Crosscutting Concept: Cause and Effect

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by akwatkins
Last updated 5 years ago

Earth Sciences

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Crosscutting Concept: Cause and Effect

Crosscutting Concept:Cause and Effect

It is innate in people to ask why. Therefore, determining and explaining cause and effect relationships is a large component of inquiry. Scientists observe effects and experiment to determine the cause. They seek to determine causation and give evidence. Engineers seek to design technologies that have a specified cause that produces a desired effect.

Physical ScienceBurning paper, as seen in the video, is a chemical change. This chemical change is caused by heat (a flame) and results in an irreversible change. The effect of the heat on the paper is ashes.

Life ScienceIn the water cycle, evaporation must occur to allow for condensation. Evaporation is caused by heating up bodies of water. This causes liquid water to become water vapor, which becomes what we see as clouds.

Space ScienceThe distance of stars from the Earth causes use to see the stars as dim and bright. The effect of the distance is the brightness of the stars. The sun is brighter than the stars we see because it is closer to Earth.

Earth ScienceThe study of tectonic plates reveals many cause and effect relationships. When Earth's plates shift and move, they cause earthquakes. The effects of this can be the destruction of cities as well as the creation of mountains and cracks in Earth's surface.

Rules of Forces and Motion ActivityIn this activity, students will explore what causes changes in motion. Students participate in hands on activities that allow them to engage with the content and explore how friction, speed, and force affect motion using small toy cars and a myriad of stacking materials.

Science and EngineeringEngineers begin to design new technologies because they want to control a cause and the effects of that cause. For example, engineers design new bridges using designs that cause a desired effect. Some of the designs are shown in the picture to the left.

ReferencesBozeman Science. (2013). Concept 2 - Cause and effect. Retreived from image retrieved from Road image retrieved from Generation Science Standards. (2013). Appendix G - Crosscutting concepts. Retrieved from Burning video retrieved from image retrived from Cycle image retrieved from

Relationships: All of the concepts of the NGSS fit together to form a connected whole. Each of the Disciplinary Core Ideas relates to the crosscutting concept of cause and effect as shown on this glog. Cause and Effect plays a role in every area of science including Science and Engineering, which looks at cause and effect as a way to design something new to help solve a problem.

Glog by Amelia Watkins


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