Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 1 Revised May 2nd, 2014

Physics Applications

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators

PAa: The student will demonstrate an understanding of how scientific inquiry and technological design,
including mathematical analysis, can be used appropriately to pose questions, seek answers, and develop
solutions.
Indicator Essential Understandings Assessment Guidelines

PAa.l: Generate
hypotheses on the
basis of credible,
accurate, and relevant
sources of scientific
information

Key Concepts:
 hypotheses,
 sources of scientific information

It is essential for students to
 Know that a hypothesis is a reasonable explanation of an observation or
experimental result or a possible answer to a scientific question that can be tested.
The hypothesis may or may not be supported by the experimental results. It is
often stated in terms of an independent and a dependent variable—or a “cause-
effect relationship.” Examples of hypotheses might include:
 If an object has greater surface area, then the rate at which it falls through the
air decreases.
 As the volume of an object increases, the rate at which it fall through air
decreases.
 With a constant force, an object with a smaller mass will accelerate more than
an object with a larger mass.
 If I make a paper airplane with larger wings, then the airplane will glide farther,
because the additional surface area of the wing will produce more lift.
 Know that the results of an experiment cannot prove that a hypothesis is correct.
Rather, the results support or do not support the hypothesis. Valuable information
is gained even when the hypothesis is not supported by the results. For example, it
would be an important discovery to find that the wing size is not related to how far
an airplane glides. When hypotheses are tested over and over again and not
contradicted, they may become known as laws or principles.
 Use credible (trustworthy), accurate (correct – based on supported data), and
relevant (applicable, related to the topic of the investigation) sources of scientific
information in preparation for generating a hypothesis. These sources could be
previous scientific investigations science journals, textbooks, or other credible
To demonstrate mastery of this
indictor the student should be
able to:

 Generate hypotheses on the basis
of credible, accurate, and relevant
sources of scientific information
 Formulate a credible hypothesis
for an investigation
 Understand the relationship
between the independent and
dependent variables
 Identify the variables involved in a
hypothesis
 Use data to determine
whether a hypothesis was
supported or not supported by that
data;
 Summarize the criteria by which
scientific information would be
used to help generate the
hypothesis;

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 2 Revised May 2nd, 2014

sources, such as scientifically reliable internet sites.
Note:
Some sources of information are not based on credible scientific research and may
contain information that is not accurate. Credible science investigations are
published in journals that are reviewed by a panel of respected research scientists
active in the field of science being studied. Teachers could help students identify
credible sources of scientific information that may help them with background
information for their hypotheses. Teachers must also caution students to be
skeptical of website information and journal articles that are not referenced to
credible sources of scientific research.

It is not essential for students to
 Reference research from outside sources for every hypothesis written, but if
scientific information is needed for generating a hypothesis, it must be credible,
accurate, and reliable;
 Name specific journals or websites, but the understanding of what makes a source
credible and reliable is part of this indicator;
 Understand the concept of the null hypothesis.

PAa.2: Use
appropriate laboratory
apparatuses,
technology, and
techniques safely and
accurately when
conducting a scientific
investigation.

Key Concepts
 laboratory apparatus
 laboratory technology
 laboratory techniques
 scientific investigation

It is essential for students to
 Use appropriately and identify the following laboratory apparatuses and materials:
 Apparatuses and materials appropriate for investigations:

Compasses Motors, simple electric
Diffraction grating Protractors
Dry cells (or other voltage source) Resistors
Flashlights Spectroscope
Generators (hand-held) Spring scales
Hand lenses (magnifiers) Switches, knife
Lenses (convex and concave) Timers
Light bulb and holders Tuning forks
Magnets Weights
To demonstrate mastery of this
indictor the student should be
able to:

 Use appropriate laboratory
apparatuses, technology,
&techniques safely and
accurately,
 Determine the proper use of the
apparatuses, technology,
&techniques for scientific
investigations.
 Show understanding of how the
apparatuses are used safely and
accurately.
 Identify an apparatus from a
description or illustration;
 Recognize appropriate laboratory
apparatuses, technology, and
techniques for given procedures.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 3 Revised May 2nd, 2014

Mirrors, plane rectangular
Motion carts (or toy cars)
Wire, insulated copper
Measuring tools: Metric rulers, Meter sticks, and meter tapes
Ammeters and voltmeters (or multimeters)
 Use the identified laboratory apparatuses in an investigation safely and accurately
with
o Associated technology, such as
 computers, calculators and other devices, for data collection, graphing, and
analyzing data, or
 probeware and meters to gather data;
o Appropriate techniques that are useful for understanding concepts, such as
 measuring, heating, filtering, timing, and
 setting up circuits, electrostatics, or wave behavior.
 Recognize safety guidelines
associated with use of laboratory
apparatuses, technology, and
techniques.
 Exemplify appropriate
apparatuses, technology, and
techniques needed for a scientific
investigation.
 Infer which laboratory
apparatuses, technology, and
techniques are appropriate for
given procedures and that will
produce accurate results.

It is not essential for students to
 Cut or bend glass tubing or insert it in rubber stoppers;
 Understand how probeware from a specific manufacturer functions.

PAa.3: Use scientific
instruments to record
measurement data in
appropriate metric units
that reflect the
precision and accuracy
of each particular
instrument.

Key Concepts
 balances,
 spring scales,
 thermometers,
 rulers
 Measurement data
 Metric units
 Precision and accuracy

It is essential for students to read
thermometers, rulers, meter sticks, ammeters, voltmeters (or multimeters), and
stopwatches using the correct number of decimals to record the measurements in
appropriate metric units.
 The measurement scale on the instrument should be read with the last digit of the
recorded measurement being estimated.
 Record data using appropriate metric units (SI units). They should be able to use
prefixes; milli, centi, kilo. (Conversions should be made using dimensional analysis
see PAa.5)
 Understand that the more decimals in the recorded measurement, the greater the
To demonstrate mastery of this
indictor the student should be
able to:
 Use scientific instruments to
record measurement data in
appropriate metric units reflecting
the precision and accuracy of
each instrument.
 Apply proper procedures to using
instruments and recording data
accurately.
 Exemplify the most precise and/or
accurate measurement;
 Compare precise vs. accurate
measurement data;
 Summarize accuracy and
precision with specific scientific
instruments in making
measurements;
 Infer that measurements vary in

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 4 Revised May 2nd, 2014

precision of the instrument.
 An instrument that can be read to the hundredths place is more precise than
an instrument that can be read to the tenths place.
 A 100 mL graduated cylinder that is marked in 1 mL increments can be read
exactly to the ones place with the tenths place being estimated in the recorded
measurement.
 A 10 mL graduated cylinder that is marked in 0.1 mL increments can be read
exactly to the tenths place with the hundredths place being estimated in the
recorded measurement.
 The 10 mL graduated cylinder, therefore, is more precise than the 100 mL
 Understand that the terms precision and accuracy are widely used in any scientific
work where quantitative measurements are made.
 Precision is a measure of the degree to which measurements made in the
same way agree with one another.
 The accuracy of a result is the degree to which the experimental value agrees
with the true or accepted value.
 It is possible to have a high degree of precision with poor accuracy. This
occurs if the same error is involved in repeated trials of the experiment.
precision and accuracy.
 Identify the appropriate
instrument that meets the
measurement need and
appropriate precision for the
designated experiment

It is not essential for students to
 to identify the number of significant figures in measurements or
 to understand their use in calculations;
 to understand the difference between systematic and random measurement errors,
or to define the degree of uncertainty of measurements.

PAa.4: Design a
scientific investigation
with appropriate
methods of control to
test a hypothesis
(including independent
and dependent
variables), and
evaluate the designs of
sample investigations

Key Concepts:
 Scientific investigation:
 Hypothesis
 Independent variable
 Dependent variable
 Methods of control:
 Controlled variable
 Control group
It is essential for students to
 Design a controlled scientific investigation in which one variable at a time is
deliberately changed and the effect on another variable is observed while holding
all other variables constant.
The steps in designing an investigation include:
To demonstrate mastery of this
indictor the student should be
able to:
 Demonstrate understanding of the
components of a properly
designed scientific investigation.
 Classify the types of variables
and constants in a controlled
investigation;
 Summarize the components of a
controlled scientific investigation.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 5 Revised May 2nd, 2014

o Stating the purpose in the form of a testable question or problem statement
o Researching information related to the investigation
o Stating the hypothesis
o Describing the experimental process
 Planning for independent and dependent variables with repeated trials
 Planning for factors that should be held constant (controlled variables)
 Setting up the sequence of steps to be followed
 Listing materials
 Planning for recording, organizing and analyzing data
o Planning for a conclusion statement that will support or not support the
hypothesis
 Understand that scientific investigations are designed to answer a question about
the relationship between two variables in a predicted “cause-effect relationship.”
 Understand that the statement that predicts the relationship between an
independent and dependent variable is called a hypothesis.
 Understand that the independent variable is the variable that the experimenter
deliberately changes or manipulates in an investigation.
 Understand that the dependent variable is the variable that changes in an
investigation in response to changes in the independent variable.
 Understand that the independent variable is the “cause” and the dependent
variable is the “effect” in the “cause-effect” relationship that is predicted.
 Understand that all the other possible variables in the investigation should be held
constant so that only one variable (the independent) is tested at a time. The
variables which are held constant are called controlled variables.
 Understand that the investigator should conduct repeated trials to limit random
error in measurements.
 Understand that, when appropriate, a control group is set up as a basis of
comparison to test whether the effects on the dependent variable came from the
independent variable or from some other source.
It is also essential for students to
 Evaluate the design of an experiment by assessing whether the steps of the
investigation are presented.
 Evaluate the methods by which the investigation was conducted to determine:
o Whether independent and dependent variables are appropriate for testing the
hypothesis;
o Whether only one variable is changed at a time by the investigator;
o Which variables are, or should have been, controlled;
o Whether data was collected with adequate repeated trials, organized and
analyzed properly;
 evaluate the designs of sample
investigation
 Interpret the data to infer a
relationship between the variables
predicted by the hypothesis;
 Interpret the data to determine if
the conclusion is valid.
 Check the investigation results to
support the hypothesis,
 Relate the hypothesis to an
appropriate scientific
investigation,
 Identify the components of a
scientific investigation.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 6 Revised May 2nd, 2014

o Whether the conclusion is logical based on the analysis of collected data.
Note:
Many science laboratory activities simply give students procedures to follow, data to
collect and graph, and questions to answer that verify their learning of the concepts.
Science learning can be more interesting to students if they are given the
opportunity to explore and wonder “why” more often. If students conduct an
investigation in which something unexpected or unusual happens and then are
asked to predict why it happened, they feel more involved in the learning. Then, if
they are asked to design an experiment to see if their prediction is correct, they will
feel empowered by the activity. These activities are often called “Open Inquiry” or
“Guided Inquiry” depending on how much instruction is provided. Teachers should
encourage students to be curious and wonder why things happen. Science fair
projects can be a perfect opportunity for students to conduct these kinds of activities.
Instruction and guidance should be provided to insure that proper investigative
procedures are followed.

It is not essential for students to
 Understand the null hypothesis process.
 Perform statistical analysis on the data to evaluate the experimental design.

PAa.5: Organize and
interpret the data from
a controlled scientific
investigation by using
mathematics (including
formulas and
dimensional analysis),
graphs, models, and/or
technology.

Key Concepts:
 Data
 Graphs
 Controlled scientific investigation
 Direct and Inverse variations (proportion)

It is essential for students to
Organize data which is collected from a controlled scientific investigation.
 Data should be organized in charts which list the values for the independent
variable in the first column and list the values for the dependent variable in a
column to the right of the independent variable.

Example Charts: Independent Variable Dependent Variable

(or)

To demonstrate mastery of this
indictor the student should be
able to:
 Use formulas, graphs, charts,
tables or models to organize data
into a structure that illustrates the
relationship between the
variables.
 interpret data from a controlled
scientific investigation,
 change one form of data
representation into another
meaningful representation.
 Illustrate the relationship between
two variables in a scientific
investigation;
 Interpret variable relationships
using formulas, graphs, models,
or technology.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 7 Revised May 2nd, 2014

 Use graphs to organize data from controlled investigations.
 Data should be recorded on a graph with the independent variable plotted on the
“X” axis and the dependent variable plotted on the “Y” axis.
 Choose scales for both the horizontal axis and the vertical axis.
 There should be two data points more than is needed on the vertical axis.
 The horizontal axis should be long enough for all of the data points to fit.
 The intervals on each axis should be marked in equal increments.
o Label each axis with the name of the variable and the unit of measure.
o Title the graph.
 Use the graphs to analyze and interpret data to determine a relationship between
the dependent and independent variables.
o A line graph is used for continuous quantitative data.
o A bar graph is used for non-continuous data which is usually categorical.
o A circle graph shows a relationship among parts of a whole. Circle graphs
often involve percentage data.
 Recognize the implications of various graphs
○ A direct variation (or proportion) is one in which, one variable increases as
the other increases or as one variable decreases the other decreases. A
straight line with a positive slope indicates a direct relationship that changes at
a constant rate. A greater slope indicates an increased rate of change.

