The Physical Science curriculum is designed to continue
the investigation of the physical sciences begun in earlier
grades. The Physical Science course will build a rich
knowledge base to provide a foundation for the continued
study of science. The investigations should be approached
in a qualitative and quantitative manner in keeping with the
developing mathematical skills of the students. The
curriculum will integrate the following topics from both
chemistry and physics:
• Structure of atoms
• Structure and properties of matter
• Motions and forces
• Conservation of energy, matter and charge
The following explanation introduces teachers to the
program strands and unifying concepts. During instruction,
these strands and unifying concepts should be woven
through the content goals and objectives of the course.
Supplemental materials providing a more detailed
explanation of the goals, objectives, and strands, with
specific recommendations for classroom and/or laboratory
implementation are available through the Department of
Public Instruction’s Publications Section.
Unifying Concepts -
Unifying Concepts the following unifying concepts should
unite the study of various physical science topics across
• Systems, Order and Organization.
• Evidence, Models, and Explanation.
• Constancy, Change, and Measurement.
• Evolution and Equilibrium.
• Form and Function.
Focus on the unifying concepts of science will also help
students to understand the constant nature of science across
disciplines and time even as scientific knowledge,
understanding and procedures change.
Nature of Science
This strand includes the following sections: Science as a
Human Endeavor, Historical Perspectives, and the Nature
of Scientific Knowledge. These sections are designed to
help students understand the human dimensions of science,
the nature of scientific thought, and the role of science in
society. Physical science is rich in examples of sci