Red Clay

Consolidated School District

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  • Science Education in the Red Clay Consolidated School District




    In the Red Clay Consolidated School District, students engage in diverse, inquiry-based explorations and investigations of the natural world through science instruction from kindergarten through graduation.  As a member of the Delaware Science Coalition, students receive instruction in physical science, life science, earth/space science, and engineering through the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  The NGSS, adopted by Delaware in September 2013, incorporate a three-dimensional approach to challenge all students at every grade level to create a deep understanding of the world, the universe, and living things.  Through the NGSS, Red Clay science educators prepare students for a post-graduation experience in which they can participate fully in a global workforce.


    Red Clay Science Curriculum:


    In grade K-5, students focus on three science units per year.  Each unit lasts approximately 12 weeks.  Contact your child’s teacher for ways you can enrich their experiences in science exploration and inquiry at home:




    Science Unit






    Trees (lasts all year)

    Push, Pull, GO!


    Wood and Paper

    First Grade


    Solids and Liquids


    Second Grade




    Third Grade

    Earth Materials

    Human Body


    Fourth Grade

    Structures of Life

    Magnetism and Electricity

    Land and Water

    Fifth Grade


    Mixtures and Solutions

    Motion and Design



    Middle School (grades 6-8).  Each grade consists of a combination of units in life science, physical science, and earth science.  While the sequence of units may vary from school to school, students are given extensive preparation for high school science.



    Science Unit


    Sixth Grade

    My Body and Me

    Forces that Cause Motion

    Earth’s History

    Seventh Grade

    Diversity of Life

    Our Genes Ourselves

    Properties of Matter

    Delaware Watersheds

    Eighth Grade

    Transformation of Energy

    Weather and Climate

    Planetary Systems

    Delaware Ecosystems


    High School:


    Students are required to complete three science credits for graduation.  One of these must be in biology.  Other course offerings are as follows:


    Integrated Physical/Earth Science



    Earth Science/Astronomy

    Environmental Science

    Anatomy and Physiology


    Courses may be offered at the College Preparatory level, the Honors level, or as an Advanced Placement course.  Each high school may have additional offerings in the science department for students.


    Next Generation Science Standards:


    The Next Generation Science Standards are organized into three dimensions:


    Dimension 1:  Science and Engineering Practices:


    1. Asking questions and defining problems
    2. Developing and using models
    3. Planning and carrying out investigations
    4. Analyzing and interpreting data
    5. Using mathematics and information and computer technology
    6. Developing explanations and designing solutions
    7. Engaging in argument
    8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information


    As students engage in the Science and Engineering Practices to make sense of phenomena, they come to understand how scientific understanding develops.











    Dimension 2:  Cross-Cutting Concepts:


    1. Patterns
    2. Cause and effect
    3. Scale, proportion and quantity
    4. Systems and system models
    5. Energy and matter
    6. Structure and function
    7. Stability and change

    These Cross-Cutting Concepts in science extend across all grades and all scientific areas.  These concepts help students deepen their understanding of core ideas and form the language by which they make sense of science.


    Dimension 3:  Disciplinary Core Ideas


    Physical Sciences:

    •        PS1  Matter and its interactions
    •        PS2  Motion and stability: Forces and interactions
    •        PS3  Energy
    •        PS4  Waves and their applications in technologies for information transfer


    Life Sciences:

    •      LS1  From molecules to organisms: Structures and processes
    •        LS2  Ecosystems: Interactions, energy, and dynamics
    •        LS3  Heredity: Inheritance and variation of traits
    •        LS4  Biological evolution: Unity and diversity


    Earth and Space Sciences

    •        ESS1 Earth’s place in the universe
    •       ESS2 Earth’s systems
    •        ESS3 Earth and human activity


    Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science

    •        ETS1 Engineering design
    •        ETS2 Links among engineering, technology, science and society


    Students focus on a limited number of core ideas.  These core ideas in science are used to explain a variety of scientific ideas, and phenomena.  In addition, these core ideas are relevant to people’s lives, and are connected to society’s concerns.



    Additional Resources:


    Delaware Department of Education Science Resources:






  • Supervisor:  Edward J. McGrath

    Phone:  (302) 552-3768



Meeting Agendas - Science