 Use the procedure of dimensional
analysis to change the units of
measurement.

Force vs Acceleration
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Force (N)
A
c
c
e
l
e
r
a
t
i
o
n

(
m
/
s
/
s
)
Independent Variable Dependent Variable

Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3
First value
Second value
Third value
(other values)

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 8 Revised May 2nd, 2014

○ An inverse variation (or proportion) is one in which the product of two
quantities is a constant. For example the product of the frequency and the
wavelength is equal to the velocity of a wave (v = f λ). Frequency and
wavelength are inversely proportional. As one quantity increases the other
quantity decreases.

Use a formula to solve for one variable if given the value for the other variables.
 Use dimensional analysis to change the units of the measurement determined,
not the value of the measurement itself.
o It is very important in science to express all numbers with units of
measurement when appropriate, not just the number as is sometimes done in
purely mathematical problems.
o To change a measurement from liters to milliliters, or grams to kilograms, for
example, the measurement can be multiplied by a “conversion factor” that
expresses the relationship between the given and asked- for value.
o This conversion factor is a fraction equal to one and, therefore, the value of the
original measurement does not change---only the unit changes.

 Understand that a scientific model is an idealized description of how phenomena
occur and how data or events are related. A scientific model is simply an idea
Wavelength vs. Frequency
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
0 100 200 300 400 500 600
Wavelength (m)
F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

(
1
/
s
)

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 9 Revised May 2nd, 2014

that allows us to create explanations of how we think some part of the world works.
Models are used to represent a concept or system so that the concept may be
more easily understood and predictions can be made.
o The model of the atom helps us understand the composition, structure, and
behavior of atoms. Models for the atom can change as new information and
theories explain the atom more completely.
o No model is ever a perfect representation of the actual concept or system.
Models may change over time as scientific knowledge advances.
 Understand that technology (tools/machines or processes) can be used to
develop better understanding of the science concepts studied. As technology
improves, science concepts are studied more completely and more accurately.
 Understand how to organize and analyze data using technology such as graphing
calculators or computers.

It is not essential that students memorize formulas for relationships between
dependent and independent variables studied.

PAa.6: Evaluate the
results of a controlled
scientific investigation
in terms of whether
they refute or verify the
hypothesis.

Key Concepts:
 controlled scientific investigation
 hypothesis

It is essential for students to
 Understand that in a controlled scientific investigation the hypothesis is a prediction
about the relationship between an independent and dependent variable with all
other variables being held constant.
 Understand that results of a controlled investigation will either refute the hypothesis
or verify by supporting the hypothesis.
 After the hypothesis has been tested and data is gathered, the experimental
data is reviewed using data tables, charts, or graphical analysis.
 If the data is consistent with the prediction in the hypothesis, the hypothesis is
supported.
 If the data is not consistent with the prediction in the hypothesis, the
hypothesis is refuted.
 Understand that the shape of a graph can show the relationship between the
variables in the hypothesis. (See graph shapes in PAa.5)
 Understand that if the data does support the relationship, the hypothesis is still alway
tentative and subject to further investigation. Scientists repeat investigations and do
different investigations to test the same hypothesis because the hypothesis is always
tentative, and another investigation could refute the relationship predicted.
 Understand that scientific laws express principles in science that have been tested
To demonstrate mastery of this
indictor the student should be
able to:
 evaluate results of a controlled
scientific investigation,
 check data from the results of an
investigation to determine if the
results support the relationship
predicted between variables in
the hypothesis
 Infer that a hypothesis is verified
or refuted by the results of the
investigation
 Compare data that refutes or
supports a hypothesis
 Explain why the results of an
investigation support or refute a
hypothesis
 Analyze the data from an

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 10 Revised May 2nd, 2014

and tested and always shown to support the same hypothesis. Even these laws,
however, can be shown to need revision as new scientific evidence is found with
improved technology, advanced scientific knowledge, and more controlled scientific
investigations based on these.

investigation to see if it supports
or refutes the hypothesis

It is not essential that students
• Develop new hypotheses if the results have refuted the tested hypothesis;
• Carry out statistical analysis on the collected data.

PAa.7: Evaluate a
technological design or
product on the basis of
designated criteria
(including cost, time,
and materials).

Key Concepts:
 Technological design or product
 Criteria: cost, time, materials

It is essential for students to
 Understand that technological designs or products are produced by the application
of scientific knowledge to meet specific needs of humans. The field of engineering
focuses on these processes.
 Understand that there are four stages of technological design:
o Problem identification
o Solution design (a process or a product)
o Implementation
o Evaluation
 Understand that common requirements within the solution design stage of all
technological designs or products include:
o Cost effectiveness or lowest cost for production;
o Time effectiveness or the least amount of time required for production, and
o Materials that meet specific criteria, such as:
 Solves the problem
 Reasonably priced
 Availability
 Durability
 Not harmful to users or to the environment
 Qualities matching requirements for product or solution
 Manufacturing process matches characteristics of the material
 Understand that benefits need to exceed the risk.
 Understand that there are tradeoffs among the various criteria. For example, the
best material for a specific purpose may be too expensive.

To demonstrate mastery of this
indictor the student should be
able to:
 Evaluate a technological design
or product on the basis of
designated criteria
 Critique a technological design or
product to determine if it meets
designated criteria.
 Exemplify (give an example of)the
best product based on given
criteria
 Analyze the best product or
design from a given set based on
given criteria
 Compare given products or
designs on the basis of criteria in
order to select the best
 Summarize the qualities of the
best product or design based on
given criteria
 Infer from given criteria and
qualities which product or design
matches best.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 11 Revised May 2nd, 2014

It is not essential for students to
 Recognize which field of engineering is involved with specific products or designs.
 Match specific materials that would be best for specific technological designs or
products without being given characteristics of the given materials.

PAa.8: Compare the
processes of scientific
investigation and
technological design.

Key Concepts:
 Science, Technology
 Scientific investigation
 Technological design

It is essential for students to
 Understand that science is a process of inquiry that searches for relationships that
explain and predict the physical, living and designed world.
 Understand that technology is the application of scientific discoveries to meet
human needs and goals through the development of products and processes.
 Understand that the processes of scientific investigation are followed to
determine the relationship between an independent and dependent variable
described by a hypothesis. The results of scientific investigations can advance
science knowledge.
 Understand that the processes of technological design are followed to design
products or processes to meet specified needs. The results of technological
designs can advance standard of living in societies.
 Understand that, in general, the field of engineering is responsible for technological
designs or products by applying science to make products or design processes
that meet specific needs of mankind.
 The process of controlled scientific investigations:
o Forms hypotheses to suggest a relationship between dependent and
independent variables;
o Investigates the relationships between the dependent and independent
variables;
o Analyzes the data from investigations and draws conclusions as to whether or
not the hypothesis was supported.
 The technological design process is used to design products and processes that
people can use. The process may involve:
o A problem or need is identified
o A solution is designed to meet the need or solve the problem identified.
o The solution or product is developed and tested.
o The results of the implementation are analyzed to determine how well the
solution or product successfully solved the problem or met the need.
To demonstrate mastery of this
indictor the student should be
able to:
 Compare the processes of
scientific investigation and
technological design
 Detect the similarities and
differences in the processes of
controlled scientific investigation
and technological design
 Exemplify the processes of
scientific investigation and
technological design
 Classify a process as either part
of a scientific investigation or
technological design given a
description of the steps
 Summarize steps that may be
part of each process
 Illustrate the processes of
scientific investigation and/or
diagrams or pictures
 Recognize each process based
knowledge or designs products or
processes that meet specific
needs of mankind.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 12 Revised May 2nd, 2014

Some ways that the two processes might be compared:
Scientific Investigation Technological Design
Identifies a problem – asks a question Identifies a problem or need
Researches related information Researches related information
Designs an investigation or experiment Designs a process or a product
Conducts the investigation or experiment –
repeated trials
Implements the design or the process –
repeated testing
Analyzes the results Analyzes the results
Evaluates the conclusion – did the results
refute or verify the hypothesis
Evaluates the process or product – did it
meet the criteria
Communicates the findings Communicates the product or process

It is not essential that students
 Distinguish which field of engineering is associated with specific technological
designs.

PAa.9: Use
appropriate safety
procedures when
conducting
investigations

Key Concepts:
 Safety procedures
 Investigations

It is essential for students to
 Practice the safety procedures stated in every scientific investigation and
technological design problem conducted in the laboratory and classroom. Follow
safety procedures regarding
o Personal safety – follow only the designated lab procedures; be sure to
understand the meaning of any safety symbols shown, wear proper clothing
and shoes for the lab, use protective equipment (goggles, aprons,…), tie back
loose hair, never eat or drink in lab room, use proper technique for touching or
smelling materials.
o Work area safety – use only designated chemicals or equipment, keep work
area clear and uncluttered, do not point heated containers at yourself or
anyone else, be sure all burners or hot plates are turned off when the lab is
finished, know the location and use of the fire extinguisher, safety blanket,
eyewash station, safety shower, and first aid kit, disconnect electrical devices,
follow clean-up procedures as designated by the teacher.
 Safely and accurately practice appropriate techniques associated with the
equipment and materials used in the activities conducted in the laboratory and
classroom (see PAa.2 materials lists).
 Abide by the safety rules in the course safety contract.
 Report any laboratory safety incidents (spills, accidents, or injuries) to the teacher.
To demonstrate mastery of this
indictor the student should be
able to:
 Use and practice appropriate
safety procedures
 Understand which procedures are
not appropriate for conducting
investigations safely.
 Recognize appropriate safety
procedures for conducting
investigations
 Exemplify appropriate safety
procedures for conducting
investigations
 Classify a procedure as an
appropriate or not appropriate
safety procedure
 Illustrate appropriate safety
procedures for conducting
investigations

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 13 Revised May 2nd, 2014

PAb: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the structure and properties of an atom.
Indicator Essential Understandings Assessment Guidelines:

PAb.1: Compare the
subatomic particles
(protons, neutrons,
electrons) of an atom
with regard to mass,
location, and charge,
and explain how these
particles affect the
properties of an atom
(including identity,
mass, volume, and
reactivity).

Key Concepts
 Sub-atomic particles: proton, neutron, electron
 Energy level
 Electron Cloud
 Nucleus

It is essential for students to compare subatomic particles by:
 Particle type:
 Know that the atom is composed of subatomic particles (protons, neutrons,
and electrons) that affect the properties of an atom.
 Particle mass:
 Understand that protons and neutrons have about the same mass.
 Understand that the mass of an electron is much less than the mass of protons
and neutrons
 (It is not necessary for students to know the exact mass of the particles).
 Particle charge:
 Understand that protons have a positive charge; know that neutrons have no
charge.
 Understand that the net charge of the nucleus is positive and equal to the
number of protons.
 Understand that electrons have a negative charge.
 Understand that there is an attractive force between negative electrons and
positive protons (unlike charges attract).
 Understand that there is a repulsive force between electrons and electrons,
and between protons and protons (like charges repel).
 Understand that atoms are neutrally charged when the number of electrons is
the same as the number of protons.
 Particle location:
 Understand that protons and neutrons are tightly bound in a tiny nucleus.
 Understand that the nucleus is located in the center of the atom with the
electrons moving in complicated patterns in the space around the nucleus.
 Understand that the electrons have energy and that as the level of energy (the
energy level) of an electron increases, the electron is likely to (will probably)
spend more time further from the nucleus.
 Understand that the total region in space where electrons are likely to be found
The first objective of the indicator
is to compare the three primary
subatomic particles with regard to
mass, charge and location; the
primary focus of assessment
should be to detect
correspondences between and
among these particles with regard
to these three properties.

should be able to:

 Illustrate with drawings or
diagrams that depict the charge,
and mass of the three particles;
 Classify the three particles based
on the characteristics of mass,
location, and charge;
 Summarize the characteristics of
the subatomic particles
 Recognize the role that each
particle has in the characteristics
of an atom.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 14 Revised May 2nd, 2014

around the nucleus of an atom is often called the ‘electron cloud’.
 Understand that as the energy levels of electrons increase, the regions of
space where the electrons are likely to be found are at increasing distances
from the nucleus.
 Electrons with more energy occupy higher energy levels and are likely to be
found further from the nucleus.
 There are a maximum number of electrons that can occupy each energy level
and that number increases the further the energy level is from the nucleus.

