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Science

Resources and information for enhancing the content knowledge and teaching skills of classroom teachers and links to foundational documents which guide California's science instruction.

Distance Learning and COVID-19 Science Resources

Guidance and resources for teachers and families in K–12 schools regarding high quality distance learning (Content Resources tab)

Science Professional Learning Resources

California guidance and resources for high quality professional learning for science educators.

State Guidance

Information and guidelines for implementing and improving science programs including content standards and framework, curriculum, materials, and legislation.

Content Standards and Framework

Science Content Standards
In 2013, the State Board of Education (SBE) adopted the Next Generation Science Standards for California Public Schools, Kindergarten through Grade Twelve.                                    

Search the California Content Standards
This online application contains all of the 12 California content standards (including the state science standards). The application is designed so educators can quickly find, search, and sort relevant standards across disciplines to aid in instructional planning. This is a web view of the California Department of Education's mobile application, which we encourage you to download. You can find more information about the mobile application on the CA Standards Mobile Application web page.

Science Curriculum Framework
The SBE adopted the Science Framework on November 3, 2016. Curriculum frameworks provide guidance to educators, parents, and publishers to support implementing California content standards.

2014 English Language Arts/English Language Development (ELA/ELD) Framework
The 2014 ELA/ELD Framework has been developed to support and incorporate the California Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (CA CCSS for ELA/Literacy) and the California English Language Development Standards (CA ELD Standards). The California SBE adopted the ELA/ELD Framework on July 9, 2014. This is the final digital version of the ELA/ELD Framework.

California State Assessment and Accountability for Science

California Science Test
The California Science Test is California's statewide science assessment for students in grades five and eight and once in high school.

Additional Guidance

Quality Professional Learning Standards
The Quality Professional Learning Standards present the elements of a quality professional learning system that, if well implemented, will benefit educators focused on increasing their professional capacity and performance.

Information Regarding A-G Courses
Information can be found on the University of California (UC) website. If a district is moving to an integrated pathway, UC Office of the President recommends that districts do NOT remove traditional courses that have been a-g approved UNTIL the new integrated courses have been approved for a-g status.

State Minimum Course Requirements
California Education Code (EC) Section 51225.3 has specified a minimum set of courses to meet state requirements to graduate from high school and receive a diploma. The governing boards of local educational agencies (LEAs) have the authority to supplement the state minimum requirements at the local level.

Science Safety Handbook for California Public Schools (PDF)
This handbook was updated in 2014 and includes information to help make your kindergarten through grade twelve science environment safe.

Translations of the Science Safety Handbook's Safety Regulations for Students and Families External link opens in new window or tab.
Select pages from the Science Safety Handbook for California Public Schools (2014) that a school would send home to families. These documents appear as Appendix B in the Science Safety Handbook.

Science Instructional Materials Adoption (Kindergarten through Grade Eight)
Information and resources for instructional materials are available on the California Department of Education web page.

Contacts

Assessment: Assessment Office; caaspp@cde.ca.gov; 916-445-8765
Professional Learning: Professional Learning Support and Monitoring Office; plsmo@cde.ca.gov; 916-323-5847
State Standards and Framework: Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division; CFIRD@cde.ca.gov; 916-319-0881
Instructional Materials: Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division; CFIRD@cde.ca.gov; 916-319-0881

Instruction

Resources and information for enhancing the content knowledge and teaching skills of classroom teachers.

Instruction Resources

California state guidance for instruction is listed in the State Guidance tab.

Environmental Education and Environmental Literacy
Information on current environmental education resources, special events, grant opportunities, and resources for instruction.

California Resources for Professional Learning and Instruction
A list of outside resources for science professional learning and science instruction.

Career Technical Education
Foundational information about the engineering and architecture sector pathways and occupations for students in California.

Recommended Literature List
This searchable list of books supports students, teachers, and families in finding books that will engage readers of varying skill levels in history-social science, science, visual and performing arts, as well as general literature.

Partner Resources

K–12 Science Learning Sequences External link opens in new window or tab.
K–12 learning sequences focusing on phenomena-based teaching and learning.

National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science External link opens in new window or tab.
This site provides a database of case studies about science topics to make learning science relevant.

The National Science Digital Library External link opens in new window or tab.
A data bank of online educational resources for teaching science with an overall science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) emphasis. This is a metadata-based resource that organizes different providers offering a number of teaching and learning resources. Most resources adhere to the principles of Open Education Resource (OER).

