Science is a way of understanding the physical universe by using observation and experimentation to explain natural phenomena. The main science disciplines of biology, chemistry, physics, earth and space science provides a basis for students to study scientific concepts and to provide opportunities to practice their science skills and knowledge to help to obtain careers in science and engineering.
Scientific concepts that are integrated across the courses and grade levels are; patterns, cause and effect, scale, proportion, and quantity, systems and system models, energy and matter: flows, cycles, and conservation, structure and function, and stability and change. These concepts are not taught in isolation but reinforced in the context of instruction within the core science content for each grade level or course.
In addition to the academic standards, each grade level explicitly identifies Science and Engineering Practice standards, with indicators that are differentiated across grade levels and core areas. Teachers use the science and engineering skills and knowledge simultaneously with the lesson, not in isolation, but as a teaching tool to present the lesson. The science and engineering practices are: ask questions and define problems, develop and use models, plan and conduct investigations, analyze and interpret data, use mathematical and computational thinking, construct explanations and design solutions, engage in scientific argument from evidence, obtain, evaluate, and communicate information.
In kindergarten through grade two, the standards and performance indicators for the science and engineering practices and core science content emphasize students making observations and explanations about phenomena they can directly explore and investigate. Student experiences are structured to allow the students to begin to learn the features of a scientific investigation and engage in the practices of science and engineering.
In grades three through five, the standards and performance indicators for the science and engineering practices and core science content emphasize students becoming more sophisticated in describing, representing or explaining concepts or ideas. Students use their experiences from structured investigations in kindergarten through grade two to begin planning their own investigations to answer scientific questions.
In grades six through eight, the standards and performance indicators for the science and engineering practices and core science content, transition students to developing and planning controlled investigations to create more explicit and detailed models and explanations.
In grades nine through twelve, the standards and performance indicators for the science and engineering practices and core science content for the high school courses transition students to developing more abstract models and explanations to understand concepts in greater detail and sophistication as they build from experiences in kindergarten through grade eight.
These courses should not only serve as the foundation for advanced studies at the secondary level and in institutions of higher education but should also provide students with the science skills that are necessary for informed decision making regarding scientific societal questions and to lay the foundation for skills necessary for science related technical careers.
The science standards and performance indicators for grades three through eight will be used as the basis for the development and/or refinement of questions on the South Carolina Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (SC-PASS) in science. The SC-PASS exam will be given to Grade 4, Grade 6, and Grade 8 students. The SC-PASS is based on the broad standards that address the life, earth, and physical science core content at each grade level. Test questions will measure the practice and/or the core content each performance indicator. The high school course standards and performance indicators for Biology 1 will be used as the basis for the state-required End-of-Course Examination Program (EOCEP) for Biology 1.
Science teacher, student and camp videos: