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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Seventh Grade

Physical Science

Power Standards
  • Plan an investigation (basic directions, basic experiment, or basic explanation)   to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object. (MS-PS2-2) *MS-PS2-1 and MS-PS2-4 are embedded within the instruction toward this Power Standard.
  • Conduct an investigation and evaluate the experimental design to provide evidence that fields exist between objects exerting forces on each other even though the objects are not in contact. (MS-PS2-5) *MS-PS2-3 is embedded within the instruction toward this Power Standard.
  • Integrate qualitative scientific and technical information to support the claim that digitized signals are a more reliable way to encode and transmit information than analog signals. (MS-PS4-3) *MS-PS4-1 and MS-PS4-2 are embedded within the instruction toward this Power Standard.

Critical Content

Concepts and Skills

* Power Standard Content

Physical Science 2.A:  Forces and Motion

  • For any pair of interacting objects, the force exerted by the first object on the second object is equal in strength to the force that the second object exerts on the first, but in the opposite direction (Newton’s third law). (MS-PS2-1)
  • The motion of an object is determined by the sum of the forces acting on it; if the total force on the object is not zero, its motion will change. The greater the mass of the object, the greater the force needed to achieve the same change in motion. For any given object, a larger force causes a larger change in motion. (MS-PS2-2)
  • All positions of objects and the directions of forces and motions must be described in an arbitrarily chosen reference frame and arbitrarily chosen units of size. In order to share information with other people, these choices must also be shared. (MS-PS2-2)

Physical Science 2.B:  Types of Interactions

  • Electric and magnetic (electromagnetic)  forces can be attractive or repulsive, and their sizes depend on the magnitudes of the charges, currents, or magnetic strengths involved and on the distances between the interacting objects. (MS-PS2-3)
  • Gravitational forces are always attractive. There is a gravitational force between any two masses, but it is very small except when one or both of the objects have large mass—e.g., Earth and the sun. (MS-PS2-4)
  • Forces that act at a distance (electric, magnetic, and gravitational) can be explained by fields that extend through space and can be mapped by their effect on a test object (a charged object, or a ball, respectively). (MS-PS2-5)

Physical Science 4.A:  Wave Properties

  • A simple wave has a repeating pattern with a specific wavelength, frequency, and amplitude. (MS-PS4-1)
  • A sound wave needs a medium through which it is transmitted. (MS-PS4-2)

Physical Science 4.B:  Electromagnetic Radiation

  • When light shines on an object, it is reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through the object, depending on the object’s material and the frequency (color) of the light. (MS-PS4-2)
  • The path that light travels can be traced as straight lines, except at surfaces between different transparent materials (e.g., air and water, air and glass) where the light path bends. (MS-PS4-2)
  • A wave model of light is useful for explaining brightness, color, and the frequency-dependent bending of light at a surface between media. (MS-PS4-2)
  • However, because light can travel through space, it cannot be a matter wave, like sound or water waves. (MS-PS4-2)

Physical Science 4.C:  Information Technologies and Instrumentation

  • Digitized signals (sent as wave pulses) are a more reliable way to encode and transmit information. (MS-PS4-3)

Critical Language (Science & Engineering Practices)

Language Usage

  • A student in seventh grade can demonstrate the ability to apply and comprehend critical language by


Content-Specific Vocabulary

  • Energy
  • Motion
  • Wavelength
  • Amplitude
  • Balanced Forces
  • Unbalanced Forces
  • Gravity
  • Inertia
  • Reference point
  • Digital signals
  • Analog signals
  • Mass
  • Force
  • Electromagnetism
  • Radiation


Process-Specific Vocabulary

  • Observe
  • Model
  • Investigate
  • Transmission
  • Transfer
  • Cause and effect


Concept-Based Connections

Essential Understandings

(The first two Essential Understandings have been taken from the NGSS Physical Science Progression.)

  • The role of the mass of an object must be qualitatively accounted for in any change of motion due to the application of a force.
  • Forces that act at a distance involve fields that can be mapped by their relative strength and effect on an object.
  • Digitized signals (sent as wave pulses) are a more reliable way to encode and transmit information. (taken from DCI MS-PS4-3)


Factual Guiding Questions

  • What is the difference between balanced and unbalanced forces?
  • Why do some objects keep moving?
  • Why do objects fall to the ground?
  • What are the factors that affect the gravitational force of an object?
  • What are Newton’s Three Laws?
  • Why are some materials attracted to each other while others repel?
  • What are the characteristic properties of waves and how can they be used?  


Conceptual Guiding Questions

  • How can one describe physical interactions between objects and within systems of objects?
  • Identify all the forces on an object.
  • Describe real life events in terms of Newton’s Laws.


Authentic Learning Activities & Experimental Design

  • How does the knowledge of the laws of motion and forces allow individuals to design solutions to real world problems? What are some possible applications?
  • What are the benefits of digital signals to analog signals?
  • What is the amount of force to keep an object from falling? (roller coasters, centripetal force, carnival games, and gravitron)
  • How have engineers used their knowledge of the laws of motion and forces to increase the safety of an automobile? (automobile: seat belts, air bags, crumple zones; guard rails: breakaway end treatments/uprights, impact attenuator barrel)