SDCOE Science Resource Center External link opens in new window or tab.
This website contains tools to support professional learning in science and resources for teaching the California Next Generation Science Standards and environmental literacy.

STEM Teaching Tools External link opens in new window or tab.
OER for professional development, including all resources the facilitators would need.

Contacts

Assessment: Assessment Office; caaspp@cde.ca.gov; 916-445-8765
Professional Learning: Professional Learning Support and Monitoring Office; plsmo@cde.ca.gov; 916-323-5847
State Standards and Framework: Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division; CFIRD@cde.ca.gov; 916-319-0881
Instructional Materials: Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division; CFIRD@cde.ca.gov; 916-319-0881

Assessment & Accountability

Information regarding the California Science Test (CAST).

California Science Test

California Science Test
California’s new statewide student assessment system includes federally required science assessments in grades five, eight, and once in high school (i.e., grade ten, eleven, or twelve).

For additional information, contact the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Office via email: caaspp@cde.ca.gov or phone: 916-445-8765.

Contacts

Assessment: Assessment Office; caaspp@cde.ca.gov; 916-445-8765
Professional Learning: Professional Learning Support and Monitoring Office; plsmo@cde.ca.gov; 916-323-5847
State Standards and Framework: Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division; CFIRD@cde.ca.gov; 916-319-0881
Instructional Materials: Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division; CFIRD@cde.ca.gov; 916-319-0881

External Organizations

Organizations at the state and national level that inform Science education and provides resources. 

State Award Programs

  • California Green Ribbon Schools Program
    Honors schools and school districts for excellence in whole-school sustainability: reduced environmental impact and cost; improved health and wellness; and exemplary environmental education, including STEM, civic skills, and green career pathways.
  • Presidential Awards for Math & Science Teaching
    Honors outstanding science and mathematics teachers who are leaders in the improvement of science and mathematics education.

California Partners

California Partners Providing Statewide Professional Learning
This web page lists partners of the California Department of Education who are providing services and statewide professional learning for increasing student achievement in science.

National Partners

  • Achieve NGSS Resources External link opens in new window or tab.
    Achieve is a national organization that works to raise academic standards and graduation requirements, improve assessments, and strengthen accountability.
  • Council of Science State Supervisors External link opens in new window or tab.
    A professional organization composed of science education specialists who serve at the state, territorial, or the protectorate educational agency in the United States and U.S. Territories.
  • National Academy of Sciences (NAS) External link opens in new window or tab.
    Established by an Act of Congress, NAS is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology.
  • National Science Teachers Association External link opens in new window or tab.
    Organization committed to promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.

Electronic Mailing List

Join the STEM-Education and Environmental-Science electronic mailing lists by sending a blank email to join-stem-education@mlist.cde.ca.gov and to join-environmental-science-ed@mlist.cde.ca.gov. To unsubscribe, send a blank email to unsubscribe-stem-education@mlist.cde.ca.gov and unsubscribe-environmental-science@mlist.cde.ca.gov

Contacts

Assessment: Assessment Office; caaspp@cde.ca.gov; 916-445-8765
Professional Learning: Professional Learning Support and Monitoring Office; plsmo@cde.ca.gov; 916-323-5847
State Standards and Framework: Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division; CFIRD@cde.ca.gov; 916-319-0881
Instructional Materials: Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division; CFIRD@cde.ca.gov; 916-319-0881

Families & Students

Information and resources for families that explain Science instruction used today and provide suggestions for supporting their child’s academic success.

California Resources

Parent Resources for Understanding Assessments
Resources that answer key questions (what, why, who, how, and when) about California's assessment programs. Information is also included about how parents can support their student's success in science.

Science Brochures for Parents/Guardians

Brochures on the science standards provide parents/guardians insights into what their children are learning as they progress through the grade levels and are available on the CDE’s Content Standards web page.The brochures also offer suggestions for parents/guardians to support their students’ learning and a list of additional resources.

If you have questions or need more information, please contact the Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division via email: CFIRD@cde.ca.gov or phone: 916-319-0881.

Contacts

Assessment: Assessment Office; caaspp@cde.ca.gov; 916-445-8765
Professional Learning: Professional Learning Support and Monitoring Office; plsmo@cde.ca.gov; 916-323-5847
State Standards and Framework: Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division; CFIRD@cde.ca.gov; 916-319-0881
Instructional Materials: Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division; CFIRD@cde.ca.gov; 916-319-0881
Questions: Professional Learning Support & Monitoring Office | plsmo@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-5847 
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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