Vermont Requirements for Passing High School Chemistry | General Chemistry 1

Is Chemistry Required in High School in Vermont?

Vermont high school students are required to take a minimum of 3 years of Science instruction to fulfill the Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirements adopted by the state in 2020. Students are given many options for earning high school credit via the Flexible Pathways program. When it comes to studying chemistry in high school, Vermont students will follow the Next-Generation Science Standards (NGSS) curriculum, as Vermont is an NGSS Lead State

As such, they will study chemistry in the required Physical Sciences course. Here’s an example of the proficiency-based chemistry curriculum students may encounter: 

  • HS-PS1-1 Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms.
    • Clarification Statement: Examples of properties that could be predicted from patterns could include reactivity of metals, types of bonds formed, numbers of bonds formed, and reactions with oxygen.
  • HS-PS1-3 Plan and conduct an investigation to gather evidence to compare the structure of substances at the bulk scale to infer the strength of electrical forces between particles.
    • Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on understanding the strengths of forces between particles, not on naming specific intermolecular forces (such as dipole-dipole). Examples of particles could include ions, atoms, molecules, and networked materials (such as graphite). Examples of bulk properties of substances could include the melting point and boiling point, vapor pressure, and surface tension.
  • HS-PS1-8 Develop models to illustrate the changes in the composition of the nucleus of the atom and the energy released during the processes of fission, fusion, and radioactive decay.
    • Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on simple qualitative models, such as pictures or diagrams, and on the scale of energy released in nuclear processes relative to other kinds of transformations.
  • Communicate scientific and technical information about why the molecular-level structure is important in the functioning of designed materials. HS-PS2-6 
    • Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the attractive and repulsive forces that determine the functioning of the material. Examples could include why electrically conductive materials are often made of metal, flexible but durable materials are made up of long chained molecules, and pharmaceuticals are designed to interact with specific receptors.
  • HS-PS1-2 Construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties.
    • Clarification Statement: Examples of chemical reactions could include the reaction of sodium and chlorine, of carbon and oxygen, or of carbon and hydrogen.
  • HS-PS1-4 Develop a model to illustrate that the release or absorption of energy from a chemical reaction system depends upon the changes in total bond energy.
    • Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the idea that a chemical reaction is a system that affects the energy change. Examples of models could include molecular-level drawings and diagrams of reactions, graphs showing the relative energies of reactants and products, and representations showing energy is conserved.
  • HS-PS1-5 Apply scientific principles and evidence to provide an explanation about the effects of changing the temperature or concentration of the reacting particles on the rate at which a reaction occurs.
    • Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on student reasoning that focuses on the number and energy of collisions between molecules.
  • HS-PS1-6 Refine the design of a chemical system by specifying a change in conditions that would produce increased amounts of products at equilibrium.  
    • Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the application of Le Chatlier’s Principle and on refining designs of chemical reaction systems, including descriptions of the connection between changes made at the macroscopic level and what happens at the molecular level. Examples of designs could include different ways to increase product formation including adding reactants or removing products.
  • HS-PS1-7 Use mathematical representations to support the claim that atoms, and therefore mass, are conserved during a chemical reaction.
    • Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on using mathematical ideas to communicate the proportional relationships between masses of atoms in the reactants and the products, and the translation of these relationships to the macroscopic scale using the mole as the conversion from the atomic to the macroscopic scale. Emphasis is on assessing students’ use of mathematical thinking and not on memorization and rote application of problem-solving techniques
  • HS-PS2-1 Analyze data to support the claim that Newton’s second law of motion describes the mathematical relationship among the net force on a macroscopic object, its mass, and its acceleration.
    • Clarification Statement: Examples of data could include tables or graphs of position or velocity as a function of time for objects subject to a net unbalanced force, such as a falling object, an object rolling down a ramp, or a moving object being pulled by a constant force.
  • HS-PS2-2 Use mathematical representations to support the claim that the total momentum of a system of objects is conserved when there is no net force on the system.
    • Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the quantitative conservation of momentum in interactions and the qualitative meaning of this principle.
