Secondary Science Program Vision and Mission
All students in Carroll County Public Schools will become scientifically and environmentally literate individuals who think critically and make informed decisions related to their local and global community.
The Carroll County Public Schools science program will provide students equitable access to high-quality, three-dimensional science instruction in which students actively build an understanding of core ideas through application of crosscutting concepts and engagement in the science and engineering practices.
High school science coursework for all students begins with Conceptual Physics followed by Chemistry and Biology. These three courses are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and meet the graduation requirements for science. At the end of Biology, students take the end-of-course Life Science Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (LS MISA). Numerous opportunities for advanced study in science exist including Advanced Placement (AP) offerings in biology, environmental science, chemistry, and physics. Additionally, an expansive science research program provides students with opportunities to perform original research in areas such as marine ecology, Chesapeake Bay restoration, and aquaponics.
The Science program is integral to the mission of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education in Carroll County, which recognizes the interrelationships and dependencies among each of these areas of study. In Carroll County, STEM education integrates the processes, skills, content, and language of each discipline through authentic problem-based curriculum experiences.
All science instruction is organized using the principles of the 5E instructional model. In this model, students multiple ways of knowing are identified early in the learning process and continually checked to ensure displacement with correct understanding of concepts. Students first encounter phenomena through explorations that are designed to pique their interest and assist them in understanding the relevance and significance of their learning. Gradually, student experiences increase in sophistication to achieve high levels of synthesis and application. Evaluation of student understanding is accomplished throughout the learning process, and teaching methods are continually monitored and modified to meet the needs of the learners.
In this course, students use inquiry to construct a conceptual understanding of motion, forces, energy, waves, electricity, and magnetism. Learning experiences provide students with opportunities to apply physical science and earth and space science ideas in order to explain and predict a variety of phenomena. Students use science and engineering practices and relate crosscutting concepts of science to predict an object’s motion; explain how energy is transferred and conserved; and explain how waves are used to communicate information.
This course provides students the opportunity to use inquiry to explore scientific phenomena centered on the structure and properties of matter, chemical reactions, space systems, Earth’s systems, and the regulation of weather and climate. Learning experiences blend these core ideas with science and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts to support students in constructing knowledge that can be applied to other science disciplines and used to construct explanations related to both physical science and earth and space science.
In this course, students use inquiry to construct an understanding of the structures and processes of organisms, the inheritance and variation of traits, matter and energy in organisms, interdependent relationships in ecosystems, natural selection and evolution, earth’s systems, and human activity and sustainability. Learning experiences provide students with opportunities to apply science and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts in order to explain and predict life science and earth and space science phenomena that occur in their everyday lives.