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Science Instruction

We believe that young people are naturally curious about the world around them and we invite students to deeply investigate and scientifically explain its phenomenon. By incorporating relevant and real-world science, we engage all students’ imagination and intellect. Students are guided towards self-governance and self-knowledge as they become scientifically and ecologically literate as well as technologically capable problem solvers. Through rigorous and engaging science education, students learn to be caring, active participants in the world and become equipped to comprehend, analyze, and create solutions to global issues.

At PPS, we know the importance of early engagement with science and technology. From life sciences to physics to computer programming, we believe that an immersive STEM curriculum is key in sparking a lifelong curiosity in students.

Guiding Principles:

  • PPS students will be presented with compelling phenomena that will be the central focus of science instruction.

  • PPS students and their questions will drive the work of the class. (moving from learning about to figuring it out)

  • PPS students will become competent scientific communicators. (both oral and written)
  • PPS students’ thinking will evolve over time. (use of models to understand and grow thinking, making thinking visible can help teacher see misconceptions, developing critical thinking skills)
  • PPS students will use evidence to support explanations and arguments. (use of evidence to support and defend thinking) 




  • Teachers will implement (PK-5)/ develop (6-12) 3 dimensional units of study that will engage students with important science ideas (aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards).
  • Teachers will anchor their instruction in complex and puzzling natural events, or phenomena.
  • Teachers will use a variety of discourse strategies with students to get them to think deeply and to respond to each other’s thinking. 
  • Students will engage in multiple rounds of creating and revising scientific models, explanations and evidence-based arguments.
  • Students will prompt each other to engage in sense-making talk during investigations and other activities.
  • Students’ ideas will be represented publicly and worked on by the class.
  • Students will speak up about what information or experiences they need to move their thinking forward.

Science Topics by Grade