Our District recently purchased a new set of curricular materials for all teachers in grades Pre-Kindergarten through eight to focus on the teaching of science. All science units are aligned to the NextGen Science Standards (PDF opens in new window). District 65 believes that a high-quality, robust science education means students will develop an in-depth understanding of content and will gain knowledge and develop skills that will serve them throughout their lives. The content and structure of our science program allows teachers to effectively, move their practice toward how students learn best—in a hands-on, collaborative, and integrated environment rooted in inquiry and discovery.
While early grades focus on science exploration (motion and stability, forces and interactions, Earth’s systems, matter, and ecosystems) later on in elementary school, students begin to focus on more complex areas of science including hereditary traits, energy, engineering, and design. Our students at the elementary school use materials from Foss Scientific.
Our students in middle school see an expansion on these themes and, thanks to a grant from our Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), all students in middle school experience at least 18 weeks of a Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math Lab rotation where the focus is on creating and applying what they have learned in their other classes. The STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) course is designed to allow students to explore a variety of engagements from Robotics to Sound Engineering to Animation to Circuitry. Students work in pairs to draft a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-based) goal for each engagement that they will focus on and then present results to the rest of the class.
Our students at the middle school use the curricular materials from the IQWST program (link opens in new window).