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Elementary Science Curriculum
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Middle School Science Curriculum
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High School Science Curriculum
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Elementary Science Curriculum Overview

Kindergarten through Third Grade
The science curriculum provides opportunities for students to learn science concepts through hands-on activities. Students learn to observe, compare, collect data, organize and analyze information, and communicate what they have learned. The investigations focus on physical, earth and life science concepts.

Resources

Full Option Science System (FOSS) kits

Topics (kindergarten)

Materials in our World (physical science)

  • How the material interacts with water
  • The properties that make the material easy or difficult to cut
  • Different ways to join the material
  • Comparing the properties of the material to determine its best use

Trees and Weather (life science)

  • Similarities and differences
  • Seasonal changes
  • Size, shape, texture and color of tree leaves
  • Observations

Animals Two by Two (life science)

  • Observe and describe the structures of a variety of common animals
  • Compare structures and behaviors of animals
  • Observe interactions of animals in their surroundings
  • Communicate observations and comparisons

Topics (first grade)

 

Insects (life science)

  • Differences in the life cycle and behavior of insects
  • Organizing and communicating observations

Pebbles, Sand and Silt (earth science)

  • Sorting rocks into groups by properties including color, shape and texture
  • Properties of different rocks
  • Separating and grouping river rocks based on particle size
  • Observing and comparing soil samples from different locations

 

Topics (second grade)

 

Air and Weather (earth science)

  • Observing and recording daily weather data
  • Cloud types
  • Effects of air on other materials such as soap bubbles, propellers and gliders

Plants (life science)

  • Growth of seeds and plant development
  • Development of roots on stems or bulbs
  • Recording and communicating observations in words and drawings

Balance and Motion (physical science)

  • Stable and unstable systems, center of gravity and two classes of motion
  • Observations of balanced systems
  • Making a mobile
  • Observing objects in rotational and linear motion
  • Recording and communicating observations

 

Topics (third grade)

 

Structures of Life (life science)

  • Properties of seeds and fruits, and the structures and behavior of crayfish
  • Sorting and comparing seeds, and investigating the effect of water on seeds over time
  • Comparing crayfish to other animals

Sound and Light (physical science)

  • Sound as a property of a vibrating object
  • How sound waves travel through water, air and solids
  • Comparing the ability of different things to conduct sound
  • How pitch of a sound can be changed
  • How light travels
  • How shadows form and can change

Astronomy (earth science)

  • Daily and seasonal changes in the position of the Sun
  • The pattern of apparent changes in the moon's shape and position
  • Earth is one of several planets that orbit the sun, and that the moon orbits the Earth

 

 

Fourth and Fifth Grades

The curriculum provides opportunities for students to learn science concepts through hands-on activities. Students learn to observe, compare, collect data, organize and analyze information, and communicate what they have learned. The investigations focus on scientific reasoning and engineering design concepts.

Topics (fourth grade)

 

Earth Materials (earth science)

  • Observations about rocks
  • How rock materials separate and settle in water
  • Separating one ingredient from a mixture
  • Sorting objects according to properties, recording and comparing observations

 

Energy and Electromagnetism (physical science)

  • Permanent magnetism, electrical circuits and electromagnetism
  • Interactions of a magnet with different objects and materials
  • The force of attraction between magnets and different objects
  • Testing objects for the ability to conduct electricity
  • Electromagnets
  • Recording and communicating observations and investigations

Water (earth science)

  • Observing and comparing water on a variety of surfaces
  • Observing and describing water as a liquid and as a solid
  • Evaporation and condensation
  • Comparing water samples

 

Topics (fifth grade)

 

Ecosystems (life science)

  • Data from cause and effect experiments and investigations with plants
  • Data from cause and effect experiments and investigations with animals
  • Organisms in an ecosystem have dependent and interdependent relationships.

Soils, Rocks and Landforms (earth science)

  • Using stream tables to investigate the variables that influence erosion and deposition of earth materials, and the subsequent creation of landforms
  • The effects of different amounts of water on erosion
  • The effects of steepness of slope on erosion
  • Maps and models of different land forms

Variables (scientific reasoning)

  • Relationships between independent and dependent variables, and predictions
  • Conducting a controlled experiment using one variable and organizing the data gathered
  • Variables that affect the outcome of an experiment

Simple Machines (physical science)

  • Input and output of forces and motion





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