  • HS-PS2-3  Apply scientific and engineering ideas to design, evaluate, and refine a device that minimizes the force on a macroscopic object during a collision.
    • Clarification Statement: Examples of evaluation and refinement could include determining the success of the device at protecting an object from damage and modifying the design to improve it. Examples of a device could include a football helmet or a parachute.
  • HS-PS2-4 Use mathematical representations of Newton’s Law of Gravitation and Coulomb’s Law to describe and predict the gravitational and electrostatic forces between objects.
    • Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on both quantitative and conceptual descriptions of gravitational and electric fields.
  • HS-PS2-5 Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that an electric current can produce a magnetic field and that a changing magnetic field can produce an electric current.
  • HS-PS3-1 Create a computational model to calculate the change in the energy of one component in a system when the change in energy of the other component(s) and energy flows in and out of the system are known.
    • Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on explaining the meaning of mathematical expressions used in the model. Assessment is limited to basic algebraic expressions or computations; to systems of two or three components; and to thermal energy, kinetic energy, and/or the energies in gravitational, magnetic, or electric fields.
  • HS-PS3-2 Develop and use models to illustrate that energy at the macroscopic scale can be accounted for as a combination of energy associated with the motions of particles (objects) and energy associated with the relative positions of particles (objects).
    • Clarification Statement: Examples of phenomena at the macroscopic scale could include the conversion of kinetic energy to thermal energy, the energy stored due to position of an object above the earth, and the energy stored between two electrically-charged plates. Examples of models could include diagrams, drawings, descriptions, and computer simulations.
  • HS-PS3-3 Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.
    • Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on both qualitative and quantitative evaluations of devices. Examples of devices could include Rube Goldberg devices, wind turbines, solar cells, solar ovens, and generators. Examples of constraints could include use of renewable energy forms and efficiency.
  • HS-PS3-4 Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that the transfer of thermal energy when two components of different temperature are combined within a closed system results in a more uniform energy distribution among the components in the system (second law of thermodynamics).
    • Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on analyzing data from student investigations and using mathematical thinking to describe the energy changes both quantitatively and conceptually. Examples of investigations could include mixing liquids at different initial temperatures or adding objects at different temperatures to water.
  • HS-PS3-5 Develop and use a model of two objects interacting through electric or magnetic fields to illustrate the forces between objects and the changes in energy of the objects due to the interaction.
    • Clarification Statement: Examples of models could include drawings, diagrams, and texts, such as drawings of what happens when two charges of opposite polarity are near each other.
  • HS-PS4-1 Use mathematical representations to support a claim regarding relationships among the frequency, wavelength, and speed of waves traveling in various media.
    • Clarification Statement: Examples of data could include electromagnetic radiation traveling in a vacuum and glass, sound waves traveling through air and water, and seismic waves traveling through the Earth.
  • HS-PS4-2 Evaluate questions about the advantages of using a digital transmission and storage of information.
    • Clarification Statement: Examples of advantages could include that digital information is stable because it can be stored reliably in computer memory, transferred easily, and copied and shared rapidly. Disadvantages could include issues of easy deletion, security, and theft.
  • HS-PS4-3 Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning behind the idea that electromagnetic radiation can be described either by a wave model or a particle model, and that for some situations one model is more useful than the other.
    • Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on how the experimental evidence supports the claim and how a theory is generally modified in light of new evidence. Examples of a phenomenon could include resonance, interference, diffraction, and photoelectric effect.
  • HS-PS4-4 Evaluate the validity and reliability of claims in published materials of the effects that different frequencies of electromagnetic radiation have when absorbed by matter.
    • Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the idea that photons associated with different frequencies of light have different energies, and the damage to living tissue from electromagnetic radiation depends on the energy of the radiation. Examples of published materials could include trade books, magazines, web resources, videos, and other passages that may reflect bias.
  • HS-PS4-5 Communicate technical information about how some technological devices use the principles of wave behavior and wave interactions with matter to transmit and capture information and energy.  
    • Clarification Statement: Examples could include solar cells capturing light and converting it to electricity; medical imaging; and communications technology.