This study provides hypothesized explanations for local item dependence (LID) in a large scale hands-on science performance assessment. Items within multi-step item clusters were classified as low or high in LID using contextual analysis procedures described in this and other studies. LID was identified statistically using the average within cluster (AWC) correlation procedure described in previous studies. Levels of LID identified in contextual analyses were compared to levels of LlD identified in correlation analyses. Consistent with other studies, items that appear to elicit locally dependent responses require examinees to answer and explain their answer or to use given or generated information to respond