Computer science is the study of computational systems and their use in representing important problems in science and society. Major topics include computational science, software systems, network systems, theory of computation, machine learning, and human-computer interaction.
Education in a free society must prepare citizens to make informed choices in all areas of their lives. They must be able to grasp the information being presented, analyze it, and make reasoned decisions. To accomplish these goals, students learn to collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer questions that can be addressed with data; use appropriate statistical methods and predictions that are based on data; develop and evaluate inferences and predictions that are based on data; and apply basic concepts of probability. Probability is the study of chance and the possibility that an event will occur.
The life sciences investigate the diversity, complexity, and interconnectedness of life on Earth. Students are naturally drawn to examine living things, and as they progress through the grade levels, they become capable of understanding the theories and models that scientists use to explain observations of nature.
Measurement is best learned through direct applications or as part of other mathematical topics. A measurable attribute of an object is a characteristic that is most readily quantified and compared. Many attributes, such as length, perimeter, area, volume, and angle measure, come from the geometric realm. Other attributes are physical, such as temperature and mass. Still other attributes, such as density, are not readily measurable by direct means.
Physical science is the science of matter and energy and their interactions, and examines the physical world around us. Using the methods of the physical sciences, students learn about the composition, structure, properties and reactions of matter, and the relationships between matter and energy. Students are best able to build understanding of the physical sciences through hands-on exploration of the physical world.
Problem solving encompasses the thought processes involved in solving problems. It is both a means of developing students' knowledge of mathematics and a critical outcome of a good mathematics education. A mathematical problem, as distinct from an exercise, requires the solver to search for a method for solving the problem rather than following a set procedure. Mathematical problem solving, therefore, requires an understanding of relevant concepts, procedures, and strategies. To become good problem solvers, students need many opportunities to formulate questions, model problem situations in a variety of ways, generalize mathematical relationships, and solve problems in both mathematical and everyday contexts.
From the early grades, students develop reasoning skills by making and testing mathematical conjectures, drawing logical conclusions, and justifying their thinking in developmentally appropriate ways. As they advance through the grades, students' arguments become more sophisticated and they are able to construct formal proofs. By doing so, students learn what mathematical reasoning entails.