PAb.2: Illustrate the
fact that the atoms of
elements exist as
stable or unstable
isotopes

Key Concepts
 atomic number
 nuclear decay
 mass number
 isotope
 atomic mass

It is essential for students to understand
 Atomic Number:
 The atomic number of an element is equal to the number of protons. The
atomic number is always the same for a given element.
 The atomic number of an element can be found on the periodic table. It is a
whole number since it is equal to the number of protons in the nucleus of the
atom and is, therefore, the same for all atoms of that element.
 Mass Number:
 Atoms of the same element may have different numbers of neutrons.
 The mass number of a particular atom is the sum of that atom’s protons and
neutrons.
 The mass number cannot be found on the periodic table. (The mass number is
not the same asatomic mass and cannot be found by rounding off the atomic
mass. The mass number must be given through words or a symbol.)
 Isotopes:
 Atoms of the same element with different numbers of neutrons will have
different mass numbers.
 Isotopes are defined as two or more atoms of the same element having the
same number of protons but different numbers of neutrons (and therefore
different masses)
 Atomic Mass:
 The atomic mass of an element is the weighted average of the masses of the
naturally occurring isotopes of an element.
The objective of this indicator is to
illustrate that atoms exist as stable
or unstable isotopes; the primary
focus of assessment should be to
give or use illustrations
(descriptions, diagrams, or
symbols) of these concepts to
show understanding of isotopes.
Assessments should test the
student’s ability to apply this
concept to any element, not be
restricted to memorized examples.
Students should know that some
isotopes have nuclei that are
“unstable” should have an
understanding of nuclear decay as
a result of an unstable nucleus, and
understand that radiation is a result
of nuclear decay.

should be able to:

 Understand that some isotopes
have nuclei that are “unstable”
 Understanding of nuclear
decay as a result of an unstable
nucleus, and understand that
radiation is a result of nuclear
decay.
 Interpret (change from one form
of representation to another), for

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 15 Revised May 2nd, 2014

 The atomic mass of an element can be found on the periodic table. Since the
atomic mass of an element is an average, it is usually not a whole number.

Students must be able to
 Illustrate isotopes (or recognize illustrations of isotopes) with diagrams, symbols, or
with words; in each case, the illustration must indicate that isotopes are atoms with
the same number of protons, but different numbers of neutrons.
 The following are two widely accepted examples of symbols used to illustrate
one isotope of carbon:

 Understand isotopes with unstable nuclei:
 In order for a nucleus to be stable, a correct ratio of neutrons and protons
should be present in the nucleus.
 An isotope with an unstable nucleus is radioactive.
 Due to the unstable condition of the nucleus, radioactive isotopes undergo
nuclear decay.
 Nuclear decay is a nuclear reaction that involves emission of energy and/or
particles from the nucleus, resulting in a more stable nuclear environment.
 Radiation is the term used to describe the particles and/or energy that are
emitted during nuclear decay. (Three types are alpha and beta particles, and
gamma rays)
 Nuclear decay occurs naturally in many elements that are common on earth
and there is always some radiation present in every environment.
 Use a periodic table to apply these concepts to describe any atom given enough
information. For example, given the symbol of an element, with mass number and
atomic number, the student should be able to give the number of each of the basic
particles (protons, neutrons, electrons) in the neutral atom of any element.

description of an isotope and
produce an illustration in the form
of a symbol or a diagram;
 Compare stable and unstable
isotopes;
 Recognize isotopes of the same
element.

PAb.3: Compare
fission and fusion
(including the basic

Key Concepts
 Nuclear fission: chain reaction, critical mass
 Nuclear fusion

The objective of this indicator is to
compare fission and fusion, the
major focus of the assessment

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 16 Revised May 2nd, 2014

processes and the fact
that both fission and
fusion convert a
fraction of the mass of
interacting particles
into energy and release
a great amount of
energy).

It is essential for students to understand
 Understand that nuclear reactions involve the particles in the nucleus of the atom
(as opposed to chemical reactions, which involve the electrons in an atom and
where the nucleus remains intact).
 Understand that there is a great deal more energy change involved in nuclear
reactions than in chemical reactions.
Nuclear fission
 Understand the processes of nuclear fission.
 Nuclear fission occurs when a heavy nucleus, such as the U-235 nucleus, splits
into two or more parts; a large amount of energy is released.
 The absorption of a neutron by a large nucleus (such as U-235) is one way to
initiate a fission reaction.
 When an atom with a large nucleus undergoes fission, atoms that have smaller
nuclei result. In the process smaller particles, such as neutrons, may be ejected
from the splitting nucleus.
 If one or more ejected neutrons strike another U-235 nucleus, another fission
reaction may occur. The continuation of this process is called a chain reaction.
There must be a certain minimum amount of mass, called a critical mass, of
fissionable material in close proximity for a chain reaction to occur.
than the amount of energy required to produce the reaction.
 Using fusion for nuclear power plants is still in the developmental stage.
 A hydrogen bomb, also called a thermonuclear bomb, utilizes nuclear fusion.
Understand that fission is the type of nuclear reaction that occurs in nuclear power
plants and other nuclear applications (atomic bombs, nuclear-powered submarines
and satellites).
 Understand that the mass of the products of a fission reaction is less than the
mass of the reactants.
 This lost mass (m) is converted into energy (E). The equation E = mc2 shows the
relationship of this “lost mass” to the energy released. (It is not essential for
students to use this equation.)
 The conversion of mass to energy during a nuclear reaction involves far more
energy than the amount of energy involved in a chemical reaction.

Nuclear fusion
 Understand the processes of nuclear fusion
 Nuclear fusion occurs when light nuclei (such as hydrogen) fuse, or combine, to
form a larger single nucleus (such as helium).
 As in fission reactions, in fusion reactions the mass of the products is less than the
mass of the reactants and the “lost mass” is converted to energy.
should be to identify the similarities
and differences in fission and
fusion, the consequences, and the
applications of the two processes.

should be able to:

 Exemplify relevant uses of each
process;
 Classify a process as either
fission or fusion;
the steps in each process;

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 17 Revised May 2nd, 2014

 Fusion is the type of nuclear reaction that occurs on the sun (and other stars).
 Forcing small nuclei to fuse requires huge amounts of energy; however, when
fusion reactions occur on the sun, more energy is released

PAb.4: Compare the
properties of the four
states of matter—solid,
liquid, gas, and
plasma—in terms of
the arrangement and
movement of particles.

Key Concepts
 States of Matter:
1. solid,
2. liquid,
3. gas,
4. plasma
It is essential for students to understand
Understand the characteristics of solids, liquids, gases, and plasma
 Solids
 The particles of solids are closely packed together because there is an
attractive force holding them together
 The particles of solids are constantly vibrating, but they do not readily slip past
one another.
 Because the particles vibrate in place and do not readily slip past one another,
a solid has a definite shape.
 Liquids
 The particles of liquids are in contact with each other because there is an
attractive force holding them together.
 The particles of liquids have enough energy to partially overcome the attractive
force of the surrounding particles. Liquid particles can slip past surrounding
particles and slide over one another. Because the particles slip past one
another, a liquid does not have a definite shape and so takes the shape of the
container. A sample of a liquid can be poured.
 Gases
 The particles of gases are not in contact with each other because they have
enough energy to completely overcome the attractive force between or among
the particles.
 The particles of gases are moving randomly, in straight lines until they bump
into other particles or into the wall of the container. When a particle hits
another particle or the container, it bounces off and continues to move.
 Because gas particles move independently, the particles move throughout the
entire container. The forces between the particles are not strong enough to
prevent the particles from spreading to fill the container in which the gas is
located.
The objective of this indicator is to
compare fission and fusion, the
major focus of the assessment
should be to identify the similarities
and differences in fission and
fusion, the consequences, and the
applications of the two processes.

should be able to:
 Illustrate with words, pictures, or
diagrams particle motion and
arrangement in a solid, liquid,
gas, or plasma;
 Classify a substance as a solid,
liquid, gas, or plasma based on a
description of the particle
arrangement and motion;
 Summarize the characteristics of
the particle motion in solids,
liquids, gas, and plasma;
 Recognize the four states of
matter by their characteristics.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 18 Revised May 2nd, 2014

 Plasma
 Plasma is matter consisting of positively and negatively charged particles.
 A substance is converted to the plasma phase at very high temperatures, such
as those in stars (such as the sun). High temperature means that the particles
of a substance are moving at high speeds. At these speeds, collisions
between particles result in electrons being stripped from atoms.
 Plasma is the most common state of matter in the universe, found not only in
stars, but also in lightning bolts, neon and fluorescent light tubes and auroras

PAc: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the nature of forces and motion.
Indicator Essential Understandings Assessment Guidelines:

PAc.1: Explain the
relationship among
distance, time,
direction, and the
velocity of an object.

Key Concepts
 Distance, Direction, Displacement
 Speed:
 Average speed
 Instantaneous speed
 Initial speed
 Final speed
 Velocity:
 Average velocity
 Instantaneous velocity
 Initial velocity
 Final velocity
 Rate

It is essential for students to
Understand Distance and Displacement:
 Distance is a measure of how far an object has moved and is independent of
direction.
o If a person travels 40m due east, turns and travels 30m due west, the distance
traveled is70m.
 Displacement has both magnitude (measure of the distance) and direction. It is a
change of position in a particular direction.
o For example: 40m east is a displacement.
 Total or final displacement refers to both the distance and direction of an object’s
change in position from the starting point or origin. Displacement only depends on
the starting and stopping point. Displacement does not depend on the path taken.
The objective of this indicator is to
explain the relationship among
distance, time, direction, and the
velocity of an object, the major
primary focus of assessment
should be to construct a cause
and effect models relating how
each variable affects the motion of
the object, as well as the effect of
combinations of variables on
motion.

should be able to:

 Exemplify how each variable
influences the motion of an
object;
 Compare distance to
displacement and velocity to
speed;
 Summarize the effect of each
variable separately or in
combination on the motion of an
object;
(speed, velocity, time, distance,
or displacement)

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 19 Revised May 2nd, 2014

o If a person travels 40m due east, turns and travels 30m due west, the total
displacement of the person is 10m east.
o If a person travels 40m east and then travels another 50m east the total
displacement is 90m east.

Understand Speed:
 Speed is how fast something is going. It is a measure of the distance covered per
unit of time and is always measured in units of distance divided by units of time.
(The term “per” means “divided by”)
 Speed is a rate as it is a change (change in distance) over a certain period of time
 Speed is independent of direction.
 The speed of an object can be described two ways
 Instantaneous speed is “the speed at a specific instant”. Initial speed and final
speed are examples of instantaneous speed. A speedometer measures
instantaneous speed.
 Average speed is “the total distance covered in a particular time period”
 If an object is traveling at a constant speed, the instantaneous speed at each point
will be equal to the average speed.
 If an object is traveling with varying speeds, the average speed is the total distance
covered divided by the total time.

Understand Velocity:
 Velocity refers to both the speed of an object and the direction of its motion.
 A velocity value should have both speed units and direction units, such as: m/sec
north, km/h south, cm/s left, or km/min down.
 Velocity is a rate because it is a change in displacement over a certain period of
time.
 The velocity of an object can be changed in two ways:
 The speed of the object can change (it can slow down or speed up).
 The direction of an object can change. (A racecar on a circular track moving at a
constant speed of 100 km/h has a constantly changing velocity because of a
changing direction of travel.)
 The velocity of an object can be described two ways:
o Instantaneous velocity is the velocity at a specific instant. Initial velocity and
final velocity are examples of instantaneous velocity.
o Average velocity is the total (final) displacement in a particular time
 Infer from experimental data the
relative speed or velocity of an
object (faster vs. slower);
 Illustrate in words pictures or
diagrams the effect of these
variables on the motion of an
object.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 20 Revised May 2nd, 2014

PAc.2: Use the
formula v = d/t to solve
problems related to
average speed or
velocity.

Key Concepts:
 Average speed (v) Average velocity (v)
 Distance (d) Displacement (d)
 Elapsed time (t)

It is essential for students to
 Understand the correct context for the variables in the word problem when using
the equation v = d/t.
 In the equation, “v” can represent either velocity or speed and “d” can
represent either displacement or distance, depending on the context of the
problem.
 The term “speed” or “velocity” refers to average speed or velocity.
 Students must determine the “given” information in a problem using the
correct units.
See sample table:

 Use the formula, v = d/t.
 Students must be able to calculate average speed.
 When calculating average speed using v = d/t: the average speed for the trip
equals the total distance divided by the total time. Ignore the direction of the
motion.

