Challenge 1 – A Catalog of HII Regions

Correlations to Project 2061 Benchmarks in Science Education

The Project 2061 Benchmarks in Science Education is a report, originally published in 1993 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), that lists what students should know about scientific literacy. The report lists facts and concepts about science and the scientific process that all students should know at different grade levels.

The report is divided and subdivided into different content areas. Within each subarea, the report lists benchmarks for students completing grade 2, grade 5, grade 8, and grade 12.

This page lists all the Project 2061 Benchmarks met by the Catalog of HII Regions challenge. Content headings are listed as Roman numerals, subheadings as letters, grade levels by numbers, and specific points by numbers after the hyphen. For example, benchmark IA8-2 means the second benchmark for eighth grade students in the first content area, first subarea.

IA8-1, IB8-4, IB12-1, IC8-6, IIIA8-2, IIIA12-1, IVA8-1, IVA12-2, IVA12-3, IVD8-1, IVD12-1, IVE12-4, IVE12-5, IVF8-2, IVF8-5.


IA8-1. When similar investigations give different results, the scientific challenge is to judge whether the differences are trivial or significant, and it often takes further studies to decide. Even with similar results, scientists may wait until an investigation has been repeated many times before accepting the results as correct.

IB8-4. New ideas in science sometimes spring from unexpected findings, and they usually lead to new investigations.

IB12-1. Investigations are conducted for different reasons, including to explore new phenomena, to check on previous results, to test how well a theory predicts, and to compare different theories.

IC8-6. Computers have become invaluable in science because they speed up and extend people’s ability to collect, store, compile, and analyze data, prepare research reports, and share data and ideas with investigators all over the world.

IIIA5-2. Technology enables scientists and others to observe things that are too small or too far away to be seen without them and to study the motion of objects that are moving very rapidly or are hardly moving at all

IIIA8-2. Technology is essential to science for such purposes as access to outer space and other remote locations, sample collection and treatment, measurement, data collection and storage, computation, and communication of information.

IIIA12-1. Technological problems often create a demand for new scientific knowledge, and new technologies make it possible for scientists to extend their research in new ways or to undertake entirely new lines of research. The very availability of new technology itself often sparks scientific advances.

IVA8-1. The sun is a medium-sized star located near the edge of a disk-shaped galaxy of stars, part of which can be seen as a glowing band of light that spans the sky on a very clear night. The universe contains many billions of galaxies, and each galaxy contains many billions of stars. To the naked eye, even the closest of these galaxies is no more than a dim, fuzzy spot.

IVA12-2. On the basis of scientific evidence, the universe is estimated to be over ten billion years old. The current theory is that its entire contents expanded explosively from a hot, dense, chaotic mass. Stars condensed by gravity out of clouds of molecules of the lightest elements until nuclear fusion of the light elements into heavier ones began to occur. Fusion released great amounts of energy over millions of years. Eventually, some stars exploded, producing clouds of heavy elements from which other stars and planets could later condense. The process of star formation and destruction continues.

IVA12-3. Increasingly sophisticated technology is used to learn about the universe. Visual, radio, and x-ray telescopes collect information from across the entire spectrum of electromagnetic waves; computers handle an avalanche of data and increasingly complicated computations to interpret them; space probes send back data and materials from the remote parts of the solar system; and accelerators give subatomic particles energies that simulate conditions in the stars and in the early history of the universe before stars formed.

IVD8-1. All matter is made up of atoms, which are far too small to see directly through a microscope. The atoms of any element are alike but are different from atoms of other elements. Atoms may stick together in well-defined molecules or may be packed together in large arrays. Different arrangements of atoms into groups compose all substances.

IVD12-1. Atoms are made of a positive nucleus surrounded by negative electrons. An atom’s electron configuration, particularly the outermost electrons, determines how the atom can interact with other atoms. Atoms form bonds to other atoms by transferring or sharing electrons.

IVE12-4. Different energy levels are associated with different configurations of atoms and molecules. Some changes of configuration require an input of energy whereas others release energy.

IVE12-5. When energy of an isolated atom or molecule changes, it does so in a definite jump from one value to another, with no possible values in between. The change in energy occurs when radiation is absorbed or emitted, so the radiation also has distinct energy values. As a result, the light emitted or absorbed by separate atoms or molecules (as in a gas) can be used to identify what the substance is.

IVF8-2. Something can be “seen” when light waves emitted or reflected by it enter the eye – just as something can be “heard” when sound waves from it enter the ear.

IVF8-5. Human eyes respond to only a narrow range of wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation – visible light. Differences of wavelength within that range are perceived as differences in color.

Correlations to NCTM Principles and Standards for School Mathematics

Principles and Standards for School Mathematics was released in 2000 by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The standards, a collaboration between education researchers and school mathematics teachers, lists what concepts students should understand, and what skills they should possess, at different stages of their mathematics education.

The report is divided and subdivided into ten different content areas. Within the first six areas, the report lists benchmarks for students completing grade 2, grade 5, grade 8, and grade 12. The standards met by the Catalog of HII Regions challenge are:

IA8-2, IC8-1, IIA8-1, IIC8-1, VI-2, VI-3, VIII-1, VIII-2, IX-3.

IA8-2. Compare and order fractions, decimals, and percents efficiently and find their approximate locations on a number line

IC8-1. Select appropriate methods and tools for computing with fractions and decimals from among mental computation, estimation, calculators or computers, and paper and pencil, depending on the situation, and apply the selected methods

IIA8-1. Represent, analyze, and generalize a variety of patterns with tables, graphs, words, and, when possible, symbolic rules

IIC8-1. Model and solve contextualized problems using various representations, such as graphs, tables, and equations

VI-2. Solve problems that arise in mathematics and in other contexts.

VI-3. Apply and adapt a variety of appropriate strategies to solve problems

VIII-1. Organize and consolidate their mathematical thinking through communication

VIII-2. Communicate their mathematical thinking coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others

IX-3. Recognize and apply mathematics in contexts outside of mathematics