Science Curriculum

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Colonial’s Philosophy of Science Instruction:

The science program in Colonial School District consists of a diverse, comprehensive, K-12 curriculum that is enhanced at every grade level with inquiry-based exploration. Students engage in investigations of the natural world through science instruction from kindergarten through high school. As a member of the Delaware Science Coalition, students receive instruction in physical science, life science, earth/space science, and engineering through the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The NGSS, adopted by Delaware in September 2013, incorporates a three-dimensional approach to challenge all students at every grade level to create a deep understanding of the world, the universe, and living things. Through the NGSS, Colonial’s science educators prepare students for a post-graduation experience in which they can participate fully in a global workforce.

How Does your Child Learn Science?

Colonial’s philosophy of science instruction coincides with the NGSS expectations for science instruction.
Our program supports 3-Dimensional Learning. The three important dimensions to learning science include: 

Scientific and Engineering Practices

The practices describe behaviors that scientists engage in as they investigate and build models and theories about the natural world and the key set of engineering practices that engineers use as they design and build models and systems.

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css crosscutting concepts

Crosscutting Concepts

Crosscutting concepts have application across all domains of science. As such, they are a way of linking the different domains of science. They include patterns; cause and effect; scale, proportion, and quantity; systems and system models; energy and matter; structure and function; and stability and change.

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Disciplinary Core Ideas

Disciplinary core ideas have the power to focus K–12 science curriculum, instruction, and assessments on the most important aspects of science. These ideas are grouped in four domains: the physical sciences; the life sciences; the earth and space sciences; and engineering, technology and applications of science. 

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All science instruction is interconnected with the dimensions. To prepare students for success in college and careers, instruction connects scientific principles to real world situations.

All three dimensions create a coherent learning experience: The NGSS provides students with opportunities to engage in and develop a deeper understanding of each of the three dimensions of science. Students have multiple opportunities from elementary through high school to revisit and expand their understanding of each dimension by the end of high school.

Overview of Colonial’s K-12 Science Program

For additional information, the Link to The Next Generation Science Standards by Topic:

The goal of Colonial School District’s Pre-K -12 science program is for all students to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to be literate in science, technology, and engineering. This will allow them the necessary tools to think critically, solve problems, and communicate effectively which are all essential to becoming informed citizens. Students appreciate the importance of science as they learn how society addresses challenging issues and solutions to those issues.

Elementary School: 

We believe that the foundation of science learning happens in elementary school, at home, and in our communities.
Colonial School District believes that a science education is essential to provide a foundation of learning in the later grades and instill a wonder of and enthusiasm for science that lasts a lifetime. Our science program also addresses the critical needs for a well-informed citizenry so that students can make informed choices in society.   As such, our elementary science program supports an academic program that develops scientific literacy in the following ways:

  • Creating an environment where children have opportunities to investigate and develop curiosity about the world around them;
  • Engaging in practices of science, engineering, and mathematics through real-world applications and explore topics of interest; and
  • Providing students with the opportunity to become “citizen scientists” where they observe phenomena, engage in problem solving, and provide explanations of their thinking; 
  • Assuming the role of “citizen scientists”; children plan and carry out investigations, solve problems, create models, analyze data, and design solutions; and  
  • Identifying opportunities to extend learning science into our communities so that students have the opportunity to explore their surroundings and appreciate their local culture and environment.

Middle School: 

Colonial’s middle school science continues the foundation for scientific literacy at the elementary level and further engages students in the exploration of both the concepts and practices of science and engineering. Throughout each middle school science program, students learn how topics in Earth Science, Life Science, Physical Science, and Engineering are interconnected. Instruction is three-dimensional and encourages students to use science and enginnering practices and crosscutting concepts to investigate the disciplinary core ideas

Colonial’s middle school science program supports an academic program that supports scientific literacy in the following ways:

  • Creating a safe environment to engage in science and engineering practices in the classroom and in the laboratory;
  • Creating a scientific mindset about the nature of science and promote engineering and technological literacy; and
  • Encouraging critical thinking and communication skills to share ideas and results;
    Connecting the classroom and community to enhance student understanding of their environment and local culture; and
  • Providing students with real-world applications and experiences where they can explain and investigate phenomena, create models, and design solutions to complex problems.

An overview of each grade level curriculum, program objectives, and standards are listed here:

    High School

    Colonial’s high school science program connects prior learning in our elementary and middle school programs and provides opportunities to explore scientific concepts and phenomena in a deeper way.
    Students develop a scientific mindset where they investigate, design, explain phenomena, create models, and design solutions to complex problems. As our students prepare for college and career readiness, science instruction promotes real-world problem solving through scientific investigation and supports independent and logical thinking by students in the Colonial community.
    To achieve our goal of preparing students for their role as global citizens, students learn to connect the science classroom to the community through real-life experiences and career partnerships. Colonial’s vision is to provide an intellectually stimulating environment where students develop the skills and dispositions for:

    • making healthy decisions for themselves and their families;
    • contributing to their community in positive ways; and
    • thinking critically and acting responsibly as citizens; and
    • Creating a safe environment for students to engage in science and engineering practices

    Requirements for graduation have been established by the State of Delaware. Students must complete 3 credits in Science, with a course in Biology as one of the science credits. William Penn’s degree programs offer the opportunity to participate in several additional science electives as part of their overall educational experience. Please consult the William Penn 2020-2021 Course Guide for a description of program requirements

    Learn more about our core subject areas

    Our Team

    Sherri Clark

    Sherri Clark

    Director of Curriculum and Instruction

    Dr. Crystal Lancour

    Dr. Crystal Lancour

    Supervisor of K-12 Mathematics & World Language

    Dr. Nick Baker

    Dr. Nick Baker

    Supervisor of K-12 Science and Social Studies

    Katie Gutowski

    Katie Gutowski

    Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction: K-12 English Language Arts

    Schalea Sanders

    Schalea Sanders

    EL, Immersion and world language Specialist

    Tom Gavin

    Tom Gavin

    Supervisor of Instructional Technology & Libraries