West Fargo Public Schools has moved toward the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards. The state of North Dakota is expected to begin reviewing these standards during the 2017-18 school year.
At the elementary level, science instruction is divided into a different focus in each of the three trimesters: earth, life, or physical science. Our elementary teachers utilize a wide variety of resources to provide engaging and relevant science instruction as well as inquiry-based activities to work with scientific concepts. Teachers and students utilize Project Lead the Way (PLTW), Engineering is Elementary (EiE), and Delta science kits as meaningful resources in the science learning process. The use of iPads is an integral part of the PLTW curriculum, providing students with interactive lessons as well as opportunities to create and showcase their learning and understanding.
At the middle level, each grade has a focus on a particular type of science. Physical science is taught in sixth grade, life science in seventh grade, and earth science in eighth grade. Students at the middle level are held accountable for retaining key science concepts and terms so that understanding can be built upon that foundation. Students participate in technical reading and writing activities to learn important concepts, as well as engaging in laboratory experiments and exercises designed to increase understanding and help students make connections. Teachers utilize a wide variety of resources, including non-fiction texts and articles, scientific lab supplies, and specially designed science kits.
At the high school level, students are required to complete three credits of science, and are also offered electives in a variety of upper level science, including many AP courses. The high school science courses are designed to increase student inquiry and laboratory skills as well as technical reading and writing skills. Students have the ability to take biology in the freshman year to create the pathway to more upper level science classes.