Students receive instruction in science throughout their time at District 401's two elementary schools, Elmwood and John Mills.

Our curriculum is aligned to the rigorous Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which have been adopted as the Illinois Learning Standards in the field.

Because District 401 is committed to offering an articulated curriculum that is consistent across grade levels and content areas, both elementary schools use the same science curricular program.

In grades K-5, teachers and students use STEMscopes as their science curriculum.

Students continue using STEMscopes when they leave elementary school and study science in grades 7 and 8 at Elm Middle School.

A Video Overview of NGSS

The following video from the Illinois State Board of Education explains the NGSS standards:

More About STEMscopes

As noted above, our teachers use STEMscopes to build their lessons. STEMscopes is a comprehensive science curriculum based on the 5E model of pedagogy:

► Engage
► Explore
► Explain
► Elaborate
► Evaluate 

Our students learn science by doing and experiencing rather than passively observing. The relationship of science to technology, engineering and math — the subjects collectively known as STEM — becomes clear to students through evidence-driven investigations, engineering challenges, content connection videos, claim-evidence-reasoning assessments and more.

In compliance with federal testing requirements, Illinois administers a science assessment to students enrolled in public school districts in grades 5, 8 and once at the high school level. Our 5th graders take this exam, the Illinois Science Assessment, in the spring.