The scientific method is the foundation of the overall curricular approach and is woven within the study of science, engineering, and technology. Through inquiry-based instructional practices, students are guided to generate questions that can be answered through investigation. By continuously asking deeper questions about their observations and the
information they find along their exploration, students expand their curiosity and re-examine their initial conceptions.
Teachers facilitate conceptual understanding of increasingly complex ideas by solving problems within a demonstration, experiment, or challenge. Moreover, the scientific understandings are connected to students’ interests and life experiences to engage the learners and reveal the relevance of scientific knowledge. By focusing on core ideas in science and engineering, the students have more time to explore each idea in greater depth. Understanding of these core ideas occurs over multiple grades at increasing levels of sophistication.
Curricular themes and essential questions are designed to inspire the budding scientists and engineers to ask questions, generate predictions, explore individually and as a group, make observations, and conduct research. Hands-on experiments and labs offer opportunities for further investigation. Science fairs, expositions, and research projects further enhance understanding by encouraging students to draw on their passions and become experts in areas of interest. The program objectives are to instill dexterity in asking questions; obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information; planning and executing investigations; developing and using models; analyzing and interpreting data; engaging in argument from evidence; and constructing explanations and designing solutions.
Disciplinary ideas are organized into four domains:
● Physical Sciences
● Life Sciences
● Earth Sciences
● Investigation and Experimentation
Fundamental, all-encompassing standards include:
● Students ask questions and conduct investigations using
appropriate tools and techniques to gather data.
● Students think critically and logically on the relationships
between evidence and explanations.
● Students construct and analyze alternative explanations and
communicate scientific arguments.
● Students understand the connection between and among the three main disciplines of science (Physical, Life, and Earth Sciences.