STEM School Highlands Ranch

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Elementary Curriculum » Science and Engineering

Science and Engineering

Science and engineering curriculum focuses on incorporating real world and relevant experiences through a 5 E Inquiry Model of Instruction (BSCS, 2006). Curricular decisions are based on the Colorado Academic Standards (CDE, 2009), Core Knowledge (Core Knowledge Foundation, 2010) framework, and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States, 2013). Science curriculum also provides opportunities to do the work of scientists and engineers by applying science and engineering practices within appropriate content.

The following science and engineering practices will be embedded throughout K-5 curriculum:

  • Asking Questions
  • Developing and Using Models
  • Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
  • Analyzing and Interpreting Data
  • Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
  • Constructing Explanations
  • Engaging in Argument
  • Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

Science and engineering curriculum is also enhanced through partnerships within the community that enrich students with the real world work of scientists and engineers. Students will experience authentic science and engineering through field excursions, webinars and collecting scientific data that contributes to the scientific community (GLOBE, Bud Burst, Journey North, GO3, Roots and Shoots).  Students will present their solutions to scientific problems to adult audiences for feedback.

Engineering will be implemented as an integration of literacy,  science and math content.  Within the classroom, students will develop an understanding of engineering careers through Engineering Is Elementary curriculum (Boston Museum of Science). Literacy is embedded within each unit through a problem solving approach.  

All students will also be provided opportunities to learn the Engineering Design Process (Tufts University, 2002) through coding and early programming using Lego curriculum.  Students will solve problems through designing their own solution, creating their own stories, and testing their design ideas. Story Starters, WeDo robotics kits and EV3 Mindstorms robotics kits will be resources used to teach these skills.