Science at Mastery
All students have opportunities to make sense of science content through collaborative analysis, reasoning, and application in a hands-on inquiry based model. Students feel empowered to succeed in Science because they see the relevance of science topics in their life through connections to prior experiences and real-world phenomena.
Science & 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… engaging in scientific investigation requires not only skill but also knowledge that is specific to each practice. Part of the NRC’s intent is to better explain and extend what is meant by “inquiry” in science and the range of cognitive, social, and physical practices that it requires.
The eight Science and Engineering Practices are:
- Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
- Developing and using models
- Planning and carrying out investigations
- Analyzing and interpreting data
- Using mathematics and computational thinking
- Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
- Engaging in argument from evidence
- Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
Science Courses At-a-Glance
The goal of science instruction at Mastery is to provide students with experiences that help them understand the world and how it works. This is achieved through an intentional sequencing of content in the life, physical and earth and space sciences that moves from the concrete to the abstract so that students build accurate mental pictures of concepts and are able to use those concepts to solve novel and interesting problems.
- 45 minutes (grades 3-6) or 50 minutes (grades 7-8) of daily science instruction
FOSS (Full Option Science System)
The FOSS Program bridges research and practice by providing tools and strategies to engage students and teachers in enduring experiences that lead to deeper understanding of the natural and designed worlds. Students are driven to deeper understanding of science concepts by following the inquiry based, investigation driven FOSS curriculum. FOSS is an inquiry- driven science program in which students are engaged in hands-on investigations. Each year, students engage in units focused on physical science, earth and space science and life science.
- 50 minutes of daily science instruction
Standard textbook and Inquiry Lessons
9th – Environmental Science
11th – Chemistry
12th – Physics
The high school science program focuses on using the research-based instructional practice of inquiry through the 5 E cycle – Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate. This process ensures students have an opportunity to engage with content and concepts to build their
understanding in a manner that is deep and lasting. The teacher facilitates lessons and helps students tackle challenging content through
strategically selected activities and experiences.
* Note: All schools do not offer science in grades K-2, 5 and 7
In early elementary science, the focus is on providing students with an opportunity to explore the world around them using their eyes, ears, hands, feet and sometimes tongues (special circumstances only). Students learn to make observations of the physical world and to see patterns in those observations.
In upper elementary and middle grades science we build on their understanding of the physical world and begin to help them understand those science principles that govern what we see, touch, hear and smell.
In high school science courses students continue to build their knowledge and understanding by developing, analyzing and explaining how what we see in the physical world is connected to those things we can’t see that are microscopic and even smaller or are too vast for us picture.