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STAAR Science Grade 8 2014 - Past Paper

Quiz by Texas Education Agency

Grade 8
Science (2017)
Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)

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Measures 16 skills from
Grade 8
Science (2017)
Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)


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54 questions
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  • Q1
    A student lets a toy car roll four times down a ramp that is 1 m long. Each time the student covers the surface of the ramp with a different material. The student measures the time it takes the car to roll down the ramp and records the results in the table below. Which of these would be the best conclusion based on the data in the table?
    Question Image
    Different surfaces affect how fast a toy car accelerates.
    Air resistance is the greatest factor in limiting the acceleration of different toy cars.
    Different toy cars travel at different speeds.
    Gravity has little effect on the speed of toy cars on different surfaces.
  • Q2
    The diagram below models Mercury and Venus orbiting the sun. What force causes Venus to travel along a curved path instead of moving in a straight line as indicated by the dashed line in the diagram?
    Question Image
    Electromagnetic attraction between Mercury and Venus
    Gravitational attraction between the sun and Venus
    Gravitational attraction between Mercury and Venus
    Electromagnetic attraction between the sun and Venus
  • Q3
    Before the Industrial Revolution in England, the peppered moth was commonly found on tree trunks that had light-colored lichen on the bark. Most of the peppered moths were a light gray-brown color similar to that of the lichen. A few of the moths had a mutation that made them a dark gray-brown color During the Industrial Revolution, coal-burning factories produced black soot that covered the trees and killed the lichen in and near cities. In these areas the number of dark peppered moths increased, while the number of light peppered moths decreased. What contributed to this change?
    Question Image
    The dark moths preyed on the light moths.
    The soot-covered trees camouflaged the dark moths.
    Bird populations increased in the areas near the factories.
    The dark moths laid fewer eggs than the light moths.
  • Q4
    Four students were asked to classify the activities of the people in the picture below as examples of either potential or kinetic energy. Which student correctly classified the activities?
    Question Image
  • Q5
    The Prairies Region and the Cross Timbers are located in north-central Texas. The graph below shows information about eating habits of white-tailed deer in these regions. A Cross Timbers rancher is concerned about competition between the ranch animals and the deer. Based on the graph, which ranch animals compete for the most food with white-tailed deer?
    Question Image
    Turkeys that eat seeds and fruit
    Hogs that eat fruit, seeds, and feed
    Goats that eat weeds and shrubs
    Cattle that eat grass and feed
  • Q6
    Many processes occur in the digestive system. Which process is best classified as a physical change?
    Teeth grinding an almond into smaller pieces in the mouth
    Saliva converting the starch molecules in crackers into simple sugars
    Bacteria converting lactose into simple sugars in the intestines
    Digestive enzymes breaking down proteins into smaller fragments
  • Q7
    When Charles Darwin visited the Galápagos Islands in the 1800s, he observed many types of organisms that were similar but lived on different islands. The four species of mockingbirds found on the Galápagos Islands are shown below. Each species lives on a different island. These species are very similar, but the Hood mockingbird has a longer beak than the other three species. Which of the following best explains this difference?
    Question Image
    The Hood mockingbird’s longer beak is an adaptation to the food available in the bird’s habitat.
    The Hood mockingbird needs a longer beak for defense against predators.
    The Hood mockingbird’s beak stretched to reach its food, and the longer beak was passed down to its offspring.
    The Hood mockingbird originated from a different type of bird than the other species.
  • Q8
    A Hertzsprung-Russell diagram is shown below. Based on this diagram, which type of stars would belong to spectral class M and have the highest luminosity?
    Question Image
    Main-sequence stars
    White dwarfs
  • Q9
    When a lion eats a zebra and then uses the energy from the zebra to run, the lion’s body converts —
    chemical energy to mechanical energy
    chemical energy to light energy
    mechanical energy to chemical energy
    electrical energy to chemical energy
  • Q10
    Some students in a chemistry lab conducted an investigation in which they added four different solid substances to separate beakers of water. They stirred the mixtures for one minute and then recorded their observations in the table below. Which substance most likely caused a new substance to be formed when mixed with water?
    Question Image
    Substance 2
    Substance 1
    Substance 3
    Substance 4
  • Q11
    Which of these correctly describes a relationship between organisms in the soil food web below?
    Question Image
    Protozoa get nutrients from small arthropods.
    Nematodes prey on arthropods.
    Bacteria get nutrients from organic matter.
    Mammals are predators of birds.
  • Q12
    Scientists recently discovered that rocks collected from the Franklin Mountains in West Texas and rocks collected from mountains in eastern Antarctica were exactly the same age. Further research showed that the rocks were chemically and geologically the same and came from the same magma source. This discovery provides evidence of —
    glacial melting
    ocean currents
    coastal erosion
    plate tectonics
  • Q13
    Galveston Bay, an estuary in Southeast Texas, is shown below. The amount of salt in the water changes with the tides. Sometimes the water is mostly freshwater, and sometimes it is mixed with saltwater. Various plant species live in this environment and provide a habitat for other organisms. To successfully live in an estuary, a plant species must have an adaptation that allows it to —
    Question Image
    absorb large amounts of water
    store excess gases
    filter excess salt
    produce large amounts of food
  • Q14
    The flow of energy in some Australian food chains is modeled in the energy pyramid below. Based on the model, which consumers would receive the greatest amount of energy captured by the producers in their food chains?
    Question Image
    Wedge-tailed eagles
    Eucalyptus trees
    Ring-tailed opossums
  • Q15
    The satellite image below shows a ship channel between South Padre Island and Boca Chica beach in South Texas. Sand is sometimes removed from the ship channel through a process called dredging to make it easier for ships to travel through. Recently sand from the bottom of the channel was moved to area beaches. Without this transfer of sand, what would most likely occur in this area in the future?
    Question Image
    The ship channel would become narrower, and the island would become completely covered with water.
    The ship channel would become wider, and the island would sink into the Gulf of Mexico.
    The ship channel would become shallower, and the beach would become narrower.
    The ship channel would become deeper, and the island would move west toward the mainland.

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