 Students must be able to calculate average velocity.
 When calculating average velocity using v = d/t: the average velocity equals
the total displacement divided by the total time.
 When indicating the average velocity, direction must be given and the average
velocity will have the same direction as the total displacement.
 The total displacement is the (straight line or shortest) distance and direction
Variable Abbreviation Units Direction
Required?
Examples

Speed v Distance/time No direction m/s 22
cm/yr
Velocity v Distance/time With m/s north 36 km/h
west
Distance d Distance No direction 15 m 30.0 km
Displacement d Distance With 546 km down 24.9
west
Time t Time NA 15 s 32 days
The objective of this indicator is to
use the formula v=d/t to solve
problems, the primary focus of
assessment should be to apply the
velocity equation to a novel word
problem or set of laboratory data,
not just repeat problems that are
familiar.

In addition to use, students should
be able to:

 Apply procedures for
manipulating the velocity
equation
 Recall the differences between
speed and velocity as to whether
a direction is needed;
 Identify the units needed in the
solution to a problem.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 21 Revised May 2nd, 2014

from the starting point.
 If the direction of the motion is changing, the velocity will not be constant even
if the speed is constant.
 Students must be able to rearrange the equation to solve for any of the
variables. Example: d = vt, or t = d/v
 The instantaneous velocity at any point will not necessarily be the same as the
average velocity.

PAc.3: Explain how
changes in velocity and
time affect the
acceleration of an
object.

Key Concepts
 Acceleration

It is essential for students to understand
 Constant Velocity or Zero Acceleration: The first motion diagram shown below
is for an object moving at a constant speed toward the right. The motion diagram
might represent the changing position of a car moving at constant speed along a
straight highway. Each dot indicates the position of the object at a different time.
The dots are separated by equal time intervals. Because the object moves at a
constant speed, the displacements from one dot to the next are of equal length.
The velocity of the object at each position is represented by an arrow. The velocity
arrows are of equal length (the velocity is constant).

The acceleration in the diagram below is zero because the velocity does not
change.

Below is a data table which shows an example of what instantaneous velocities
might be if measured at equal time intervals for zero acceleration. Notice the
velocity is the same each time.

The objective of this indicator is to
explain how changes in velocity or
time affect the acceleration of
an object, the primary focus of
assessment should be to a
construct a cause and effect model
showing how changes in speed,
direction, or time affect the
acceleration of an object.

students should be able to:

 Exemplify how each variable
influences the acceleration of an
object;
 Compare negative and positive
acceleration;
 Summarize the effect of each
variable on the acceleration of an
object;
 Infer from experimental data the
relative acceleration (greater rate
of acceleration vs. lesser rate of
acceleration) of two objects;
 Interpret accelerated motion on a
motion diagram;
 Illustrate accelerated motion
using motion diagrams

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 22 Revised May 2nd, 2014

 Constant Positive Acceleration (speeding up): This motion diagram represents
an object that undergoes constant acceleration toward the right in the same
direction as the initial velocity. This occurs when the car speeds up to pass another
car. Once again the dots represent, schematically, the position of the object at
equal time intervals. Because the object accelerates toward the right, its velocity
arrows increase in length toward the right as time passes. The distance between
adjacent positions increases as the object moves right because the object moves
faster as it travels right.

The acceleration in the diagram below is positive because the object is speeding up.

Below is a data table which shows an example of what instantaneous velocities
might be if measured at equal time intervals for positive acceleration. Notice the
velocity is greater each time.

Note: Sometimes the direction is defined as the positive direction. (Students do not
need to know this).
 Constant Negative Acceleration (slowing down): This type of motion occurs
when a car slows down. The dots represent schematically the position of the
object at equal time intervals. Because the acceleration is opposite the
motion, the object's velocity arrows decrease by the same amount from one
position to the next. Because the object moves slower as it travels, it covers
less distance during each consecutive time interval, so the distance between
adjacent positions decreases as the object moves right.

The acceleration in the diagram below is negative because the object is slowing
down.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 23 Revised May 2nd, 2014

Below is a data table which shows an example of what instantaneous velocities
might be if measured at equal time intervals for negative acceleration. Notice the
velocity is smaller each time.

Note: Sometimes the direction is defined as the positive direction or negative
direction. (Students do not need to know this)
o Acceleration due to a change in direction:

 Students should understand that the velocity of the object above is changing
because the direction is changing. The speed of the object remains constant.
o Because the velocity of the object is changing, it is accelerating;
o Students need only say that the object is accelerating because the direction
(and therefore the velocity) of the object is changing. Students need not
consider the rate of acceleration for an object that is changing direction.

It is essential for the students to understand
 That acceleration is a measure of the change in velocity (final velocity - initial
velocity) per unit of time. When the velocity of an object is changing, it is
accelerating.
o That if the object slows down, the change in velocity (vf - vi) is negative so the
acceleration is negative and conversely when the object is speeding up the
acceleration is positive.
o That both the change in velocity and the time it takes for that change to occur

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 24 Revised May 2nd, 2014

are important when considering the acceleration of an object.
o When comparing the acceleration of two objects that have the same change in
velocity, the one that undergoes the change in the least amount of time has
the greatest acceleration.
o When comparing the acceleration of two objects that accelerate over the same
interval of time, the one that undergoes the greatest change in velocity
accelerates the most.
o That acceleration is always measured in velocity (distance/time) units divided
by time units.
 Example: Acceleration is change in velocity divided by time. The unit for
velocity is m/s and the unit for time is second so the unit for acceleration
is m/s/s or m/s
2
. This is derived from velocity (m/s) divided by time (s).
 Students should understand acceleration units conceptually as “change in
velocity over time” rather than “distance over time squared”.
 The most common acceleration units in the metric system are m/s/s or
m/s
2
.
 The time units may be different in the velocity part of the equation and
denominator such as km/hr per second.
 The velocity of an object can change two ways, so an object can accelerate in two
ways:
o The speed can increase or decrease
o The direction can change.

PAc.4: Use the
formula a = (vf-vi)/t to
determine the
acceleration of an
object.

Key Concepts
 Acceleration
 Initial velocity
 Final velocity
 Elapsed time

It is essential for students to
 Interpret a word problem, or laboratory data, involving the motion of an object that
is accelerating in one direction and determine the “given” information:
 Differentiate velocity from speed if the direction is given. If velocity is given,
students should record the direction.
 Differentiate initial velocity (speed) from final velocity (speed) from the context of
the problem.

NOTE: As this is an introduction to the mathematical application of the concept of
acceleration, the units given to students should be consistent. (The units for initial
and final velocity should be the same.)

The objective of this indicator is to
use the acceleration formula to
determine acceleration of an
object, the primary focus of
assessment should be to apply the
acceleration formula to a novel
word problem or set of
experimental data, not just
problems that are familiar.

Students should be able to:

 Recognize when the formula
should be applied;
 Identify the appropriate units for

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 25 Revised May 2nd, 2014

Students need to list the given variables using the correct units:

It is essential for students to
 Use the equation a = (v
f
-v
i
)/t to solve for acceleration only, not for v
f
or v
i
.
 Substitute the correct values into the equation, including the correct units.
 Mathematically solve the problem, using dimensional analysis to derive the units of
 Check to make sure that the units calculated from the dimensional analysis match
the appropriate units for the acceleration (distance/time divided by time or distance
divided by time-squared).
 Understand that negative acceleration means that velocity is decreasing.
the solution to the problem;
 Compare data using the formula.

PAc.5: Explain how
acceleration due to
gravity affects the
velocity of an object as
it falls.

Key Vocabulary
 Acceleration due to gravity: a
g

It is essential for students to understand
 All objects accelerate as they fall because Earth continually exerts a force
(gravitational force) on them.
o The diagram depicts the position of an object freefall at regular time intervals.
The fact that the distance which the ball travels every interval of time is
increasing is a sure sign that the ball is speeding up as it falls downward. If an
object travels downward and speeds up, then it accelerates downward.
 When an object is released it accelerates.
 The direction of the gravitational force is always downward.
 The acceleration is in the direction of the force, so the direction of the acceleration
is downward as well.
 When an object is dropped from rest, it has an initial velocity of 0.0 m/s.
 The object will accelerate at a constant rate of 9.8m/s
2
or m/s/s.
o This means that the object will speed up at a constant rate of 9.8 m/sec every
The objective of this indicator is to
explain how acceleration due to
gravity affects the velocity of an
object as it falls; the primary focus
of assessment should be to
construct a cause and effect model
showing how acceleration due to
gravity affects the velocity and
displacement of an object in
freefall.

should be able to:

 Illustrate in words, pictures, or
diagrams how velocity and
displacement change as an

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 26 Revised May 2nd, 2014

second it is falling in the absence of air resistance.
 The value, 9.8m/s per s, is called the acceleration of gravity and has the symbol a
g
.
 Since the object is accelerating because of the gravitational force that is attracting
Earth and the object, the velocity of the object continues to increase in speed and
continues to fall in a downward direction until it hits the ground.

Students must understand the meaning of the values on the chart in terms
changing velocity.

object falls;
 Summarize how velocity and
displacement change as an
object falls;
 Interpret diagrams of objects in
freefall.

PAc.6: Represent the
linear motion of objects
on distance-time
graphs.

Key Concepts

It is essential for students to
 Construct distance/time graphs from data showing the distance traveled over time
for selected types of motion (rest, constant velocity, acceleration).
 Compare the shape of these three types of graphs and recognize the type of
motion from the shape of the graph.
 Discuss in words the significance of the shapes of the graphs in terms of the
motion of the objects.

(1) An object at rest
Example:

 Distance/time graphs  Linear motion
 Displacement/time graphs  Story graph
The objective of this indicator is to
represent linear motion of an
object on distance-time graphs, the
primary focus of assessment
should be to represent
distance/time or displacement/time
data in graph form or interpret
distance/time or displacement/time
graphs. The type of motion is
restricted to rest, constant velocity,
or constant acceleration. Students
should apply their knowledge of
graphical analysis of motion to any
new set of data, verbal description,
or graphical representation.

should be able to:

 Exemplify by finding a specific
example of a type of graph which
is appropriate for a given data set
or verbal description of motion;

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 27 Revised May 2nd, 2014

The shape of the graph is flat, because between the 1st and 6th second there is no
change in distance.

The shape of the graph is a diagonal straight line. The object covers the same
amount of distance in each time period. As the time increases, the distance
increases at a constant rate.

(3a) An accelerating object (positive acceleration or speeding up)
The shape of the graph is a curve getting steeper because as time goes by, the
object covers more distance each second than it did in the previous second so the
amount that the graph goes up each second gets more and more.

 Classify the type of motion (rest,
constant speed, or acceleration)
by the shape of a distance time
graph;
 Summarize the shapes of graphs
which represent specific types of
motion;
 Compare the motion of two
objects from graphical
representations of their motion;
 Interpret distance/time and
displacement/time graphs.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 28 Revised May 2nd, 2014

(3b) A negatively accelerating object (an object slowing down)
Example:
The shape of the graph is a curve getting flatter because as time goes by, the object
covers less distance each second than it did in the previous second, so the amount
that the graph goes up each second gets less and less.

It is essential for students to
 Construct distance time graphs from data that compare the motion of objects.
 Discuss the significance of the shapes of the graphs in terms of the relative motion
of the objects.
(1) A comparison of two objects traveling at different speeds
Example:

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 29 Revised May 2nd, 2014

Both objects are traveling at a constant speed, but the object represented by the top
line is traveling faster than the lower one. You can tell this because the amount that
the graph goes up each second (which represents the amount of distance traveled)
is more for the top line than for the bottom one. (The top line has a greater slope.)
(2) A comparison of two objects accelerating at different rates
Example:

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 30 Revised May 2nd, 2014

Both of the objects are accelerating, but the Series 2 object (top curve) is
accelerating at a greater rate than the Series 1 object (bottom curve). Both objects
cover more distance each second than they did during the previous second, but the
amount of increase for series 2 is more than the amount of increase for (series 1).

(2) A comparison of two objects traveling in different directions at a constant
speed (to show this, a displacement-time graph is required)
Example:

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 31 Revised May 2nd, 2014

These are displacement-time graphs (displacement/location has distance and
direction), so it shows how far each object is from the starting point after each hour.
Object 1 gets farther and farther away. At the 3rd hour, object 2 turns around and
comes back toward the start. The speed of each object is the same.
It is essential for a student to infer a possible story given a graph similar to this
example.

