The Michigan Department of Education adopted new Science Standards in 2015 with the expectation that the standards will be fully implemented by the spring of 2020. Ann Arbor Public Schools have begun the transition to align with the Michigan Science Standards (MSS).
The Michigan Science Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCEs) identify what students are expected to know and be able to do by the end of each grade level. The GLCEs align with the Michigan assessment system, Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP). Science is assessed in grades 4 and 7.
The Ann Arbor Public Schools use Science Companion as its core elementary science learning resource. Science Companion is an inquiry-based program that engages students in hands-on science and the process skills used by scientists. Students are asked to apply their reading, writing, and mathematics skills throughout the program as they inquire, observe, measure, record and interpret data, draw conclusions, and make connections to what they already know and to the world beyond school.
The units of study are aligned from grade to grade, with a Life Science and an Earth Science module at each grade level. Project Lead the Way - Launch resources are used to provide units of study in physical science as well as engineering. Earth Science in 5th and 6th grades is addressed through a yearlong earth science course in 6th grade. In 5th grade, Science learning focuses on the Human Body in Motion, Environment, Force and Motion and Robotics and Animation.
K-6 students learn about the natural environment through field trips, site visits, and lessons with local naturalists. This program enhances science learning experiences by connecting grade level content and environmental education. Please see the following link for more information.
The District's core learning resource, Science Companion, addresses all K-4 GLCEs as identified in the Michigan Standards. The order provides a learning sequence to support student preparation for the M-STEP assessment in 4th grade. In some places in the K-4 curriculum the order corresponds to the State's GLCEs, in others it varies. In this way, the integrity of the adopted program is maintained, and all state outcomes are addressed by the time the students are tested in 4th grade. Teachers use multiple opportunities to assess student learning throughout each unit.
Units of study in Science teach both content and essential science practices to build science literacy. The Science Practices include the following.
- Using tools of science, e.g., magnifiers, scales, thermometers
- Observing and describing
- Making scientific drawings
- Using field guides and other science reference materials
- Using models in science
- Building to scale
- Graphing and interpreting data obtained in investigations
- Describing procedures in writing
- Designing a fair test
- Forming conclusions
Rose Marie Callahan
K-5 Mathematics and
Science Curriculum Coordinator
Project Lead the Way Contact:
PLTW District Coordinator
Environmental Science Contact:
Environmental Education Coordinator