999 West Dundee Road
Wheeling, Illinois 60090

Phone: 847-537-8270

Superintendent: Dr. Michael Connolly

School Board & Administration



CCSD21 is a school district comprised of 13 schools across 6 different communities in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.



School District 21 prides itself on its Professional Learning Community and its rich tradition of professional collaboration, high levels of professional development, and family-like atmosphere. If you see the opportunity to work with colleagues in making a difference in the lives of students and families in a truly diverse setting, School District 21 seeks your application.

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Sixth Grade

Physical Science

Power Standards
  • Develop a model (ex: drawing, demonstration or experiment) to describe that when the arrangement of objects, interacting at a distance changes, different amounts of potential energy are stored in the system (MS-PS3-2)
  • Plan an investigation (basic directions, basic experiment, or basic explanation)  to determine the relationships among the energy transferred, the type of matter, the mass, and the change in the average kinetic energy of the particles as measured by the temperature of the sample.  (MS-PS3-4)
  • Construct and present evidence to support the claim that when the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object.  (MS-PS3-5)

Critical Content

Concepts and Skills

* Power Standard Content

Physical Science 3.A:  Definitions of Energy

  • Motion energy is properly called kinetic energy; it is proportional to the mass of the moving object and grows with the square of its speed. (MS-PS3-1)
  • * A system of objects may also contain stored (potential) energy, depending on their relative positions. (MS-PS3-2)
  • * Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of particles of matter. The relationship between the temperature and the total energy of a system depends on the types, states, and amounts of matter present. (MS-PS3-3 and MS-PS3-4)

Physical Science 3.B:  Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer

  • * When the kinetic energy of an object changes, there is inevitably some other change in energy at the same time. (MS-PS3-5)
  • * The amount of energy transfer needed to change the temperature of a matter sample by a given amount depends on the nature of the matter, the size of the sample, and the environment. (MS-PS3-4)
  • * Energy is spontaneously transferred out of hotter regions or objects and into colder ones. (MS-PS3-3)

Physical Science 3.C: Relationship Between Energy and Forces

  • * When two objects interact, each one exerts a force on the other that can cause energy to be transferred to or from the object. (MS-PS3-2)

Critical Language (Science & Engineering Practices)

Language Usage

  • A student in sixth grade can demonstrate the ability to apply and comprehend critical language by defining, making and explaining models to represent the transfer of energy.


Content-Specific Vocabulary

  • Thermal energy
  • Properties
  • Kinetic energy
  • Endothermic
  • Exothermic
  • Energy
  • Motion
  • Potential energy
  • Force
  • Properties
  • Mass
  • Volume
  • Gas, liquid, solid


Process-Specific Vocabulary

  • Observe
  • Model
  • Investigate
  • Transmission
  • Transfer
  • Patterns
  • Interact
  • Action/reaction

Concept-Based Connections

Essential Understandings

These Essential Understandings were taken from the Middle School physical science introduction.

  • The interactions of objects can explained and predicted using the concept of transfer of energy.
  • The total change in energy in any system is always equal to the total energy transferred into or out of the system.
  • Scientific investigations are guided by a set of values to ensure accuracy of measurements, observations and objectivity of findings.


Factual Guiding Questions

  • What is the difference between energy and temperature?
  • What are the factors that can affect potential energy?
  • What is the difference between kinetic and thermal energy
  • How is energy transferred and conserved?
  • How can energy be transferred from one object or system to another?
  • Describe the behavior of the particles in each state of matter.
  • Describe what happens to the particles in matter as it changes state. (increase/decrease in energy, type of movement)


Conceptual Guiding Questions

  • What is the relationship between thermal energy and chemical process found in everyday life?
  • Where do we find examples of kinetic energy and thermal energy in real life?
  • What is the relationship between force and energy?


Authentic Learning Activities & Experimental Design

  • What are the naturally occurring forms of kinetic and potential energy?  How can these forms of energy be used to meet the energy needs of humans?
  • When a driver applies the brakes in a regular (non-hybrid) car, the car’s kinetic energy is converted to heat energy through friction in the braking mechanism.  This energy cannot be used to power the car.  When a driver applies the brakes in a hybrid car, the car’s kinetic energy is converted to potential (electrical) energy and stored in the car’s batteries.