Possible explanation.
 From 0 to 3 seconds the object is traveling at a constant velocity away from the
starting point.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 32 Revised May 2nd, 2014

 From 3 seconds to 5 seconds the object is not moving relative to the starting
point.
 From 5 seconds to 8 seconds the object is moving at a constant velocity toward
the starting point.
 From 8 seconds to 13 seconds the object is moving at a constant velocity away
from the starting point, at a velocity slower than the motion from 0 to 3 seconds.
 From 13 to 15 seconds the object is not moving relative to the starting point.
 From 15 to 21 seconds the object is accelerating (speeding up) as it moves away
from the starting point.
PAc.7: Explain the
motion of objects on
the basis of Newton’s
three laws of motion:
inertia; the relationship
among force, mass,
and acceleration; and
action and reaction
forces.

Key Concepts:
 Newton’s 1st Law:
 Law of Inertia, net force, newton (N), inertia, friction
 Newton’s 2nd Law:
 applied force
 Newton’s 3rd Law:
 Law of Action and Reaction, action force, reaction force

It is essential for students to understand
 That a force is a push or a pull that one object exerts on another object and that in
the metric system, force is measured in units called newtons (N).
 That a net force is an unbalanced force. It is necessary to find the net force when
one object has more than one force exerted on it.

Newton’s First Law of Motion
 Newton’s First Law that states that the velocity of an object will remain constant
unless a net force acts on it. This law is often called the Law of Inertia.
 If an object is moving, it will continue moving with a constant velocity (in a
straight line and with a constant speed) unless a net force acts on it. If an
object is at rest, it will stay at rest unless a net force acts on it.
 Inertia is the tendency of the motion of an object to remain constant in terms of
both speed and direction.
 That the amount of inertia that an object has is dependent on the object’s
mass. The more mass an object has the more inertia it has.
 That if an object has a large amount of inertia (due to a large mass):
 It will be hard to slow it down or speed it up if it is moving.
 It will be hard to make it start moving if it is at rest.
 It will be hard to make it change direction.
The objective of this indicator is to
explain the motion of objects
based on Newton’s laws of motion,
the primary focus of assessment
should be to construct a cause and
effect model that explains the
motion of objects in terms of
inertia; force, mass, and
acceleration; and action and
reaction forces.

should be able to:

 Exemplify Newton’s Laws of
Motion;
 Compare the inertia of different
objects of different mass;
 Compare the rate of acceleration
of objects with different masses
or the rate of acceleration of an
object when subjected to different
forces (in terms of magnitude and
direction);
 Compare action and reaction
forces in terms of magnitude,
direction, source of force (which
 object) and recipient of the force
(which object);

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 33 Revised May 2nd, 2014

 That inertia does not depend on gravitational force. Objects would still have
inertia even if there were no gravitational force acting on them.
 The behavior of stationary objects in terms of the effect of inertia.

Examples might include:
 A ball which is sitting still will not start moving unless a force acts on it.
 A ball with a larger mass will be more difficult to move from rest than a smaller one.
It is more difficult to roll a bowling ball than a golf ball.

The behavior of moving objects in terms of the effect of inertia.
Examples might include:
 People involved in a car stopping suddenly:
 If a net force (braking force) is exerted on the car in a direction opposite to the
motion, the car will slow down or stop.
 If the people in the car are not wearing their seat belts, because of their inertia,
they keep going forward until something exerts an opposite force on them.
 The people will continue to move until the windshield (or other object) exerts a
force on them.
 If the people have their seatbelts on when the braking occurs, the seatbelt can
exert a force to stop the forward motion of the person, passenger in a turning car:
 Consider a person who is a passenger in a car that is moving in a straight path.
The passenger in the car is also moving in a straight path.
 If the car suddenly turns left, the inertia of the passenger causes him to continue to
move in the same straight path even though the car under him has turned to the
left.
 The passenger feels as if he has been thrown against the side of the car, but in
fact, the car has been pushed against the passenger.
 If a rowboat and a cruise ship are moving at the same speed, it is more difficult to
turn the cruise ship because it has more mass and therefore more inertia.

The reason that objects often do not keep moving in our everyday experience is
because there is often a net force acting on them.
 Students need to explain how friction as a net force slows or stops a variety of
everyday objects.
 If a ball were thrown in distant outer space away from forces, such as friction, it
would continue to move at a constant velocity until an outside force acts on it.

Newton’s Second Law of Motion
 Newton’s Second Law that states, “When a net force acts on an object the object
 Summarize the principles of
Newton’s Laws of Motion;
 Illustrate Newton’s Laws of
Motion with pictures, words, or
diagrams.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 34 Revised May 2nd, 2014

will accelerate in the direction of the net force”.
 The larger the net force, the greater the acceleration. (It is sometimes stated that
the acceleration is directly proportional to the net force.)
 The larger the mass of the object, the smaller the acceleration. (It is sometimes
stated that the acceleration is inversely proportional to the mass of the object.)
 In mathematical terms Newton’s Second Law states that the net force equals the
mass times the resulting acceleration. (F = ma)
 Friction and air resistance will often be ignored in discussions and problems, but
students should be aware of their role in determining the net force.

The motion of objects in terms of force, mass and acceleration.

The effects of force:
 Force magnitude: If the mass of an object remains constant, the greater the net
force the greater the rate of acceleration.

Forces and Motion
 Force direction:
 If the force is applied to an object at rest, the object will accelerate in the
direction of the force, and the raft puts a force on the diver (reaction force)
pushing her in the opposite direction.
 A person pushes against a wall (action force), and the wall exerts an equal
and opposite force against the person (reaction force).
PAc.8: Use the
formula F = ma to
solve problems related
to force.

Key Concepts:
 Applied force
 Frictional force
 Net force

It is essential for students to
 Understand the correct context for the variables in a word problem.
 Understand that a newton is defined as the amount of force necessary to
accelerate a 1.0 kg object at a rate of 1 meter/second/second. force =
(mass)(acceleration)

The newton is a derived unit, so when you multiply mass times acceleration, to
use the formula F = ma to solve problems related to force and to understand the
units associated with force.
 Mass is in kilograms and acceleration is in m/s/s, you have the proper units for
newtons (kgm/s/s or kgm/s
2
).

The objective of this indicator
is to use the formula, F=ma, to
solve problems related to force,
the primary focus of
assessment should be to apply
the mathematical formula, F =
ma to novel word problems or
new sets of data, not just
problems that are familiar.

should be able to:

 Apply procedures for
manipulating the formula for
Newton’s Second Law to solve
for any of the variables when

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 35 Revised May 2nd, 2014

 Mathematically solve problems for force, mass, or acceleration, using dimensional
analysis to identify the units of the answer.
(See dimensional analysis PAa.5)
 Determine the “given” information using the correct units,
 Mass should be given in kilograms (kg),
 Acceleration in (m/s/s, or m/s
2
), and
 Force in newtons. (N)
 Solve problems for any of the variable in the formula, F = ma. For example, the
problem may give net force and mass and the student must find the acceleration (a
= F/m).
given the other two;
 Recognize each of the variables;
 Summarize the interrelationships
among the variables.
PAc.9: Explain the
relationship between
mass and weight by
using the formula F
W
=
ma
g
.

Key Concepts:
Force-weight (F
w
)

It is essential for students to understand
 The weight of an object is the force that gravity exerts on that object.
 The weight of an object depends on its mass.
 Given the mass of an object, its weight can be calculated using Newton’s
Second Law.
 When an object is dropped, it accelerates at 9.8m/s
2
. Because there is
acceleration, there must be a force.
 The force is equal to the mass times the acceleration. (Fw =ma
g
)
 The force called weight is equal to an object’s mass times the acceleration
due to gravity. (9.8m/s
2
)

It is essential for students to
 Solve problems involving the relationship among the weight and mass of objects
and the acceleration of gravity using the formula Fw =ma
g.
(This formula is
sometimes written, w = m
g
.)
The objective of this indicator is to
explain the relationship between
mass and weight, the
primary focus of assessment
should be to construct a cause and
effect model of the relationship
between mass and weight, using
the formula (F
w
=ma
g
) as a basis for
that relationship. A second focus
should be to apply the formula F
w

=mag to novel word problems or a
new set of data.

should be able to:

 Apply the formula F
w
=ma
g
to
novel word problems or a new set
of data
 Apply procedures for
manipulating the formula Fw=ma
g

 Summarize the relationship
between the mass and the weight
of an object;
 Compare the quantities of mass
and weight in terms of the value
each is measuring, the units for
each, and the relationship
between the two.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 36 Revised May 2nd, 2014

PAc.10: Explain how
the gravitational force
between two objects is
affected by the mass of
each object and the
distance between
them.

Key Concepts:
 Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation

It is essential for students to understand
 Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation states that there is a force of attraction
between all objects in the universe.
 The Law of Universal Gravitation applies to all objects.
 The size of the gravitational force of attraction between two objects depends on the
mass of both objects and the distance between objects.
 The force is greater when the mass of either of the two objects is greater.
 Earth, with its huge mass, has a relatively large attractive force with all of the
objects near its surface.
 The moon has less mass than Earth, so the moon has less attraction for
objects on its surface than Earth does. (Objects on the surface of the moon
weigh less than on Earth because the gravitational force between the object
and the moon is less than the gravitational force between the object and the
Earth.)
 The reason the attraction is not noticed between ordinary sized objects that
are on earth is that the force that Earth exerts on objects is so great relative to
the force of attraction between other objects. (Negligible relative to the
attraction of the object to Earth).
 The closer the two objects are, the greater the force.
 When an object, such as a space vehicle, moves away from Earth, the
gravitational attraction between Earth and the vehicle becomes less and less.
 That if the force acting on a falling object is the same as the force acting on Earth,
the object accelerates toward Earth while Earth doesn’t seem to accelerate at all.
This is because the mass of Earth is so huge; the force causes only a very tiny
acceleration, one that is undetectable by humans.
The objective of this indicator is
the verb for this indicator:

 Explain the major focus of
assessment will be for students to
“construct a cause and effect
PAc.11: Investigates
stress and strain in
static materials subject
to compression or
tension.

Key Concepts:
• Newton’s 2nd Law of Motion
• Forces
• Stress
• Strain
• Young’s Modulus

It is essential for students to understand
The external force applied to a material can result in changes to the shape of the
The objective of this indicator is to
explain the relationship between
stress and strain in static materials,
the primary focus of assessment
should be to explain the forces of
stress and strain as related to
compression and tension.

should be able to:

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 37 Revised May 2nd, 2014

material. The type of force acting upon the material, the shape of the material and
how the material is used can influence the behavior of a structure. The work done in
changing the shape of a material can result in energy being stored in the material
under strain (strain energy), or it can result in the destruction of the material.

Stress
 Stress is a measure of force divided by the cross-sectional area that the force acts
on
 Stress = Force / Area
 The Greek Letter sigma () is used to represent stress
 The SI units of stress ar N/m
2
= Pascals (Pa)

 Calculate Young’s Modulus from
stress-strain plots
 Identify how forces create stress
in objects, and to calculate stress
in an object
 Identify different types of external
forces such as compression,
tension and shear, that can act
on a body, including gravitational
forces

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 38 Revised May 2nd, 2014

Strain
 Strain is a measure of how much a material elongates under an applied force
 Strain = (L
f
– L
i
) / L
i

 The Greek letter epsilon ( ) is used to represent strain
 The SI unit of strain is unit-less or length/length

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 39 Revised May 2nd, 2014

Young’s Modulus
 Young’s Modulus is a measure of a materials stiffness
 Nearly all materials can be measured comparing stress and strain on a single plot

Young Modulus has the physics code E, and is written as:

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 40 Revised May 2nd, 2014

The Stress-Strain graph of the mateirals below:

 Curve A shows a brittle material. This material is also strong because there is
little strain for a high stress. The fracture of a brittle material is sudden and
catastrophic, with little or no plastic deformation. Brittle materials crack under
tension and the stress increases around the cracks. Cracks propagate less under
compression.
 Curve B is a strong material which is not ductile. Steel wires stretch very little,
and break suddenly. There can be a lot of elastic strain energy in a steel wire
under tension and it will “whiplash” if it breaks. The ends are razor sharp and such
a failure is very dangerous indeed.
 Curve C is a ductile material
 Curve D is a plastic material. Notice a very large strain for a small stress. The
material will not go back to its original length.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 41 Revised May 2nd, 2014

PAd: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the nature, conversation, and transformation of
energy.
Indicator Essential Understandings Assessment Guidelines

the law of conservation
of energy applies to the
transformation of
various forms of
energy (including
mechanical energy,
electrical energy,
chemical energy, light
energy, sound energy,
and thermal energy).

