Earth and Space Science (ESS)

Listed below are the Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI) for Earth and Space Science and bullet points for their specific grade band progression.

ESS1: Earth’s Place in the Universe

ESS1.A: The Universe and Its Stars

Primary School (K-2)

  • Patterns of the motion of the sun, moon, and stars in the sky can be observed, described, and predicted.

Elementary School (3-5)

  • The sun is a star that appears larger and brighter than other stars because it is closer. Stars range greatly in their distance from Earth.

Middle School (6-8)

  • Patterns of the apparent motion of the sun, the moon, and stars in the sky can be observed, described, predicted, and explained with models.
  • Earth and its solar system are part of the Milky Way galaxy, which is one of many galaxies in the universe.

High School (9-12)

  • The star called the sun is changing and will burn out over a lifespan of approximately 10 billion years.
  • The study of stars’ light spectra and brightness is used to identify compositional elements of stars, their movements, and their distances from Earth.
  • The Big Bang theory is supported by observations of distant galaxies receding from our own, of the measured composition of stars and non-stellar gases, and of the maps of spectra of the primordial radiation (cosmic microwave background) that still fills the universe.
  • Other than the hydrogen and helium formed at the time of the Big Bang, nuclear fusion within stars produces all atomic nuclei lighter than and including iron, and the process releases electromagnetic energy. Heavier elements are produced when certain massive stars achieve a supernova stage and explode.

This is a table of the Disciplinary Core Ideas of Earth and Space Science. If coming from a Standard the specific bullet point used is highlighted and additional performance Expectations that make use of the Disciplinary Core Idea can be found below the table. To see all Disciplinary Core Ideas, click on the title "Disciplinary Core Ideas."

Other Standards That Use This Disciplinary Core Idea:

Middle School

High School