SCIENCE

FOSTERING CURIOSITY ABOUT THE
NATURAL WORLD

Science education can help foster a student’s curiosity about the natural world and build their enthusiasm for investigation, observation and problem-solving. VPS students will use the same practices as scientists and engineers to develop solutions to real-world problems. Student scientists ask questions and define problems; develop and use models; plan and carry out investigations; analyze and interpret data; use math and computational thinking; construct explanations and design solutions; use evidence; and obtain, evaluate and communicate information.

Contact

Gil Luna
Science curriculum specialist
360-313-1020
Email

OVERVIEW

SCIENCE LESSONS

Elementary

Kindergarten

  • Comparing and measuring objects: Using standard and nonstandard measurements.

  • Butterfly life cycle: Identifying survival patterns of plants and animals. Designing solutions to problems by mimicking plants and animals.

First grade

  • Organisms: Determining the basic needs of living things and recognizing their similarities and differences.

  • Solids and liquids: Identifying different states of matter and investigating floating, sinking, magnetism and fluidity.

  • Weather: Using scientific tools for measuring weather and recording data to make predictions.

Second grade

  • Soils: The relationship between soils and plant growth and how matter and energy can flow in soil.

  • Changes: Categorizing states of matter by their properties and recognizing phase changes of matter.

  • Balancing and weighing: Cause and effect relationships. Graphing mass and volume data.

Third grade

  • Plant growth and development: Learning about the relationship between light, soil and water. Learning about scientific drawing and data organization.

  • Sound: Mechanics of sound and how a human ear functions. Designing musical instruments.

  • Rocks and minerals: Minerals and rock identification. Obtaining and evaluating evidence.

Fourth grade

  • Land and water: How water shapes the land. Planning and creating water land models to predict effects and observe patterns.

  • Food chemistry: How good health is related to nutrition. Making predictions, conducting experiments and communicating information.

  • Electrical circuits: Understanding the uses and properties of conductors and insulators. Creating a wiring plan and wiring circuits.

Fifth grade

  • Human impact on Earth’s systems: The role that water plays on our Earth and steps that can be taken to conserve it.

  • Matter and energy flow in ecosystems: Designing a self-sustaining garden that would provide enough food for the community.

Middle school

Earth and space science

  • Earth and the solar system: Space objects in the universe and how they move in relation to one another.

  • History of Earth: Clues that can tell us about a planet’s past and help us predict its future.

  • Earth’s materials, systems and natural hazards: What past geoscience processes tell us about Earth’s materials and natural hazards.

  • Role of water in the Earth’s surface and weather and climate: How interactions of the air, ocean and land can be used to predict the formation and movement of a hurricane.

  • Natural resources and human impacts on Earth systems: Ways that the use of natural resources like petroleum impacts the environment.

Life science

  • Structure, function and information processing: How an organism survives in an unfamiliar environment.

  • Growth and development of organisms: Ways that we can promote the healthy growth and development of plants and animals.

  • Interdependent relationships in ecosystems: Effect of changes in ecosystems on relationships among organisms in an area.

  • Inheritance and variation of traits: How mutations can affect future offspring.

  • Evidence of common ancestry and diversity: Evidence that organisms existed millions of years ago.

  • Changes in organisms over time: How organisms can be bred for specific purposes.

Physical science

  • Chemical reactions: How chemical reactions can be used to describe the law of conservation of mass.

  • Structure and properties of matter: Ways that the transfer of thermal energy affects different types of matter.

  • Forces and motion: How forces impact motion in our daily lives.

  • Potential and kinetic energy: How kinetic and potential energy interact in a system.

  • Energy transfer in temperature: Maximizing thermal energy transfer in a system.

  • Waves and their application in technologies and information transfer: How different types of waves are used in technology and communication applications.

High school

Ninth grade

  • Environmental science

  • Biology

  • Honors biology

  • Natural resources conservation

  • Advanced Placement computer science

Tenth grade

  • Chemistry

  • Honors chemistry

  • Advanced horticulture

  • Advanced natural resources conservation

  • Zoology

  • Physics

  • Advanced Placement environmental science

  • Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate physics

  • International Baccalaureate computer science

Eleventh and 12th grades

  • Human anatomy and physiology

  • Planetary and space science

  • Astronomy

  • Oceanography

  • Planting the seeds

  • Science and global issues

  • Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate biology

  • Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate chemistry

  • Advanced Placement physics

STANDARDS

Washington state science learning standards
Washington state comprehensive assessment of science