Key Concepts
 Law of conservation of energy
 Work
 Energy/Energy forms: Mechanical energy, Electrical energy, Chemical energy,
Light energy,
 Sound energy, Thermal energy
 Energy transformation

It is essential for students to understand
 The law of conservation of energy states that energy cannot be created or
destroyed. Energy can be transformed from one form to another, but the total
amount of energy never changes.
 Energy is the property of an object or a system that enables it to do work.
 Work is done when a force is applied to an object, and the object moves some
distance in response to the force in the direction of the force.
 Work is the product of the force applied to an object and the distance the
object is moved in the direction of the force (displacement)
 If you consider a system in its entirety, the total amount of energy never changes.

There are many different kinds of energy.
 Mechanical energy is energy due to the position of something or the movement of
something. Mechanical energy can be potential, kinetic, or the sum of the two.
 Chemical energy is a type of energy associated with atoms, ions, and molecules
and the bonds they form. Chemical energy will change to another form of energy
when a chemical reaction occurs.
 Electrical energy is energy associated with current and voltage.
 Thermal energy is the energy associated with the random motion and arrangement
of the particles of a material.
 Light energy is energy that associated with electromagnetic waves.
 Sound energy is energy associated longitudinal mechanical waves.

These different kinds of energy can change from one form to another (energy
The objective of this indicator is to
explain how the law of
conservation of energy applies to
energy transformations, the
primary focus of assessment
should be to construct a cause and
effect model showing that energy is
conserved as it continually
transforms from one type to
another. Assessments should
require that students understand
transformation of different types of
energy and the relationship of this
transformation to the conservation
of energy.

should be able to:

 Exemplify energy
transformations;
 Compare the forms of energy;
 Infer the transformations of
different types of energy within
given situations;
energy transformations;
 Recall the forms of energy.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 42 Revised May 2nd, 2014

transformation) without changing the total amount of energy.

Examples might include:
 Example 1
 Explain conservation of energy in terms of energy transformation in an electric
circuit with a battery and a light bulb burning.
 Chemical energy changes to electrical energy.
 The electrical energy flows through the light bulb and turns electrical
energy to light and thermal energy.
 The total of the energy from the chemical reaction in the battery is equal
to the total energy that it transforms into.
 Example 2
 Explain conservation of energy in terms of energy transformation when a
baseball is thrown to another ball player.
 A ballplayer converts chemical energy from the food he/she has eaten to
mechanical energy when he/she moves his/her arm to throw the ball.
 The work done on the ball converts the energy of the arm movement to
kinetic mechanical energy of the moving ball.
 As the ball moves through the air, it has both kinetic and potential
mechanical energy.
 When a second player catches the ball, the ball does work on the player’s
hand and glove giving them some mechanical energy.
 The ball also moves the molecules in the glove moving them faster and
thus heating the glove.
 The player that catches the ball absorbs the energy of the ball, and this
energy turns to heat.
 The total heat produced is equal to the energy used to throw the ball.
 Most energy transformations are not 100% efficient. When energy changes from
one form to another, some of the original energy dissipates in the form of energy
that is not usable. Usually it dissipates as heat.

factors that determine
potential and kinetic
energy and the
transformation of one

Key Concepts
 Potential energy
 Gravitational potential energy
 Kinetic energy
 Transformations
It is essential for students to understand
The objective of this indicator is to
explain factors that determine
kinetic and potential energy and
the transformation from one to
another, the primary focus of
assessment should be to construct
a cause and effect model of how

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 43 Revised May 2nd, 2014

to the other.

 Transformations of potential and kinetic mechanical energy.
 Mechanical energy is energy due to the position of an object or the movement
of an object.
 Mechanical energy can be potential or kinetic or the sum of the two.
 That potential energy is energy that is stored because of the arrangement of the
system. Factors that affect gravitational potential energy are height and weight
(mass times acceleration due to gravity, or Fw=m
g)
.
 Gravitational potential energy is greater when the height of an object is
greater.
 Gravitational potential energy is greater when the weight of the object is
greater.
 Gravitational potential energy of an object at some height is equal to the work
required to lift the object to that height. Work is equal to force times distance
W = Fd.
 That kinetic energy is energy of motion. Factors that affect kinetic energy are
mass and speed.
 Kinetic energy is greater when the speed of an object is greater.
 Kinetic energy is greater when the mass of a moving object is greater.
 Transformations can occur between gravitational potential energy and kinetic
energy.

Examples might include:

 Example 1
 Lifting an object and dropping it
 An object is on the ground. It has zero potential energy with respect to the
ground.
 It is lifted to some height. It now has potential energy equal to the work it took
to lift it to that height. Its potential energy depends on its weight and height
above the ground.
 When the object is dropped, it is attracted by gravity and begins to speed up.
Some of the energy turns to kinetic.
 On the way down some of the energy is kinetic and some is potential, but the
total remains the same.
 Just before the object hits the ground most of the energy has turned to kinetic.
It loses its potential energy because its height has gone to zero.
 When the object hits the ground some of the energy turns to sound and some
turns to heat because it speeds up molecules when it hits the ground.

changes in height affect potential
energy and changes in velocity
affect kinetic energy and how these
types of energy can transform one
to the other. Assessments should
require that students understand
the relationships of height and
weight on potential energy and
speed and mass to changes in
kinetic energy.

should be able to:

 Compare kinetic and gravitational
potential energy;
 Infer effects of changes in height
and speed with gravitational
potential energy and kinetic
energy;
 Exemplify kinetic and
gravitational potential energy and
transformations between them;
kinetic and gravitational potential
energy and transformations
between them;
 Classify kinetic and gravitational
potential energy.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 44 Revised May 2nd, 2014

 Example 2
 A swinging pendulum
 When a mass on a pendulum swings, it has mechanical energy. At the top of
the swing all of its mechanical energy is potential energy that depends on its
height and weight of the pendulum mass.
 The kinetic energy is greatest at the bottom of the swing because the speed of
the mass is greatest. Potential energy is zero at the bottom of the swing
because the height of the mass is zero.
 Between the top of the swing and the bottom of the swing the mass has both
potential and kinetic energy because it has both height and movement (velocity).
 Eventually the pendulum will stop. It stops because of friction.
 The friction transforms the energy that was originally mechanical energy in the
swinging pendulum into heat.

in terms of the
relationship among the
force applied to an
object, the
displacement of the
object, and the energy
transferred to the
object.

Key Concepts
Work: Force, Displacement
Energy, Joule

It is essential for students to understand
 Work is the product of the force applied to an object and the distance the object is
moved in the direction of the force (displacement).
 Force and displacement are quantities that have magnitude (an amount or size)
and direction. In order to do work on an object these conditions must apply:
 A force is applied to the object.
 The object must move in the direction of the force.
 When work is done on an object, energy is transferred to that object.
 Work is equal to change in energy.
 When a net force is applied to an object and the object moves, the work is
transformed to kinetic energy.
 If a greater force is added, or if the force is applied over a greater distance, then
the kinetic energy will be greater.
 If an object is lifted to some height, it gains gravitational potential energy equal to
the work done against gravity in lifting the object.
 The work done against gravity is the same whether the object was lifted straight up
or rolled up a ramp.
 The greater the height, the more gravitational potential energy the object has.
 The unit of measure for work and energy is the joule.
The objective of this indicator is to
explain work, the focus should be
to construct a cause and effect
model that shows how a force
applied in terms of direction, and
distance, and size affects work and
energy transformation. Students
should understand the relationships
among force, distance, and energy
change for gravitational potential
energy as well as kinetic energy.

should be able to:

 Infer energy change when work is
done on an object;
 Summarize work and energy
change;
 Exemplify work done and
resulting energy change;
 Illustrate situations where work is
or is not done;
 Explain reasons why work is or is
not done;
 Recall the definition of work.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 45 Revised May 2nd, 2014

formula, W = FD, to
solve problems related
to work done on an
object.

Key Concepts
 Work: Force, Displacement
 Joule

It is essential for students to understand
 Solve problems for any variables in the equation, W = FD, (i.e. F=W/d or d=W/F)
using data.
 Use dimensional analysis to determine the proper units using the SI system:
 Force should be given in newtons;
 Distance should be given in meters;
 Work will be newton-meters or joules.
 The displacement should be in the direction of the force.
The objective of this indicator is to
use the formula W = FD to solve
problems related to work, the
primary focus of assessment is to
apply the correct procedure to
mathematically determine the one
of the variables in the formula W
=FD in situations involving work

In addition to use, students should
be able to:

 Recognize the proper units for
force, distance (displacement),
and work;
 Apply dimensional analysis to
determine the proper SI units for
work.

PAe: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the nature and properties of mechanical and
electromagnetic waves.
Indicator Essential Understandings Assessment Guidelines:

PAe.1: Illustrate ways
that the energy of
waves transfer by
interaction with matter
(including transverse
and longitudinal /
compressional waves).

Key Vocabulary
 Wave, Transverse wave, Longitudinal/Compressional wave
 Medium
 Energy transfer

It is essential for students to understand
 Understand that a wave is a repeating disturbance that transfers energy through
matter or space.
 Wave motion always transfers energy, but not matter from one place to another.
 When a wave moves through matter, the matter is disturbed so that it moves back
and forth, but after the wave passes, the matter will be in about the same position
that it was before the wave passed.
 Give general examples of various waves, illustrating, with diagrams or
descriptions, the direction of the disturbance and the motion of the particles of the
The objective of this indicator is to
illustrate ways that the energy of
waves is transferred, the primary
focus of assessment should be to
find specific illustrations (drawings,
diagrams, or word descriptions) or
use illustrations that show that the
energy is being transferred in a
variety of waves, transverse and
longitudinal/compressional, and
how the transfer of energy is
different from the displacement of
particles in the medium.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 46 Revised May 2nd, 2014

medium in each. Each illustration should:
 Describe the energy (light, sound, mechanical disturbance, etc);
 Describe the direction and the path that the energy takes;
 Identify the medium, if any;
 Describe the direction that the particles of the medium are disturbed as the wave
passes;
 Describe the position of the particles of the medium before and after the wave
passes.

Examples of illustrations may include:
 “ Slinky” waves - transverse and/or longitudinal A wave in a “slinky” spring
illustrates a mechanical disturbance caused by a force displacing one of the spring
coils.
 The energy of a wave in a “slinky” spring will pass from the point on the spring
where a coil has been displaced to the end of the slinky.
 The medium consists of the slinky coils.
 The coils either move back and forth parallel to the length of the spring, or back
and forth perpendicular to the length of the spring.
 After the wave passes, the coils return to approximately the position where they
were before the wave passed.

Sound waves:

The energy of the wave transmits from the tuning fork out in all directions. The
shape of the wave will approximate the shape of concentric spheres.

should be able to:

 Identify transverse and
longitudinal waves from
illustrations;
 Compare transverse and
longitudinal wave particle motion
and energy transfer direction;
 Summarize the characteristics of
longitudinal/transverse waves.
 Exemplify transverse and
longitudinal waves.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 47 Revised May 2nd, 2014

 A sound wave requires a medium through which it travels.
 A sound wave is a longitudinal mechanical disturbance caused by a force
displacing molecules in the medium through which it passes.
 A sound wave's energy travels out in all directions from a vibrating object.
 A sound wave travels through the medium. The particles of the medium remain
where they were originally, but the wave energy moves from one place to another.
 The particles of the medium move back and forth, parallel to the direction of the
wave.
 After a sound wave passes, the particles of the medium continue moving in
approximately the same area where they were before the wave passed.

Light waves
 Light waves do not need a medium through which to travel.
 Light waves are transverse waves.
 Light waves (or other electromagnetic waves) are energy that can be transmitted
without mechanical disturbance of the particles of a medium
 Light waves (and other electromagnetic waves) travel in straight lines in all
directions from the source of the light as long as the medium does not change.
 Light waves can transmit energy through empty space as from the Sun or stars.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 48 Revised May 2nd, 2014

 The energy of the light wave travels from one place to another, but the particles of
the medium, if there is one, remain in approximately the same area where they
were before the wave passed.

PAe.2: Compare the
nature and properties
of transverse and
longitudinal /
compressional
mechanical waves.

