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Elementary Science

Program Philosophy

The Howard County Public School System’s Elementary Science Curriculum for PreK through fifth grade is consistent with and in full support of the Maryland State Science Curriculum and the Next Generation Science Standards. It reflects the intellectual rigor of scientific inquiry as well as the attitudes and social values conducive to preparing a scientific literate populace to meet the 21st Century. Effective student-centered science embodies an approach to learning that engages students physically and mentally in an inquiry-based science and engineering program.

The actual doing of science and engineering piques student curiosity, captures their interest, and motivates their continued study. By using students’ perceptions of the world around them, our program provides opportunities to expand, change, enhance, and modify the ways in which they view the world. Teachers promote and value students’ thinking, curiosity, and questioning. Students are empowered with personal skills that they use to express and share points-of-view, solve problems, and make decisions. Whether involved in science investigations, or the Engineering Design Process, students engage in manipulating materials and making observations, seeking answers to their questions, solving problems, and explaining their ideas based on evidence. Throughout every unit, students reflect regularly on what they have done, the problems they have met, and how they have developed solutions.

Children are born investigators, studying, thinking, and building internal models of the world around them. Science is an extension of this natural curiosity to systematic investigation of the material world and the development of a body of knowledge and practices. Science education is not just a process of acquiring a body of static knowledge. It also includes developing the ability to use tools, ranging from microscopes and rulers to computers and test tubes, and the ability to build and explain models, make predictions, and conduct scientific inquiry. Just as reading, writing, and mathematics involve the performance of complex practices, so does science.

– Committee on Conceptual Framework for New Science Education Standards, 2010

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Family and Community Resources

These resources have been created to provide parents with support in Elementary Science instruction.

Green Schools

There are currently 46 public schools in Howard County that are certified “green” by the Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE), 29 of which are elementary schools! To become certified, a school must document activities accomplished over a 2-year period and then submit their documentation for review.