The aim of the Madison Public Schools Science Program is to give each student the opportunity to satiate their innate curiosity and open their eyes to the wonders of science all around them. Students will regularly engage in problem-solving through exploration, experimentation and collaboration by creating innovative design solutions to local and global issues. This is accomplished by a curriculum that intentionally spirals content and skills with the goal of increasing complexity and critical thinking to enable students to build upon prior experiences as they grow as learners.
The role of the science teacher will be to spark excitement for science through phenomenon-based units, which will allow students to develop questions that will guide the investigative and experimental process, leading to deeper engagement with the content as they work to uncover the scientific basis of a phenomenon. Students will engage in practices that will not only allow them to act authentically as scientists, but also allow them to hone important life skills such as using evidence to support claims, engaging in thoughtful discourse, asking questions, and critically thinking about and analyzing current research and issues.
Our instruction incorporates National Science Standards, the Vision of Madison Public Schools and the 21st Century Capacities. The Next Generation Science Standards emphasize learning through immersion in science and engineering practices. As a result, our curriculum targets three-dimensional learning, in which students learn content through inquiry and engage in the Engineering Design Process. Science instruction goes beyond lessons that focus on disparate, discrete pieces of knowledge to instruction that is designed to enlighten students through exploration and that honors the interwoven concepts and patterns on which all science relies. Students will be required to analyze complex issues from multiple perspectives and a variety of sources to draw sophisticated conclusions and consider future implications and consequences on a local and global scale. Our curriculum development is driven by the necessity of ensuring that the content and experiences in which students engage are meaningful and relevant, not only to students, but to the global society.
Science Transfer Goals
Students will be able to…
- Make observations and ask questions to define a problem based on prior knowledge and curiosity that stimulates further exploration, analysis, and discovery.
- Use the scientific process to generate evidence that addresses the original questions.
- Analyze qualitative and quantitative data to interpret patterns, draw conclusions, and/or make predictions.
- Create models to explore complex systems, show mastery of key science concepts, and/or develop solutions through creation of a product open to testing and redesign.
- Evaluate scientific claims and analyze issues to verify the credibility of the source, data, and/or approach.
- Communicate effectively based on purpose, task, and audience to promote collective understanding and/or recommend actions.