What are the Science & Engineering Practices?
The SEPs are the actions taken by scientists and engineers in their everyday work. Our children at develop these skills in order to be able to think critically and solve problems.
1. Ask questions and define problems.
2. Develop and use models.
3. Plan and conduct investigations.
4. Analyze and interpret data.
5. Use math and computational thinking.
6. Construct explainations and design solutions.
7. Engage in argument from evidence.
8. Obtain, evaluative and communicate information.
9. Develop solutions to real problems.
Tools Students should use in Science
(according to the SC Complete SEPs Guide)
K-2 Students: Teaching Suggestions Handout
- Magnifying lenses
- Clocks - time can be measured in hours to the nearest half hour. Click here.
- Rulers - Rulers should measure to the nearest whole inch. When using a ruler, make sure to begin measuring from the zero (0) mark, not necessarily the edge of the ruler.
- Thermometers - Fahrenheit will be used to measure weather data only. All other temperature readings will be taken using the Celsius scale. Use only thermometers with red colored alcohol in them.
- Balances - Balances measure mass in grams.
- Measuring cups - Measuring cups measure volume in fluid ounces (oz), parts of a cup (c), milliliters (mL), or liters (L).
3rd Grade Students
- A beaker is a tool that measures liquid volume.
To read the volume of a liquid in a beaker, place the tool on a level surface. When using a beaker to measure the volume of a granular (powdered) solid, be sure the top surface of the solid is level. Choose the appropriate size beaker for the measurement task—use small beakers for measuring small amounts, and large beakers for large amounts. A beaker measures the volume in metric units such as milliliters (mL) or liters (L).
- A meter tape, or meter stick, is a measurement tool that can be used to measure the length, width, or height of an object or the distance between two objects. When using a meter tape, or stick, make sure to begin measuring from the zero (0) mark, not necessarily the edge of the tool. A meter tape, or stick, measures in metric units such as centimeters (cm) or meters (m).
- Forceps/tweezers are tools that grasp or pick up small materials.
- A graduated cylinder is a tool that measures volume of liquids. To read the graduated cylinder, place the tool on a level surface. o Choose the right size graduated cylinder for the measurement task—use small graduated cylinder for measuring small amounts, and large graduated cylinder for large amounts. The graduated marks are in metric units such as milliliters (mL).
- A graduated syringe is a tool that measures volume of liquids. Place the end of the syringe in the liquid and then pull the plunger out to draw in the appropriate amount of liquid. A graduated syringe measures in metric units such as milliliters (mL). It is also essential for students to use tools such as rulers (measuring to millimeters), pan balances (measuring in grams), or measuring cups (measuring in parts of a cup).
4th Grade Students:
- A tuning fork to produces vibrations when struck appropriately. Use the rubber mallet or rubber surface to strike the tuning fork.
- A compass to determine the cardinal directions of North, South, East, and West when using a wind vane to identify wind direction.
- An anemometer is a weather instrument used to determine wind speed. An anemometer should be vertical and needs to be able to spin without obstruction. o An anemometer measures wind speed in miles per hour (mph).
- A mirror (plane/flat) to reflect light toward a given direction.
- A prism to separate light into the colors of the spectrum. To use a prism appropriately, the light has to enter the prism at the correct angle to the surface in order to separate the white light.
- A rain gauge (measuring in inches), and beakers or graduated cylinders (measuring to milliliters or liters). Other units of measurement that students should be familiar with are kilograms (mass) or kilometers (distance).
5th Grade Students:
- A timing device to measure time. An example of a timing device is a stop watch or clock with a second hand. o Time is measured in seconds (s), minutes (min), hours (hr), and days.
- A 10x magnifier to enlarge objects or see details. Objects seen through a 10x magnifier look ten times larger than they do with the unaided eye.
- It is also essential for students to use tools such as graduated cylinders and syringes (measuring in milliliters).
6th Grade Students:
- graduated cylinders (in mL)
- graduated syringes (in mL)
- anemometers (in miles per hour)
- 10x magnifiers
- timing devices (in minutes and seconds)
- thermometers (using the Celsius scale, unless the data refers to weather, in which case Fahrenheit should be used)
- A spring scale to measure the weight of objects, or the force on an objects.
- A digital balance to measure the mass of objects.
- A barometer to measure air pressure in millimeters or inches of mercury or millibars (mb)
- A sling psychrometer to measure relative humidity.
7th Grade Students:
- A microscope to magnify the features of an object.
8th Grade Students:
- A convex lens to bend, or refract, light causing objects to be magnified.
- A plane mirror to reflect light.
- A color filter to block certain wavelengths of light and transmits others.
- A prism to separate white light into the colors of the spectrum.
- A coiled metal spring to model waves.
High School Students:
- Balances (electronic)
- pH indicator paper
- pH buffer solution
- Beakers (50mL, 100 mL, 250mL)
- Chemicals & other consumable materials depending on planned laboratory investigations
- Prepared slides of normal cells, human cheek cells, onion root cells, bacteria, protists, fungi, sickle cell blood, whitefish blastula, etc.
- Erlenmeyer flasks
- Pipettes / droppers
- Evaporating dishes
- Petri dishes
- Ring stand, ring clamp, and test tube clamp , spatulas, scissors,
- Stoppers – rubber, cork
- Graduated cylinders (10 mL & 100 mL)
- Hand lenses (magnifiers)
- Test tubes, clamp, holder, and rack Test tube brushes
- Measuring tools (metric rulers, meter stick, meter tapes, stop watch or timer)
- Microscopes (compound & dissecting)
- Microscope slides & cover slips, light source, lens paper
- Lab aprons, safety goggles, gloves
- Tongs (crucible, beaker)
- Watch glasses, spot plate
- Wire gauze with ceramic centers
- Water bath
- Gel electrophoresis supplies (tray, chamber, & power supply
- Dialysis tubing,
- Chromatography paper
- Mortar and Pestle
- Balances (electronic)
- Pipettes / droppers
- pH paper / pH meters
- Burners (Bunsen), flint strikers
- Chemical scoop (scapula)
- Stirring rods
- Conductivity apparatus (light bulb)
- Stoppers – rubber, cork
- Thermometers (alcohol, digital)
- Ammeters and voltmeters (or multimeters)
- Motion carts (or toy cars)
- Motors, simple electric
- Diffraction grating
- Dry cells (or other voltage source)
- Coiled or large metal springs
- Spectroscope Generators (hand-held)
- Spring scales
- Switches (knife)
- Lenses (convex and concave)
- Light bulb and holders
- Tuning forks
- Wire, insulated copper
- Use the identified laboratory apparatuses in an investigation safely and accurately with associated technology, such as computers, calculators and other devices, for data collection, graphing, and analyzing data.
- Appropriate techniques that are useful for understanding biological concepts, such as using a microscope appropriately;
- Associated technology, such as probeware and meters to gather data;
- Appropriate techniques that are useful for understanding chemistry and physics concepts, such as measuring, heating, filtering, timing, setting up circuits, electrostatics, or wave behavior.