School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Science, Grade 6




State Curriculum Toolkit

Tools aligned to State Curriculum indicators and/or objectives.

  • Introduction for Standard or Indicator
  • Public Release Items
    Actual MSA items and annotated student responses as appropriate

Standard 5.0 Physics

Students will use scientific skills and processes to explain the interactions of matter and energy and the energy transformations that occur



  • 2. Cite evidence supporting that electrical energy can be produced from a variety of energy sources and can itself be transformed into almost any other form of energy.
  1. Research and identify various energy sources and the energy transforming devices used to produce electrical energy
    • Wind (generators, wind mills)
    • Sun (solar cells)
    • Water (turbines)
    • Fossil fuels (engines)
  2. Cite examples that demonstrate the transformation of electrical energy into other forms of energy.
  3. Investigate and describe that some materials allow the quick, convenient, and safe transfer of electricity (conductors), while others prevent the transfer of electricity (insulators).
  4. Identify and describe the energy transformations in simple electric circuits.


  1. Investigate and describe the magnetic fields surrounding various types of magnets using materials, such as iron filings and small comapasses.
    • A single bar magnet
    • Two bar magnets with like poles facing
    • Two bar magnets with opposite poles facing
    • A horseshoe magnet
  2. Investigate and explain ways to change the strength of a simple electromagnet by varying the number of coils wrapped, the amount of electricity in the wire, the number of batteries used, and whether or not an iron core is used.
  3. Describe how the electromagnet demonstrates the relationship of magnetism and electricity and identify common devices that demonstrate application of this relationship.
    • Electric motors (fans, hair dryers, can openers)
    • Electrical generators (turbine)
  4. Based on investigations describe that electricity moving through a wire produces a magnetic force on materials placed near the wire.
    • Iron filings
    • Compasses


D. Wave Interactions


  • 1. Identify and describe the relationships among the various properties of waves.
  1. Cite examples to show that waves transfer energy from one place to another.
  2. Measure and describe the wavelength, frequency, and amplitude of waves using:
    • Water
    • Ropes
    • Springs
  3. Measure and describe the relationship between the frequency and the wavelength of a wave.


  • 2. Provide evidence to demonstrate the relationship among the properties of waves using sound.
  1. Investigate and describe that the pitch of sounds can be varied by changing the rate of vibration.
  2. Identify and describe the relationship among frequency, wavelength, and pitch.
  3. Observe and describe the relationship between amplitude and loudness.
  4. Cite evidence that sound waves transfer energy using observation of sympathetic tuning forks, tuned guitar strings, etc.


  1. Based on data generalize the law of reflection.
  2. Cite evidence from observations and research to support the fact that something can be "seen" when light waves emitted or reflected by it enter the eye.
  3. Based on observations predict the change in the direction (refraction) of light as it travels from one material to another.
  4. Cite evidence that the amount of light energy absorbed or reflected depends on the color of the object illuminated.

Note: Highlighting identifies assessment limits. All highlighted Indicators will be tested on the Grades 5 and 8 MSA. The highlighted Objectives under each highlighted Indicator identify the limit to which MSA items can be written. Although all content standards are tested on MSA, not all Indicators and Objectives are tested. Objectives that are not highlighted will not be tested on MSA, however are an integral part of Instruction.

January 2008