Flows, Cycles, and Conservation TEKS


5.E Identify forms of energy and properties of matter


5.E Investigate the flow of energy and cycling of matter through systems


5.E Investigate how energy flows and matter cycles through systems and how matter is conserved


5.E Analyze and explain how energy flows and matter cycles through systems and how energy and matter are conserved through a variety of systems

The concept of Flows, Cycles, and Conservation is a crosscutting scientific principle that helps explain the movement and transformation of matter and energy in various systems. It encompasses the understanding of how substances, information, and energy flow through different processes, undergo cyclic patterns, and adhere to principles of conservation.


- refer to the movement of matter, energy, or information from one place to another or within a system. Flows can occur at different scales, from the microscopic level of particles to the global scale of Earth's systems. Examples of flows include the movement of water in rivers, the transfer of energy through electrical circuits, or the transmission of information in communication networks.


- refer to the recurring patterns or sequences of events that involve the continuous transformation and movement of matter, energy, or information. Cycles often involve feedback loops, where outputs from one part of the cycle become inputs for another part. Cycles can be found in natural systems, human activities, and various scientific domains.


- refers to the principle that certain properties, quantities, or values remain constant or are preserved throughout various processes or interactions. Conservation laws apply to different aspects, such as mass, energy, momentum, angular momentum, and charge. These conservation principles help scientists understand the fundamental properties and behaviors of systems.

Understanding flows, cycles, and conservation is essential in various scientific disciplines, including ecology, physics, chemistry, geology, and systems thinking. It helps scientists analyze and model systems, make predictions, and develop sustainable practices. By recognizing the patterns and principles governing the movement and transformation of matter, energy, and information, scientists can gain insights into the functioning of natural and human-made systems.

Cause and Effect

Flows, Cycles, and Conservation


Scale, Proportion, and Quantity

Stability and Change

Structure and Function


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