Riverside Drive Charter School Science Program

Goals and Philosophy

Science education is a doorway to developing curiosity, global awareness and critical thinking. RDCS will be an early adopter of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Students’ science knowledge needs to be assessed prior to the 5th grade standardized assessments in order to ensure students are on track to have the science skills they will need in middle school. The engineering components in the Next Generation Science Standards develop key critical thinking and problem solving skills that will serve students in all aspects of life, no matter which career they choose.

Desired Outcomes

Students will become scientifically literate citizens in the 21st century by experiencing a STEAM-based program with hands-on, project-based learning. Students will solve real world problems through investigations and experiments in our Science Lab. Through these investigations and experiments, students will make concrete associations between science and the study of nature which they will explore further in our garden or outdoor science lab. Students will make connections that link science to technology and explore how scientific concepts impact society on a global scale.

2016-17 Activities

  1. Incorporate reading and writing non-fiction texts aligned to NGSS curriculum.
  2. Develop NGSS lesson plans.
  3. Pilot NGSS in some classrooms.

2017-18 Activities

  1. Roll out NGSS in all classrooms.
  2. Pilot Science Interim Assessments in grades 3-5.
  3. Grade 5 participate in LAUSD field test of NGSS standardized tests.

Science Committee

  1. Connect teachers to science content, resources, and professional development opportunities.
  2. Provide teachers with unit planning guides and templates.
  3. Maintain the Science Lab and Garden Labs.
  4. Host the  Annual Science Fair.
  5. Seek science-based funding sources and grants for our school – provide to Grants Committee.
  6. Communicate progress, projects, and proposals to Governance Council.
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