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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Physical Science

Power Standards
  • Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures. (complex molecules, compounds, mixtures)  (MS-PS1-1)
  • Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred. (MS-PS1-2)
  • Gather and make sense of information to describe that synthetic materials come from natural resources and impact society. (MS-PS1-3)
  • Develop a model that predicts and describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed. (MS-PS1-4)
  • Develop and use a model to describe how the total number of atoms does not change in a chemical reaction and thus mass is conserved.   (MS-PS1-5)
  • Undertake a design project to construct, test, and modify a device that either releases or absorbs thermal energy by chemical processes (NGSS example includes a chemical reaction such as dissolving and is limited to amount, time and temperature). (MS-PS1-6)

Critical Content

Concepts and Skills

* Power Standard Content

Physical Science 1.A:  Structure and Properties of Matter

  • Substances are made from different types of atoms, which combine with one another in various ways. Atoms form molecules that range in size from two to thousands of atoms. (MS-PS1-1)
  • Each pure substance has characteristic physical and chemical properties (for any bulk quantity under given conditions) that can be used to identify it. (MS-PS1-2),(MS-PS1-3)
  • Gases and liquids are made of molecules or inert atoms that are moving about relative to each other. (MS-PS1-4)
  • In a liquid, the molecules are constantly in contact with others; in a gas, they are widely spaced except when they happen to collide. In a solid, atoms are closely spaced and may vibrate in position but do not § change relative locations. (MS-PS1-4)
  • Solids may be formed from molecules, or they may be extended structures with repeating subunits (e.g., crystals). (MS-PS1-1)
  • The changes of state that occur with variations in temperature or pressure can be described and predicted using these models of matter. (MS-PS1-4)

Physical Science 1.B:  Chemical Reactions

  • Substances react chemically in characteristic ways.  In a chemical process, the atoms that make up the original substances are regrouped into different molecules, and these new substances have different properties from those of the reactants. (MS-PS1-2),(MS-PS1-3),(MS-PS1-5)
  • The total number of each type of atom is conserved, and thus the mass does not change. (MS-PS1-5)
  • Some chemical reactions release energy, others store energy. (MS-PS1-6)

Physical Science 3.A:  Definitions of Energy

  • The term “heat” as used in everyday language refers both to thermal energy (the motion of atoms or molecules within a substance) and the transfer of that thermal energy from one object to another. In science, heat is used only for this second meaning; it refers to the energy transferred due to the temperature difference between two objects. (secondary to MS-PS1-4)
  • The temperature of a system is proportional to the average internal kinetic energy and potential energy per atom or molecule (whichever is the appropriate building block for the system’s material). The details of that relationship depend on the type of atom or molecule and the interactions among the atoms in the material. Temperature is not a direct measure of a system’s total thermal energy. The total thermal energy (sometimes called the total internal energy) of a system depends jointly on the temperature, the total number of atoms in the system, and the state of the material. (secondary to MS-PS1-4)

Engineering Technology Society 1.B:  Developing Possible Solutions

  • A solution needs to be tested, and then modified on the basis of the test results, in order to improve it. (secondary to MS-PS1-6)

Engineering Technology Society 1.C:  Optimizing the Design Solution

  • Although one design may not perform the best across all tests, identifying the characteristics of the design that performed the best in each test can provide useful  information for the redesign process—that is, some of the characteristics may be incorporated into the new design. (secondary to MS-PS1-6)
  • The iterative process of testing the most promising solutions and modifying what is proposed on the basis of the test results leads to greater refinement and ultimately to an optimal solution. (secondary to MS-PS1-6)

Critical Language (Science & Engineering Practices)

Language Usage

  • A student in eighth grade can demonstrate the ability to apply and comprehend critical language by constructing explanations and designing solutions supported by multiple sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories about chemical energy and change.


Content-Specific Vocabulary

  • Matter
  • Properties
  • Kinetic energy
  • Element
  • Compound
  • Endothermic
  • Exothermic
  • Reaction Rates
  • Catalyst/inhibitor
  • Temperature change
  • Surface area
  • Concentration
  • Thermal energy
  • Molecules
  • Solutions
  • Mixtures
  • Bohr and Lewis models
  • Types of reactions (Synthesis, Decomposition, Single Replacement, Double Replacement)
  • Substances
  • Valence electrons
  • Types of bonds (Ionic, Covalent, Metallic)
  • Conservation of mass
  • Conservation of energy
  • Percent composition of compounds


Process-Specific Vocabulary

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


Concept-Based Connections

Essential Understandings

  • The composition of matter helps us explain the properties of substances, diversity of materials, states of matter, phase changes and conservation of matter.
  • Regardless of the chemical reactions that occur, the number of atoms is always conserved and energy may be absorbed or released.


Factual Guiding Questions

  • What is matter?  What are the states and how does it change?
  • How do molecules change between states of matter?  
  • What is the relationship between thermal energy and changes of state?
  • How do you identify a substance by its characteristic properties?
  • What are the differences between elements, compounds and mixtures (ie. solutions)?
  • What determines the freezing, melting and boiling point of a substance?
  • What are the subatomic particles in an atom?
  • How do we use the periodic table to identify the number of subatomic particles in an element?
  • What makes up a molecule?
  • How do Atoms bond?
  • What is the evidence that a chemical reaction has occurred?
  • What are the types of chemical reactions?
  • How is mass conserved in a chemical reaction?
  • How is energy conserved in a chemical reaction?
  • How can you change the rate of a chemical reaction?
  • What are organic versus inorganic compounds?


Conceptual Guiding Questions

  • What examples of phases of matter can be found in the real world?
  • How have models of the atom changed as technology has changed?
  • How does thermal energy affect particles and the states of matter?
  • How can the periodic table be used to identify which elements will bond, and what kind of bonds they will form?
  • Why are the ratios of compounds always consistent?
  • How do freezing, boiling, and melting point change based on different compositions?
  • Why is matter neither created or destroyed in a chemical reaction?


Authentic Learning Activities & Experimental Design

  • Why is matter conserved in physical and chemical process?
  • What is the impact of synthetic materials on society?
  • Design, test and refine an experiment to check insulators to conserve thermal energy of a substance.