News & Announcements
International Baccalaureate Science Courses and Graduation Requirements
The IB Science Courses and Graduation Requirements document-This is a Word document. is to be used by school counselors and other school leaders in determining the use of International Baccalaureate (IB) science courses to meet standard and advanced diploma requirements. The intent is to clarify language currently in the Standards of Accreditation (SOA) and to answer questions concerning IB coursework. If you have any questions concerning IB courses and graduation requirements, please contact Anne Petersen, Science Coordinator, Office of STEM and Innovation, by email at email@example.com or Sarah Bazemore, School Counseling Specialist/Student Assistance Systems Coordinator, Office of Student Services, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Science Instructional Plans (SIPs)
The Science Instructional Plans are uploaded daily into #GoOpenVA and can easily be accessed through the Science VDOE group. Find lesson plans for each grade level and discipline that were created to engage students as they build science conceptual understanding using the 2018 Science Standards of Learning.
Interested in receiving updates from the VDOE Science Instructional Team? Please register to be included in these bi-weekly updates.
2018 Science Standards of Learning Timeline Delayed (Superintendent’s Memo 131-20-This is a Word document.)
Recognizing that the 2020-2021 school year will present new challenges for school divisions and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the VDOE is delaying the implementation timeline for the 2018 Science Standards of Learning by one year as detailed below.
2020-2021 School Year - Crosswalk between the 2010 Science Standards of Learning and the 2018 Science Standards of Learning
- School divisions incorporate new standards into local curriculum written curricula for inclusion in the taught curricula during the 2021-2022 school year.
2021-2022 School Year - Crosswalk Year
- 2010 Science Standards of Learning and 2018 Science Standards of Learning are included in the written and taught curricula.
- Spring 2022 Standards of Learning assessments measure the 2010 Science Standards of Learning and include field test items measuring the 2018 Science Standards of Learning.
2022-2023 School Year - Full Implementation Year
- Written and taught curricula reflect the 2018 Science Standards of Learning.
- Spring 2023 Standards of Learning assessments measure the 2018 Science Standards of Learning.
School divisions should continue their work to:
- review and align science curricula with the revised standards;
- review current resource materials and correlate them with the revised standards;
- develop new materials where needed; and
- provide staff development for teachers.
VDOE Science Approved Textbook
On September 17, 2020 the Virginia BOE approved the proposed Science Textbook list to support instruction of the 2018 Science Standards of Learning. All books submitted by
publishers underwent two different levels of review to ensure that they accurately reflect the content outlined in the 2018 Science Standards of Learning and to ensure that the books reflect
the rich diversity of Virginia students and communities.
The 2018 Science Standards of Learning reflect the integration of the scientific and engineering practices to support conceptual understanding of science topics. The instruction of these
standards are intended to allow students to see themselves as able to science while engaging in place-based activities and experiments that align to the expectations outlined in the 2018 Science Curriculum Framework. The science textbook list can be found at Science Textbook Review.
The Science Standards of Learning identify academic content for essential components of the science curriculum at different grade levels. Standards are identified for kindergarten through grade six and for a core set of middle and high school courses – life science, physical science, Earth science, biology, chemistry and physics.
In addition to the standards, curriculum frameworks, enhanced scope and sequence guides, test blueprints and released tests, the following K-12 science instructional resources are available.
Science Inquiry from Home
The Science Inquiry from Home resources provides K-5 teachers and parents ideas for providing aligned, hands-on, science learning experiences at their current setting, The documents are aligned to the expectations within the 2018 Science Curriculum Framework and provide experiences using low-cost, widely available materials. All activities conducted at home should be supervised by an adult.
- Kindergarten-This is a Word document.
- First Grade-This is a Word document.
- Second Grade-This is a Word document.
- Third Grade-This is a Word document.
- Fourth Grade-This is a Word document.
- Fifth Grade-This is a Word document.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Learning in Place Science Resources
The Virginia Department of Education’s Science Team has compiled several Learning in Place Science Resources to assist teachers, parents and students during this unprecedented time.
Virginia Standards of Learning – Science Tracking Logs
Virginia Standards of Learning tracking logs for grades Kindergarten through Physics have been developed to assist teachers with determining which standards students have had sufficient exposure and experience with prior to the COVID-19 school closure on March 13, 2020 and to make decisions regarding when and how experience with new standards might occur moving forward. Each log includes space for teachers to check off the standards that had been addressed before March 13 (the initial school closure date), those standards addressed during the closure, and those which have not yet been addressed (by the end of the ‘school year’). In addition, the K-7 Tracking Logs contain links to content in the next grade level in an effort to assist divisions should they choose to fold in the content not taught into the next school year grade or course.
