School Improvement in Maryland

Constructed Response Items: Science Grades 8

 (1) Brief Constructed Response Public Release

Use the technical passage 'Fill 'Er Up… With Soybeans and Corn' to answer the following question.

A city might switch from buses that burn fossil fuel to buses that burn B20 diesel fuel. The data table below shows the average kilometers per liter (kpL) of a bus burning B20 diesel and of a bus burning fossil fuel for a seven-month period. The B20 diesel fuel costs more than the fossil fuel.

Fuel Type Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb.
B20 2.0 kpL 1.8 kpL 1.9 kpL 1.9 kpL 1.9 kpL 2.0 kpL 1.9 kpL
Fossil 2.0 kpL 2.0 kpL 1.9 kpL 2.0 kpL 1.9 kpL 2.0 kpL 1.9 kpL


Evaluate the best type of fuel to use in the city buses. In your evaluation, be sure to include

  • advantages and disadvantages for each fuel
  • supporting evidence from the data table and the technical passage

B20 fuel

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Fossil Fuel

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/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_science_8_038.xml

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 (2) Brief Constructed Response Public Release

The graphs below represent the motion of two objects, A and B.

Question Image

Describe the types of motion represented by the two graphs. In your description, be sure to include

  • the type of motion represented by each graph
  • the difference between the two types of motion

Write your answer in the space provided.

Object A Graph

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Object B Graph

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/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_science_8_004.xml

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 (3) Brief Constructed Response Public Release

Use the technical passage 'Drilling to the Mantle' to answer the following.



The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program scientists hypothesized that drilling at the Atlantis Massif would allow scientists to collect rocks from the mantle of Earth.

Explain why scientists make a hypothesis. In your explanation, be sure to include

  • the importance of a hypothesis
  • what might be learned from an incorrect hypothesis
  • supporting evidence from this investigation

Write your answer in the space provided.

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_science_8_059.xml

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 (4) Brief Constructed Response Public Release

A student mixed two substances together and concluded that a chemical reaction had taken place.



Explain how the student was able to conclude that a chemical reaction occurred. In your explanation, be sure to include

  • evidence that would support the student's conclusion

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_science_8_042.xml

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 (5) Brief Constructed Response Public Release

Explain how heat energy affects a substance. In your explanation, be sure to include

  • the temperatures at which a substance changes states of matter

Write your answer in the space provided.



/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_science_8_062.xml

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 (6) Brief Constructed Response Public Release

Question Image



Compare the properties of oil to the properties of the elements in oil. In your comparison, be sure to include

  • the properties of oil
  • the properties of the elements in oil
  • the motion of the molecules in oil, carbon, and hydrogen

Write your answer in the space provided.

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_science_8_016.xml

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 (7) Brief Constructed Response Public Release

Use the technical passage 'Green Ocean Machine' to answer the following.



The passage states that “the new green partner [alga] seems to provide Hatena with most of its energy needs.”

Describe the process that enables organisms to use energy from light to make food. In your description, be sure to include

  • the specialized features needed to produce food
  • the substances needed to produce food
  • the substances produced during this process

Write your answer in the space provided.

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_science_7_022.xml

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 (8) Brief Constructed Response Public Release

Erosion is responsible for a constant transfer of sediment in a river from locations upstream to locations downstream.



Explain how sediment affects a river. In your explanation, be sure to include how

  • flooding might affect sediment
  • sediment might affect the river habitat

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_science_8_052.xml

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 (9) Brief Constructed Response Public Release

Use the information below to answer the following.

Environmental scientists are studying a preserved wetland ecosystem and the effect of human population growth on that wetland. The scientists used the information below to develop an educational program.

FEATURES OF A WETLAND ECOSYSTEM
Year Average Precipitation (centimeters) Number of Trees Number of Frogs
0 92 55 155
2 82 70 135
4 56 95 100
6 64 80 115
8 61 80 110
10 92 54 160


Explain how environmental conditions affect the population cycles of wetland organisms. In your explanation, be sure to include

  • the relationship between the amount of precipitation and the number of trees
  • the relationship between the amount of precipitation and the number of frogs

Write your answer in the space provided.

 

Precipitation and Trees

 

Precipitation and Frogs

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_science_8_071.xml

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 (10) Brief Constructed Response Public Release

The diagram shows the relationships among organisms in an ecosystem.

Question Image

Explain how organisms in this ecosystem compete for resources. In your explanation, be sure to include

  • the animals that compete for the same food source
  • why the plants and animals compete for water

Write your answer on your answer document

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_science_6_015.xml

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 (11) Brief Constructed Response Public Release

Use the technical passage 'The Good, the Bad, and the Algae' to answer the following question.

During one year the algae population decreases in the Chesapeake Bay. Below is a partial Chesapeake Bay food chain.



Explain how a large decrease in the algae population will most likely impact the bay ecosystem. In your explanation, be sure to include

  • the roles of the organisms in the partial Chesapeake Bay food chain
  • the possible effects of a decrease in the algae population on the plant and animal populations

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_science_6_038.xml

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 (12) Brief Constructed Response Public Release

The rock cycle is a process that alters sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks. The diagram below shows the rock cycle.



Igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rock are all part of the rock cycle.

Question Image

Explain how metamorphic rocks are part of the rock cycle. In your explanation, be sure to include

  • the features that make each rock type different
  • the processes that result in the formation of each rock type

Write your answer on your answer document

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_science_6_021.xml

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