Guide for “From the Stars to the Table”
area and grade levels
area and grade levels
Physical sciences and
chemistry for grades 6-8.
How are stars and the elements connected?
The discovery of dark line patterns within spectra
led scientists to begin looking at different kinds of light to study the
lines. One light source that was studied was burning elements. Scientists
discovered that each element had a distinct line pattern when it burned.
They turned their scopes to the Sun and found a pattern of lines that
was never before seen. They discovered a new element in the Sun! Scientists
studied the spectra of elements to learn more about atomic structure,
leading to a new theory of the atom, Bohr’s Model. Highlights include:
- Important scientists
(Newton, Wollaston, von Fraunhofer, Bunsen, Kirchoff, Lockyer, Janssen,
- Discoveries about
- Innovations to
scientific tools (telescope, diffraction grating, spectroscope)
- Validity of simultaneous
- Study of the elements
Standards for middle/junior high school
Learning Standard 12C:
Know and apply concepts that describe properties of matter and energy
and the interactions between them.
12.C.3a Explain interactions of energy with matter with matter including
changes of state and conservation of mass and energy.
Learning Standard 13B:
Know and apply concepts that describe the interaction between science,
technology and society.
13.B.3b Identify important contributions to science and technology that
have been made by individuals and groups from various cultures.
13.B.3c Describe how occupations use scientific and technological knowledge
Science Education Standards content standards for 5th-8th grade
Unifying Concepts and Processes Standard: Evidence, Models, and
Content Standard A Science as Inquiry: Understandings about Scientific
• Technology used to gather data enhances accuracy and allows scientists
to analyze and quantify results of investigations.
• Scientific investigations sometimes result in new ideas and phenomena
for study, generate new methods or procedures for an investigation, or
develop new technologies to improve the collection of data. All of these
results can lead to new investigations.
Content Standard B Physical Science: Transfer of Energy
• Energy is a property of many substances and is associated with
heat, light, electricity, mechanical motion, sound, nuclei, and the nature
of a chemical. Energy is transferred in many ways.
• Light interacts with matter by transmission (including refraction),
absorption, or scattering (including reflection). To see an object, light
from that object--emitted by or scattered from it--must enter the eye.
• The sun is a major source of energy for changes on the earth's
surface. The sun loses energy by emitting light. A tiny fraction of that
light reaches the earth, transferring energy from the sun to the earth.
The sun's energy arrives as light with a range of wavelengths, consisting
of visible light, infrared, and ultraviolet radiation.
Content Standard E Science and Technology: Understandings about
Science and Technology
• Many different people in different cultures have made and continue
to make contributions to science and technology.
• Science and technology are reciprocal. Science helps drive technology,
as it addresses questions that demand more sophisticated instruments and
provides principles for better instrumentation and technique. Technology
is essential to science, because it provides instruments and techniques
that enable observations of objects and phenomena that are otherwise unobservable
due to factors such as quantity, distance, location, size, and speed.
Technology also provides tools for investigations, inquiry, and analysis.
• Technological designs have constraints. Some constraints are unavoidable,
for example, properties of materials, or effects of weather and friction;
other constraints limit choices in the design, for example, environmental
protection, human safety, and aesthetics.
Content Standard F Science in Personal and Social Perspectives: Science
and Technology in Society
• Science and technology have advanced through contributions of
many different people, in different cultures, at different times in history.
Science and technology have contributed enormously to economic growth
and productivity among societies and groups within societies.
• Scientists and engineers work in many different settings, including
colleges and universities, businesses and industries, specific research
institutes, and government agencies.
Content Standard G History and Nature of Science: Science as
• Women and men of various social and ethnic backgrounds--and with
diverse interests, talents, qualities, and motivations--engage in the
activities of science, engineering, and related fields such as the health
professions. Some scientists work in teams, and some work alone, but all
communicate extensively with others.
Content Standard G History and Nature of Science: Nature of Science
• Scientists formulate and test their explanations of nature using
observation, experiments, and theoretical and mathematical models. Although
all scientific ideas are tentative and subject to change and improvement
in principle, for most major ideas in science, there is much experimental
and observational confirmation. Those ideas are not likely to change greatly
in the future. Scientists do and have changed their ideas about nature
when they encounter new experimental evidence that does not match their
Content Standard G History and Nature of Science: History of Science
• Many individuals have contributed to the traditions of science.
Studying some of these individuals provides further understanding of scientific
inquiry, science as a human endeavor, the nature of science, and the relationships
between science and society.
• In historical perspective, science has been practiced by different
individuals in different cultures. In looking at the history of many peoples,
one finds that scientists and engineers of high achievement are considered
to be among the most valued contributors to their culture.
• Tracing the history of science can show how difficult it was for
scientific innovators to break through the accepted ideas of their time
to reach the conclusions that we currently take for granted.