• Early Childhood Science Content Focus

    Grade Kindergarten Focus:
    In kindergarten, it is important to teach children to see themselves as future scientists and engineers.The science and engineering practices (SEPs) help young children to develop critical thinking skills that promote inquiry. Students should be conducting investigations to answer questions, analyzing data, and communicating information. It is also important to help young children develop and learn about concepts such as patterns and cause-and-effect to connect knowledge across science and other disciplines. These concepts have value to both scientists and engineers because they identify universal properties and processes found in all subject areas. At this age, children should be given occasions to describe events that occur around them, research and assess, and to communicate information through multiple speaking, reading and writing opportunities. Students should also be able to use their voice, have a choice, and be provided occasions to encourage collaboration, communication, and creativity.

    Grade 1 Focus:
    In first grade, students are beginning to understand the world around them and start to wonder more about what is above them such as the sun, moon, and stars. Since many of these objects are untouchable, it is important to provide them with rich active literacy opportunities that help to paint a picture and help to promote inquiry. It is important for students to research, build models such as sundials or moon calendars, and to look for patterns such as those observed with the phases of the moon. Students should begin to see themselves as data analysts as they record, communicate, and explain their findings. Additionally, the students should continue to develop their communication skills through the sharing of informal and formal speaking, listing, and writing opportunities. By exposing students to these types of learning activities, they begin to make connections and to construct their knowledge and understanding of meaning. Students should be provided with many opportunities to become experts through reading, writing, and speaking throughout the scientific process.

    Grade 2 Focus:
    In second grade, students are now beginning to research and communicate more effectively through many reading, writing, and speaking opportunities. Now, they can pose questions, develop models, and to explain or define phenomena. Students should be able to interpret data from multiple sources or to describe specific results of planned investigations. It is important to teach children to justify observations or discoveries made through the scientific process. Students should be able to represent data collection through plot graphs, pictographs, or bar graphs and to explain patterns from observations. Children at this age should be able to obtain and evaluate informational text, observations, or data collected to explain “the why” of certain phenomena. They should be using measurement tools and instruments to support hypotheses, reveal patterns, or to construct meaning. Integrated activities that are planned to produce products of learning are critical and allow for students to show evidence of creativity, innovation, and ingenuity, which are all necessary characteristics of future scientists and engineers.  

    *Information retrieved from the South Carolina Department of Education Science Academic Standards website.