Key Concepts
 Mechanical waves: Transverse waves, Longitudinal/Compressional
waves
 Wave properties: Crest, Trough; Compression, Rarefaction

It is essential for students to understand
 Understand that there are two types of waves, electromagnetic and mechanical.
 Electromagnetic waves may travel through a medium but do not need a
medium for transmission. Electromagnetic waves transfer energy through a
medium or space.
 Mechanical waves must have a medium through which to move.
 Mechanical waves transfer energy through the particles of a medium.
 The particles of the medium move back and forth, but the wave (energy)
itself is transmitted progressively from one place to another.

 Understand the nature of transverse and longitudinal mechanical waves.
 In a transverse wave, as the wave (energy) moves through the medium, the
direction of the back and forth motion of the particles is perpendicular to the
direction that the wave is moving.
 Examples of transverse mechanical waves might include: Some “slinky”
spring waves,secondary earthquake waves, and waves in the string of
stringed instruments such as a guitar.
 In a longitudinal wave (also called compressional), as the wave (energy)
moves through the medium, the direction of the back and forth motion of the
particles is parallel to the direction that the wave is moving.
 Examples of longitudinal mechanical waves might include: Some “slinky”
spring waves, sound waves, primary earthquake waves, shock waves
from a sonic boom or explosion, and ultrasonic waves.

 Understand the wave properties of transverse waves - crests and troughs, and of
longitudinal waves - compressions and rarefactions.
 In a transverse wave the point of maximum displacement of the particles in a
medium from the equilibrium position is called a crest or trough.
 In a longitudinal wave the particles of the medium are pushed closer
The objective of this indicator is to
compare the nature and properties
of transverse and longitudinal
waves, therefore, the primary focus
of assessment should be to give
similarities and differences
between these waves with regard
to the movement of the particles in
the medium, the direction that the
wave moves, and the properties of
the waves.

should be able to:

 Exemplify or Illustrate transverse
and longitudinal waves - give
examples or draw or label
illustrations which depict the
motion of particles and the motion
of the wave;
 Classify waves by determining
which of the two types of waves
(transverse or longitudinal) is
being described based on the
motion of particles and the motion
of the wave;
 Summarize transverse and
longitudinal mechanical waves by
characteristics of these waves.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 49 Revised May 2nd, 2014

together to form a high pressure area called a compression and spread out to
form a lower pressure area with fewer particles called a rarefaction.

 Understand that some waves cannot be classified as transverse or longitudinal
waves
 The motion of the particles in some waves can be described as circular. Surface
water waves fall into this category.
 In torsion waves the motion of the particles is a twisting motion.

PAe.3: Summarize
characteristics of
waves (including
displacement,
frequency, period,
amplitude, wavelength,
and velocity as well as
the relationship-among
these characteristics).

Key Concepts
 Displacement of particles
 Frequency: Hertz
 Period
 Amplitude
 Wavelength
 Velocity - meaning speed

It is essential for students to understand
Understand characteristics of waves can be explained in terms of how the particles
in the medium behave.
Amplitude
 The amplitude is the greatest displacement of the particles in a wave from their
equilibrium (rest) position.
 In a transverse wave amplitude is measured from the equilibrium or rest position of
the medium to a crest or trough.
Displacement
 Displacement with respect to waves will refer to the displacement of the particles in
the medium.
 This quantity has magnitude and direction.
 It is the distance of a vibrating particle from the midpoint of its vibration.
(Displacement is used in discussing amplitude and interference of mechanical
waves.)
Frequency
 The frequency of the wave is the number of complete cycles (or vibrations) the
particles go through per second or the number of waves that pass a point per
second.
The objective of this indicator is to
summarize the characteristics of
waves, therefore, the primary focus
of assessment should be to give
characteristic of a wave and the
relationships among these
characteristics.
should be able to:

 Compare the characteristics of
different types of waves;
 Exemplify and illustrate
characteristics of different types
of waves;
 Identify wave characteristics from
a description or diagram;
 Interpret diagrams to determine
wave characteristics

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 50 Revised May 2nd, 2014

 The unit for frequency is Hertz, which is one vibration per second or one cycle per
second or one wave per second.
 The frequency and the wavelength are inversely related. When the frequency gets
higher the wavelength gets shorter.
Period
 The period of a wave is the time for one cycle (or vibration) or the time for one
complete wave to pass a point.
 The period is usually measured in seconds.
 The period and the frequency are inversely related. An increase in frequency
would result in a decrease in period.
Wavelength
 Wavelength of a wave is distance between a point in a wave and the next similar
(in phase) point.
 In a transverse wave the wavelength can be measured from a crest to the next
crest or from a trough to the next trough.
 In a longitudinal wave the wavelength can be measured from point in the
compression to a similar point in the next compression or from a rarefaction to a
similar point in the next rarefaction.
Note: Since most longitudinal waves (such as sound waves) are not visible, the
wavelength often measured by indirect means.

Velocity/Speed
 The velocity/speed of the wave is a function of the medium and the type of wave
and will not change unless the characteristics of the medium or type of wave
changes.
 Changes in frequency or wavelength do not affect the velocity/speed (of
mechanical waves). When one of these increases the other decreases and the
product of the two is a constant, which is the velocity/speed.
 When the medium changes, the speed of waves changes.
 Examples may include: Sound travels faster in steel than in air. Sound travels
faster in warm air than cooler air. Light travels faster in air than in glass.
Transverse waves travel slower in a heavy rope than in a light rope

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 51 Revised May 2nd, 2014

PAe.4: Use the
formulas v = f and
v = d/t to solve
problems related to the
velocity of waves.

Key Concepts
 Speed of Light
 frequency
 wavelength

It is essential for students to understand
The speed of an object refers to how fast an object is moving and is usually
expressed as the distance traveled per time of travel. In the case of a wave, the
speed is the distance traveled by a given point on the wave (such as a crest) in a
given interval of time.

The Speed of Light
 The speed of any wave (v) is defined as the distance traveled (d) per time of travel
(t) and is described by the following equation:
v = d / t
 Thus, the distance traveled by a wave is related to the time required for it to travel
that distance.
 The speed of light, like the speed of any wave, is dependent upon the properties of
the medium through which it is moving. For the problems in this problem set, the
light waves are always moving through air or a vacuum
 Unless told otherwise, a value of 2.998x10
8
m/s should be used for the speed of
light.

Frequency-Wavelength-Speed Relationship
 Several questions in this problem set target your ability to analyze physical
situations involving the wavelength-frequency-speed relationship. Any wave,
whether a mechanical wave or a light wave, will have a wavelength-frequency-
speed relationship which follows the wave equation:
v = f • λ
 Where v represents the speed (or velocity) of the wave, f represents the frequency
of the wave, and λ represents the wavelength of the wave.
 As mentioned above, a value of 2.998x10
8
m/s should be used for the speed of
light unless told otherwise.

The objective of this indicator is to
use the formulas v = f λ and
v = d/t to solve problems,
therefore, the primary focus of
assessment should be to apply the
correct procedure to
mathematically determine one of
the variables in the formulas
v = f λ and v = d/t.

In addition to use, students should
be able to:

 Use dimensional analysis to
determine correct units;
 Recognize symbols and units for
wave velocity formulas.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 52 Revised May 2nd, 2014

PAe.5: Summarize
the characteristics of
the electromagnetic
spectrum (including
range of wavelengths,
frequency, energy, and
propagation without a
medium).

Key Concepts
 Electromagnetic spectrum
 Visible spectrum
 Propagation without a medium

It is essential for students to understand
 That there is a wide range of frequencies and wavelengths of electromagnetic
waves.
 The entire range of frequencies is called the electromagnetic spectrum.
 The relative positions of the different types of electromagnetic waves on the
spectrum.
 Students should know the order of electromagnetic waves from low frequency to
orange, yellow, green, blue, violet), ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays.
Understand that the energy of electromagnetic waves is directly proportional
to the frequency.
 When listed in order from lowest energy to highest energy, the list is the same as
when listed from lowest frequency to highest.
 Electromagnetic waves with higher frequencies than visible light also have more
energy. This is why ultraviolet light can burn your skin, and X-rays and gamma can
damage tissues.
 Electromagnetic waves with lower frequencies than visible light and have less
energy than visible light.
Understand that the higher frequency electromagnetic waves have shorter
wavelengths.

Understand that wavelengths vary greatly from very long wavelengths (many
meters) to very short wavelengths (the size of atomic nuclei).

Understand that electromagnetic waves travel in space with no medium or may
travel through a transparent medium.
 All types of electromagnetic waves travel at the same speed in a vacuum.
 Electromagnetic waves slow down when they move from a vacuum to a
transparent medium.
 Electromagnetic waves are transverse waves.

The objective of this indicator is to
summarize the characteristics of
the electromagnetic spectrum , the
primary focus of assessment
should be to give major points
energy, and propagation without a
medium for the different types of

should be able to:

 Compare the frequency,
wavelength, and energy of
different types of electromagnetic
 Infer characteristics of a type of
position in the spectrum;
 Exemplify characteristics
 and types of electromagnetic
 Illustrate or use illustration to
show characteristics of waves at
different positions on the
electromagnetic spectrum.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 53 Revised May 2nd, 2014

PAe.6: Summarize
reflection and
interference of both
sound and light waves
and the refraction and
diffraction of light
waves.
Key Concepts
 Wave behaviors: Reflection, Refraction, Diffraction
 Constructive interference, Destructive interference
 Concave lens, Convex lens
 Law of reflection, Plane mirrors

It is essential for students to
 Understand that waves can interfere with each other when they pass through a
medium simultaneously. The result of the combination of the waves when they
pass through the medium simultaneously can show constructive and/or destructive
interference.
 Interference may be constructive:
A crest will interfere with another crest constructively to produce a larger crest and
a trough will interfere with another trough to produce a larger trough.
Compressions interfere constructively with each other as do rarefactions.
 Interference may be destructive:
A crest will interfere with a trough to lessen or cancel the displacement of each.
Compressions interfere with rarefactions to lessen or cancel the displacement of
each
 The individual waves are not affected by the interference and will continue on as if
nothing has happened.

Sound waves
 Understand that sound is a longitudinal mechanical wave, requires a medium, and
can be produced by vibrating objects.
 Understand that sound, like other waves, reflects (bounces off a surface it cannot
go through).
 Sound produces echoes when it bounces off hard surfaces.
 Understand that sound waves interfere with each other changing what you hear.
 Destructive interference makes sounds quieter; constructive interference makes
sounds louder. This is because amplitude of a wave is what is affected by
interference and a sound wave’s amplitude is heard as loudness.
 Sound waves reflect in tubes or some musical instruments to produce standing
waves which reinforce sound through constructive interference to make the sound
louder

The objective of this indicator is to
explain how the law of
conservation of energy applies to
energy transformations, therefore,
the primary focus of assessment
should be to construct a cause and
effect model showing that energy is
conserved as it continually
transforms from one type to
another. Students understand
transformation of different types of
energy and the relationship of this
transformation to the conservation
of energy.
should be able to:

 Exemplify energy
transformations;
 Compare the forms of energy;
 Infer the transformations of
different types of energy within
given situations;
energy transformations;
 Recall the forms of energy.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 54 Revised May 2nd, 2014

PAe.7: Explain the
Doppler Effect
conceptually in terms
of the frequency of the
waves and the pitch of
the sound.

Key Concepts
 Doppler Effect
 Frequency, Wavelength, Pitch

It is essential for students to understand
 Understand that the Doppler effect is an apparent frequency shift due to the
relative motion of an observer and a wave source.
 Understand the relative motion of a wave source and an observer.
 A Doppler shift occurs when a wave source is moving toward an observer or away
from the observer.
 A Doppler shift also occurs when the observer is moving toward or away from the
wave source.
 There is no shift when the source and observer are not moving toward or away
from each other.

The example above shows a wave source and observers that are not moving
relative to one another. If the wave source in the example is a sound wave, observer
A and observer B would hear the same pitch (frequency) that the source is
producing.

The objective of this indicator is to
explain how the law of
conservation of energy applies to
energy transformations, the
primary focus of assessment
should be to construct a cause and
effect model showing that energy is
conserved as it continually
transforms from one type to
another. Assessments should
require that students understand
transformation of different types of
energy and the relationship of this
transformation to the conservation
of energy.

should be able to:

 Exemplify energy
transformations;
 Compare the forms of energy;
 Infer the transformations of
different types of energy within
given situations;
energy transformations;
 Recall the forms of energy.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 55 Revised May 2nd, 2014

The example above shows a wave source that is moving toward observer B. If the
wave source in the example is a sound wave then observer B will hear a higher
pitch (frequency) and observer A will hear a lower pitch (frequency) than the source
is actually producing.

