global climate change over time.
  • 2.6.1: Differentiate between weather and climate.
  • 2.6.2: Explain changes in global climate due to natural processes.
  • 2.6.3: Analyze the impacts that human activities have on global climate change (such as burning hydrocarbons, greenhouse effect, and deforestation).
  • 2.6.4: Attribute changes in Earth systems to global climate change (temperature change, changes in pH of ocean, sea level changes, etc.).

EEn.2.7: Explain how the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere individually and collectively affect the biosphere.
  • 2.7.1: Explain how abiotic and biotic factors interact to create the various biomes in North Carolina
  • 2.7.2: Explain why biodiversity is important to the biosphere.
  • 2.7.3: Explain how human activities impact the biosphere.

EEn.2.8: Evaluate human behaviors in terms of how likely they are to ensure the ability to live sustainably on Earth.
  • 2.8.1: Evaluate alternative energy technologies for use in North Carolina.
  • 2.8.2: Critique conventional and sustainable agriculture and aquaculture practices in terms of their environmental impacts.
  • 2.8.3: Explain the effects of uncontrolled population growth on the Earth’s resources.
  • 2.8.4: Evaluate the concept of “reduce, reuse, recycle” in terms of impact on natural resources. 

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Contact MarineQuest School Programs

Harris Muhlstein, School Programs Coordinator

UNCW Center for Marine Science
5600 Marvin K. Moss Lane 
Wilmington, NC 28409