Through the Elementary Science Specialist Program Irvine is providing youngsters with positive, successful, hands-on opportunities for discovering the natural world around them. Thank you for your continued collaboration and support of science education in Irvine. Following are answers to some frequently asked questions about this important and exciting program.
Who receives instruction from the Elementary Science Specialists?
All fourth, fifth, and sixth graders in the Irvine Unified School District receive 120 minutes of hands-on science instruction each week. This program is unique among Orange County school districts!
Why does the Irvine Unified School District provide science instruction to upper grade students?
Many upper grade teachers have not received special training in teaching elementary school science. The District’s 20 credentialed Elementary Science Specialists have particular training, expertise, and enthusiasm for delivering a quality, hands-on science program to students. In addition to providing science instruction, the Science Specialists provide release time to classroom teachers as required by the teacher contract, and they serve as science resource consultants to IUSD primary (grades K-3) teachers.
What do the Science Specialists/District provide? The Science Specialists provide a comprehensive science program including Earth, Life and Physical Science units as well as Investigation and Experimentation skills. The curriculum follows the California Science Framework and Science Standards. Students learn and practice the Scientific Method and have the opportunity to complete a Science Fair project (which is required of all sixth grade students).
What are the goals of the IUSD Science Specialist Program? Student outcomes include understanding scientific concepts, acquiring science process skills (such as observation, measurement, controlling variables, hypothesizing, etc.) and increased positive attitudes toward science. Student work is assessed via teacher observation, unit tests and assignments, and the quality of students’ science fair projects. Our students continue to win awards at both the Orange County Science and Engineering Fair and the California State Science Fair.
How can parents help?
Encourage your child’s interest in science and technology through reading about science, viewing science-related TV shows such as NOVA or the Discovery Channel, and by visiting Orange County attractions such as the Discovery Science Center, the Santa Ana Zoo, and the Orange County Marine Institute.
4th Grade: Environments, Rocks & Minerals, and Electricity & Magnetism
5th Grade: Cells to Systems; Water, Weather & Space; Matter; and Investigating Energy
6th Grade: Rubber Band Cannons - Science Fair, The Energetic Earth, Earthquakes & Volcanoes, Weathering & Erosion, Oceans & Ecosystems, and Sustainable Energy