Situation – wave source moving toward or away from an observer:
 As a wave source approaches an observer, the observer perceives a higher
frequency than the source is producing. Wavelengths are shorter and the
frequency is higher in front of a moving source.
 The source of the wave is catching up with the wave in front of it. When it produces
the next pulse the resulting wavelength is shorter. A shorter wavelength means
that there will be a higher frequency
 If the wave is a sound wave, the observer will perceive a pitch that is higher than
the pitch produced by the source.
 When the wave source is moving away from the observer, he/she will perceive a
lower frequency in the case of sound waves.

PAf: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the nature and properties of electricity and magnetism.
Indicator Essential Understandings Assessment Guidelines:
PAf.1: Explain the
relationship of
magnetism to the
movement of electric
charges in

Key Concepts
 Electromagnet Core
 Motor Armature
 Generator Electromagnetic induction

The objective of this indicator is to
explain the relationship of
magnetism to the movement of
electric charges, the primary focus
of assessment should be to

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 56 Revised May 2nd, 2014

electromagnets, simple
motors, and
generators.
It is essential for students to understand
Electromagnets:
 Electric currents in wires produce magnetic fields around the wire.
 The magnetic field can be concentrated and thus strengthened in several ways:
 Wrapping the wire in a coil will strengthen the electromagnet. The greater the
number of turns in the coil, the greater the increase in strength.
 Adding a core (like iron) will concentrate the magnetic field and strengthen the
electromagnet.
 Increasing the current in the coil will strengthen the electromagnet.

Motors:
 Electric motors change electrical energy to mechanical energy.
 Motors contain an electromagnet called an armature. When an electric
current runs through the wire in the armature it becomes magnetized.
 The armature spins because other magnets in the motor push and pull the
armature and cause it to spin.
 Motors use the magnetic force from magnets to spin an armature (magnetized
by an electric current) and thus change electric energy to mechanical energy.

Generators:
 A generator changes mechanical energy into electric energy.
 Generators use electromagnetic induction to produce an electric current.
 When a wire or a coil of wire moves relative to a magnetic field an electric
current can be produced. This process is called electromagnetic induction.
 In a generator at a power plant some other type of energy such as the energy
in stream is used to turn a turbine which spins a magnet in a generator. The
magnet spins past a coil of wire. This moving magnetic field pushes electrons
through the wire.
 A generator is similar to an electric motor. (A generator is an electric motor
working in reverse.)
 Generators produce AC current
construct a cause and effect model
that shows the relationship of
electricity and magnetism within
electromagnets, motors, and
generators.

should be able to:

 Compare motors and generators;
electric motors, generators, and
electromagnets;
 Summarize electromagnetic
induction.
 Identify electromagnets, motors,
and generators from illustrations.

PAf.2: Explain how
objects can acquire a
static electric charge
through friction,
induction, and
conduction.

Key Concepts
 Static charge:
 Electron, Proton
 Charging by
 friction, induction, conduction
It is essential for students to understand that
Particles in atoms are electrically charged.
The objective of this indicator is to
explain how objects can acquire a
static charge; the primary focus of
assessment should be to construct
a cause and effect model relating
how friction, conduction, and
induction cause static charge.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 57 Revised May 2nd, 2014

 The protons, which are tightly held in the nucleus, are positively charged.
 The electrons, which move around outside the nucleus, are negatively charged.
 Atoms normally have the same number positive charges that they do negative
charges. The effects of these charges cancel out and the object will have no net
charge.

Static electric charge is the result of transfer of electrons. The electrons in the
atoms can been removed from the atom and moved onto something else.
 When an object loses electrons, it will have more protons than electrons and
will have a net positive charge.
 When an object gains electrons, it will have more electrons than protons and
will have a net negative charge.

 Like charges repel each other. Positives charges repel other positives charges,
and negative charges repel other negative charges.
 Opposite charges attract. Negative and positive charges exert an attractive force
on each other.

Objects can be charged by:
Friction:
 When one object is rubbed against another, sometimes electrons leave one object
and stick to the other leaving both objects charged.
 The object that loses electrons will get or have a net positive charge, and the
object that gains electrons will get or have a net negative charge.
Conduction:
 Electrons can be transferred from one object to another by touching.
 When a charged object touches another object some charge will transfer to the
other object.
 If the charged object is negative, some of the electrons will leave the
negatively charged object and travel to the neutral object leaving both
objects with a negative charge.
 If the charged object is positive, some of the electrons will leave the neutral object
and travel to the positively charged object leaving both objects with a positive
charge.
 Only the electrons are transferred in solid objects.
 Objects charged by conduction will have the same charge as the object charging it
and therefore will repel it.
Induction:
 Objects can be charged by bringing a charged object near a neutral object.
should be able to:

 Compare how objects become
positively and negatively charged;
 Infer effects of interactions of
charges and charged objects;
how objects acquire static charge;
 Exemplify situations involving
charged objects and how they are
charged;
 Recall that static electric charge
is the result of transfer of
electrons.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 58 Revised May 2nd, 2014

 If a charged object is brought near a neutral object the charged object will attract
unlike charges in the neutral object and repel like charges in the neutral object.
 Electrons will move in the neutral object and leave the side nearest the charged
object charged with a charge that is opposite the charging object. (Only electrons
can move in a solid object.)

 If the charged object is negative, the electrons in the neutral object will be
repelled leaving the side nearest the charged object with a positive charge. If the
neutral object is grounded, electrons are repelled into the ground. If the ground is
removed the previously neutral object will be left with a residual positive charge.

 If the charged object is positive, the electrons in the neutral object will be
attracted and move towards the positive charge leaving the side nearest the
charged object with a negative charge. If the neutral object is grounded electrons
are pulled from the ground. If the ground is removed, the previously neutral object
will be left with a residual negative charge.

After an object is charged by induction, it will have the opposite charge of the
charging object and will attract it.

PAf.3: Explain the
relationships among
voltage, resistance,
and current in Ohm’s
law.

Key Concepts
 Voltage Volt
 Resistance Ohm
 Current Ampere
 Ohms law

It is essential for students to understand
Voltage is electric potential energy per charge. It provides the energy that pushes
and pulls electrons through the circuit.
 Voltage is measured in volts. The symbol is (V).
 Voltage is created by:
 a chemical cell when it changes chemical energy to electrical energy, or
 by a generator when it changes mechanical energy to electrical energy, or
 by a solar cell when it changes light energy to electrical energy.

When a wire connects the terminals of a battery or generators, then the voltage will
push and pull electrons through a conductor.
 One terminal has extra electrons thus a negative charge. The other terminal
has a deficit of electrons and thus a positive charge.
 Electrons in the wire are pushed by the negative terminal and pulled by the
positive terminal through the wire.
The indicator is to explain the
relationship among voltage,
resistance, and current in Ohm’s
law, the primary focus of
assessment should be to construct
cause and effect models showing
these relationships.

should be able to:

 Compare the concepts of voltage,
current, and resistance;
voltage, current and resistance;
 Infer what will happen when one
of the variables changes.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 59 Revised May 2nd, 2014

Electric current is the flow of charge through a conductor.
 The electric current in a wire is the flow of electrons.
 Electric current is measured in amperes or amps. The symbol is (A).

Electric resistance opposes the flow of charge through a conductor. All conductors
have some resistance to an electric current with the exception of some
superconducting materials at very low temperatures.
 In wires, resistance occurs when the electrons flowing through the wire
continually run into metal atoms and bounce around. These collisions impede
the flow of the electric current and change some of the electrical energy to
thermal and/or light energy.
 Resistance is measured in ohms. The symbol is ( ).
 Resistance will reduce the flow of current because it is harder for the current
to get through the conductor.
 When an electric current encounters resistance heat is produced.
 Wires that have a larger diameter have less resistance.
 Longer wires have greater resistance.
 In many materials an increase in temperature will increase resistance

AFf.4: Use the
formula V = IR to solve
problems related to
electric circuits.

Key Concepts
 Law of conservation of energy  Chemical energy
 Work  Light energy
 Energy/Energy forms  Sound energy
 Mechanical energy  Thermal energy
 Electrical energy  Energy transformation
It is essential for students to understand
 The law of conservation of energy states that energy cannot be created or
destroyed. Energy can be transformed from one form to another, but the total
amount of energy never changes.
 Energy is the property of an object or a system that enables it to do work.
 Work is done when a force is applied to an object, and the object moves some
distance in response to the force in the direction of the force.
 Work is the product of the force applied to an object and the distance the
object is moved in the direction of the force (displacement)
 If you consider a system in its entirety, the total amount of energy never changes.
 There are many different kinds of energy.
 Mechanical energy is energy due to the position of something or the
movement of something. Mechanical energy can be potential, kinetic, or the
The objective of this indicator is to
use the formula V = IR to solve
problems related to electric circuits,
the primary focus of assessment
should be to apply the correct
procedure to mathematically
determine one of the variables in
the formula, V = I R, for situations
involving any simple circuit.

In addition to use, students should
be able to:

 Recognize the symbols and units
for voltage, current, and
resistance.

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 60 Revised May 2nd, 2014

sum of the two.
 Chemical energy is a type of energy associated with atoms, ions, and
molecules and the bonds they form. Chemical energy will change to another
form of energy when a chemical reaction occurs.
 Electrical energy is energy associated with current and voltage.
 Thermal energy is the energy associated with the random motion and
arrangement of the particles of a material.
 Light energy is energy that associated with electromagnetic waves.
 Sound energy is energy associated longitudinal mechanical waves.

AFf.5: Represent an
electric circuit by
drawing a circuit
diagram that includes
the symbols for a
resistor, switch, and
voltage source.

Key Concepts
Circuits:
 parallel circuit  series circuit
Circuit components:
 resistor  switch  wire  light bulb
Voltage sources:
 chemical cell  battery with cells in series
 generator  battery with cells in parallel

It is essential for students to
Understand the components that can be used in an electric circuit;
Be able to represent the components of a complete circuit with symbols:
 Wires  Resistors
 Light Bulbs  Switches
 Chemical Cell  AC Source
 Battery circuit with 2 cells wired in series
 Battery circuit with 2 cells wired in parallel
It is also essential for students to
 Represent a circuit with resistors or light bulbs wired in parallel.
 Represent circuits by drawing a circuit diagram from a circuit which is pictured or
described.
 Draw an open and a closed circuit.
 Examples:
Closed circuit with a battery and a resistor Open circuit with a battery and a resistor
The objective of this indicator is to
represent an electric circuit by
drawing a circuit diagram including
symbols for resistor, switch, and
voltage source, the primary focus
of assessment should be to draw
an electric circuit utilizing symbols
for the major components of the
circuit.

should be able to:

 Interpret diagrams of electric
circuits utilizing symbols for the
components of the circuit;
 Illustrate circuit diagrams;
 Exemplify symbols and diagrams.

AFf.6: Compare the
functioning of simple
series and parallel

Key Concepts
 Resistors wired in series
 Resistors wired in parallel
The objective of this indicator is to
compare the functioning of parallel
and series circuits, the primary
focus of assessment should be to

Enhanced DoDEA Science Indicators (Physics Applications) Page 61 Revised May 2nd, 2014

electrical circuits  Batteries made from cells wired in series
 Batteries made from cells wired in parallel

It is essential for students to recognize and understand
Series Circuits:
 In a series circuit there is a single path for electrons.
 When another resistor is wired in series with the resistors in a circuit, the total
resistance increases because all of the current must go through each resistor and
encounters the resistance of each.
 The current in the circuit decreases when additional resistors are added.
o When another light bulb is added to lights wired in series, the lights will dim.
o The current will be the same in each resistor.
 When light bulbs are wired in series and one is removed or burns out all of the
lights in the circuit go out. When the light bulb is removed from the circuit, it opens
the circuit and current cannot flow.

Parallel circuits:
 When resistors are wired in parallel, there is more than one path that the electrons
can travel.
 The voltage in each path is the same.
 When another resistor is wired in parallel, then the total resistance is reduced.
 The total current in the circuit will increase when another path is added.
 If light bulbs are wired in parallel and one bulb burns out or is removed, the other
bulbs keep burning because the circuit is still complete.

Chemical cells in series and parallel:
 Chemical cells can be wired in series to make a battery.
o Cells wired in series will increase the voltage of the battery.
 Chemical cells can be wired in parallel to make a battery.
o Cells wired in parallel do not change the voltage of the battery.
o Cells are wired in parallel to make the battery last longer.
 The cells are wired in series or parallel.
show similarities and differences
between these circuits with regard
to their structure and how these
circuits function in different
situations.