Science

in Elementary School

Disciplinary Core Ideas and Performance Expectations

Core ideas are directly related to the curriculum students study from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Teachers are expected to apply these ideas to their instruction. They should include at least two and up to four of the following aspects to be considered core ideas:

-Have broad importance across multiple sciences or engineering domains or be a key organizing concept of a single discipline

-Provide a key tool for understanding or investigating more complex ideas and solving problems

-Relate to the interests and life experiences of students or be connected to societal or personal concerns that require scientific or technological knowledge

-Be teachable and learnable over multiple grades at increasing levels of depth and sophistication

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Crosscutting Concepts

The seven crosscutting concepts link all domains of science and engineering. These include:

Patterns - Items that occur in the same sequence multiple times

Cause and effect - If I do X then Y happens

Scale, proportion, and quantity - If a double the amount of materials, the result is doubled as well

Systems and system models - within an area, the items that work together to make the processes successful

Energy and matter: Flows, cycles, and conservation - tracking the matter in and out of a system and how it is affected

Structure and Function - the relationship between how something is built and how it works

Stability and change - how a system works and the aspects that keep it from falling apart

Science and Engineering Practices

The science and engineering practices defined by the Next Generation Science Standards should be used in science and engineering curriculum of students from kindergarten through twelfth grade.


1. Ask questions and define problems - Determine what you want to investigate and devise a question.

2. Develop and use models - Make an educated guess about the answer to your question

3. Plan and carry out investigations - Perform an experiment that attempts to answer your question

4. Analyze and interpret data - Look at the results of your experiment and decide what the results are telling you

5. Use mathematics and computational thinking - Look for patterns in your results

6. Construct explanations and design solutions - Put together an answer to your question based on what you learned

7. Engage in argument from evidence - Discuss the strengths and weaknesses in your results with your peers

8. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information - Gather and present your findings to others