- Kindergarten-This is a Word document.
- Grade 1-This is a Word document.
- Grade 2-This is a Word document.
- Grade 3-This is a Word document.
- Grade 4-This is a Word document.
- Grade 5-This is a Word document.
- Grade 6-This is a Word document.
- Life Science-This is a Word document.
- Physical Science-This is a Word document.
- Biology-This is a Word document.
- Chemistry-This is a Word document.
- Earth Science-This is a Word document.
- Environmental Science-This is a Word document.
- Physics-This is a Word document.
Additional Available VDOE Resources
- VDOE Special Education and Student Services Frequently Asked Questions
- Spring 2020 Guidance on Graduation Requirements, Awarding of Credits, and Continuity of Learning
2018 Science Standards of Learning: Science and Engineering Practices
The Science and Engineering Practices reflected in the 2018 Science Standards of Learning describe behaviors that scientists engage in as they investigate the natural world and the practices that engineers use as they design and build models and systems.
Science utilizes observation and experimentation along with existing scientific knowledge, mathematics, and engineering technologies to answer questions about the natural world. The scientific method, which includes systematic observation, measurement, and experimentation as well as the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses, is used as scientists investigate the natural world.
Engineering employs existing scientific knowledge, mathematics, and technology to create, design, and develop new devices, objects or technology to meet the needs of society. Engineers apply science and mathematics as they engage in the Engineering Design Process.
By utilizing both scientific and engineering practices in the science classroom, students develop a deeper understanding and competences with techniques at the heart of each discipline.
Professional Development Support Videos
In order to support teachers and divisions as they implement the 2018 Science Standards of Learning, professional development opportunities as well as ancillary resources are being created.
The 2018 Science Standards of Learning of Learning Curriculum Framework
Scientific and Engineering Practices in the 2018 Science Standards
Introduction to Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences (MWEEs)
The Engineering Design Process
Third Grade Science Common Rubric
Performance assessment measures subject-matter proficiency, requires students to apply the content and skills they have learned, and should present opportunities for students to demonstrate acquisition of the “Five C’s” – critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration and citizenship – described in the Board of Education’s Profile of a Virginia Graduate.
The Standards of Learning (SOL) for Virginia Public Schools establish expectations of what students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade or course in English, mathematics, science, history/social science and other subjects. The SOL in certain disciplines support Environmental Literacy explicitly and in others implicitly. Environmental Literacy offers connections to the Virginia Standards of Learning, school programs in action, teaching resources, grant programs, and more.
Green Ribbon Schools
The U.S. Department of Education recognizes Green Ribbon Schools where staff, students, officials and communities have worked together to produce energy efficient, sustainable and healthy school environments and to ensure the sustainability and environmental literacy of graduates.
2019 Deeper Learning: Using the 2018 Science Standards of Learning to Support Instruction
The PowerPoints below were generated to support the 2019 Deeper Learning Science training. These resources are available to teachers and divisions to assist in personal and division led professional development.
- General Introduction to the 2018 Science Standards of Learning-This is a PPT presentation.
- Grades 3-5 Presentation-This is a PPT presentation.
- 6th Grade and Earth Science Presentation-This is a PPT presentation.
- Life Science and Biology Presentation-This is a PPT presentation.
- Physical Science, Chemistry, and Physics Presentation-This is a PPT presentation.
Teaching & Learning Resources
- ESS Sample Lesson Plans – Align instruction with the 2010 Science SOL by providing examples of how the knowledge, skills, and processes found in the SOL and curriculum framework can be presented to students in the classroom. Science Instructional Plans to support the 2018 Science Standards of Learning are anticipated to be released in August, 2010.
- Science and Engineering Progression: Kindergarten through 5th grade-This is a Word document. – The Science and Engineering Practices Progression chart identifies grade level expectations for each of the six practices as student progress through elementary school.
- Science Standards of Learning Crosswalk between 2018 and 2010 Standards-This is a Word document.
- Addressing Climate Change Using the Virginia 2018 Science Standards of Learning-This is a Word document. - This document summarizes student performance expectations from the Virginia Standards of Learning Curriculum Framework, and excerpts from the Content Guidelines that pertain to climate change.
- Lessons From the Bay – Activities and projects for grades 3-6 related to protecting and restoring the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The Lessons from the Bay are currently being revised. If you would like the materials before they are posted again, e-mail email@example.com.
