Students in the third grade study a variety of topics and engage in learning experiences that help to prepare them to become life-long learners. Additionally, the goals, curriculum and support materials for third grade science provides students with a foundation for becoming our future scientist and engineers. Third grade students explore a variety of topics such as changes in matter, types of rocks, electricity and the characteristics of various environments. Essential to this exploration, is the effective integration of the Science and Engineering Practices along with the Cross Cutting Concepts and our content standards. This three-dimensional approach to learning science ensures that students develop conceptual understandings about the content and are able to demonstrate that understanding as well. The Science and Engineering Practices are student performance expectations and the Cross Cutting Concepts are described as those concepts that are common across grade levels and content. Since literacy effects all aspects of our everyday lives, science students are expected to read, write and speak scientifically on a daily basis. As a result, they will experience increased levels of success and achievement. It is imperative that students are exposed to daily learning experiences that are intentional, rigorous, engaging and relevant.
Fourth grade students explore a variety of topics and science concepts as they work towards exemplifying the Profile of the SC Graduate and becoming the scientist and engineers of tomorrow. The fourth grade content standards and curriculum engages students in many hands-on, collaborative and problem solving learning experiences. Throughout the year students will be exposed to information on topics such as severe weather phenomena, constellations, light refraction and invertebrates to name a few. Students plan and carry out investigations in order to get a deeper understanding of science content. They work to explore and understand the world around them through authentic and relevant experiences. Additionally, fourth grade students continue to build on their conceptual understanding as they engage in the Science and Engineering Practices and Identify the Cross Cutting Concepts in each learning experience. Students perform a number of task such as collecting and analyzing data, planning and carrying out investigations and communicating information through reading, writing and speaking scientifically. They should be exposed to multiple representations of the content and be engaged using a variety of instructional strategies, approaches and resources. It is imperative that students are exposed to daily learning experiences that are intentional, rigorous, engaging and relevant.
Fifth graders work to extend their knowledge and skills as they prepare to demonstrate their understanding and mastery of content on the secondary level. They model many of the attitudes and behaviors of the scientist and engineers that they aspire to become. They work to apply a lot of the knowledge and skills that they have acquired over their elementary years. Also, they continue to grow in their science knowledge and skills as they learn new content. Fifth grade students explore such topics as filtration, erosion, ecosystems and unbalanced forces. As students learn about these concepts, they utilize The Science and Engineering Practices along with identifying Cross Cutting Concepts. This three-dimensional approach to learning science ensures that students develop conceptual understandings about the content and are able to demonstrate that understanding as well. Students should be exposed to many different opportunities that allow them to work collaboratively, engage in accountable talk, collect and analyze data, carry out investigations, make connections to the real world and provide evidence for various scientific claims. They should be given multiple opportunities to experience the content and to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. Additionally, they should engage in researching various topics, reading, writing and communicating their findings on a daily basis. Since children learn science best by doing, they should be given opportunities for regular hands-on exploration. Lastly, students should be made aware of the many different careers in the STEM fields and given opportunities to practice the various skills associated with those careers.