School Improvement in Maryland

This Week’s HSA Item

HSA Items of the week can be used in a variety of ways by teachers, students, parents, tutors and other interested parties. They may be used as warm-up activity at the beginning of the class or as a review at the end of instruction. Students and parents can use them as an ongoing review to ensure that students have mastered and retained the content they are expected to learn.

Select an Item to View

Use your mouse to select a grade from the subject categories below. This week’s HSA Item for that category will appear at right.


Student Handout with Answer Key, and Objective Information.

View Last Week's HSA Items

Missed last week’s HSA Items? Click here to view recent items by subject and grade.

Monitoring Reports

Students can keep a record of their progress on these assessment items by using the Monitoring Report, a tool that lists of of the grade level objectives assessed on HSA. The Monitoring Report contains space for entering multiple assessment results and diagnostic comments.

Monitoring Report for Biology

HSA Item of the Week

This item is one of the many resources available in the Science CLG Toolkit.


Use the technical passage "The Good, The Bad, The Zebra Mussel" to answer the following:

A scientist was testing the hypothesis that zebra mussels cause a decrease in the population of bluegill, a type of fish. The mussels feed on copepods, a type of plankton that is also eaten by bluegill and other fish. In an experiment, he counted the number of bluegill and the number of copepods in an aquarium containing one kiloliter of water. He then added zebra mussels. After two weeks, and again after four weeks, he counted the copepods, bluegill, and zebra mussels. Which set of experimental data supports his hypothesis that the number of bluegill decline because zebra mussels eat copepods?

View answer and objective assessed