- Virginia Animals and their Habitats – A model comprehensive, cross-curricular second-grade unit that addresses 40 grade-two Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) in science, mathematics, English, and history and social science.
- Project PROMISE – Hands-on, problem-based, inquiry-based K-3 science curriculum and related professional development resources.
Middle & High School School
- Virginia BIOSTEM Resources – The Virginia BioSTEM Resources project offers middle and high school educators a range of bioscience and technology resources they can use with their students.
- Energy in Virginia Guide (PDF) – Curriculum guide and supporting materials related to the Grade Six Science Standards of Learning energy standards.
- Virginia Science Activities, Models & Simulations (SAMS) – Activities, models and simulations correlated to the 2010 Science Standards of Learning and Curriculum Framework.
- Using Significant Digits in Chemistry (PDF) – This technical assistance document provides some basic rules for determining significant digits and using significant digits in calculations.
- GreenSTEM@VCU – Lesson plans and videos integrating science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education with a focus on energy and the environment using service-learning techniques for middle school science, mathematics and technology teachers.
- Technology Sparks, Ideas for Teachers: Integrating Technology with the Virginia Standards of Learning (PDF) – Resources and suggestions for incorporating technology into sixth-grade science, life science and physical science.
- VDOE Safety in Science Teaching (2018)-This is a Word document.
- Manuals available from ACS Chemical Science Safety in the classroom include:
- Safety in the Elementary Classroom (Grades K-6)
- Chemical Safety for Teachers and Their Supervisors (Grades 7-12)
- Guidelines and Recommendations for the Teaching of High School Chemistry (Grades K-12)
- Manuals available from OSHA Laboratory Safety Documents include:
- Laboratory Safety Guidance
- Chemical Hygiene Plan Fact Sheet
- Working with Small Animals Quick Facts
- CDC School Chemistry Laboratory Safety Guide
- Manuals available from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries include:
- Wildlife in the Classroom: What is Required to Display Wildlife in the Classroom
- Elementary & Secondary Wildlife Display Reporting Form
- Safety Observation Tool (Word)
- Science Safety Self-Assessment Checklist (Word)
- SOL Practice Items – Practice items provide examples of the new content and increased rigor of the 2010 Science SOL.
- Released SOL Tests – Released SOL tests in all subjects.
- Science SOL Test Blueprints – Much like the blueprint for a building, a test blueprint serves as a guide for test construction. The blueprint indicates the content areas that will be addressed by the test and the number of items that will be included by content area and for the test as a whole. There is a blueprint for each test.
- Ancillary Test Materials – Includes Periodic Table of the Elements
- Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching – The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through 12th-grade mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States.
- Virginia Association of Science Teachers (VAST)
- National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
- Virginia Science Education Leadership Association (VSELA)
- Meaningful Watershed Experience – The 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, signed by Governor Terence McAuliffe on June 16, 2014, commits the Commonwealth to meet the goals and outcomes set forth in the multijurisdictional compact. The education Goal and Outcomes of the Agreement extend to all localities and watersheds of the Commonwealth and the target of environmental literacy for all students by graduation. One goal is to continually increase students’ age-appropriate understanding of the watershed through participation in teacher-supported, meaningful watershed educational experiences and rigorous, inquiry-based instruction, with a target of at least one meaningful watershed educational experience in elementary, middle and high school depending on available resources. These experiences connect standards-based classroom activities with hands-on field investigations. The following resources will assist teachers in meeting this requirement:
- Bay Backpack– Chesapeake Bay watershed-related lesson plans and activities, field studies, and professional development opportunities
- Chesapeake Bay Foundation – SOL-aligned curricula and professional development
- Department of Game and Inland Fisheries – wildlife and fisheries resources for students and teachers
- Science Museum of Virginia – information for planning field trips to the museum
- Science Museum of Western Virginia – educational programs for students and professional development for teachers in grades K-12
- Virginia Department of Forestry – conservation education information for students
- Virginia Living Museum - information on activities in the museum and outreach programs
- Virginia Museum of Natural History – information on professional development opportunities for teachers and resources for students including Virginia Science Standards Institute and Virginia Science Institute for STEM Education information and materials
- Virginia Naturally School Recognition Program – information on the commonwealth's official environmental education school recognition program
- Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom – educational program to increase agricultural literacy in grades K-8
- Science Matters – professional development and networking opportunities from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
- NASA – space-related educational resources for teachers and students
- Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching – information on the highest recognition that a K-12 mathematics or science teacher may receive
- Virginia Junior Academy of Science – information for programs and competitions for the advancement of science in grades 7-12