News & Announcements
Science Standards of Learning (SOL) Review – On January 28, 2016, the Virginia Board of Education accepted the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s report that provided a rationale and recommended timeline for the review and revision of the 2010 Science Standards of Learning and 2010 Science Standards of Learning Curriculum Framework. For more information, see Superintendent's Memo 052-16.
Science Content Guidelines – Content guidelines are in the process of being constructed for all Biology II and Earth Science II courses. The intention of the content guidelines are to inform instruction and to ensure that the content is covered equitably across the Commonwealth. These are guidelines and divisions may adapt these to meet the need of the students in their schools. Currently, guidelines are available for the areas indicated below and will be added as more peer-reviewed guidelines are developed. Provide feedback on these guidelines to email@example.com.
- Biology II: Anatomy & Physiology-This is a Word document.
- Environmental Science-This is a Word document.
Science Email Update Registration – Teachers, principals and science coordinators are encouraged to register to receive the VDOE Science Update distributed by the science office about twice a month. Copies of recent emails are available in the General Resources tab below.
Environmental Science Institute
The Virginia Department of Education is pleased to announce four professional development opportunities to support the instruction of the new Environmental Science Course. These professional development Institutes, designed to support the Environmental Science course that was recently added to the Board of Education Approved Courses to Satisfy Graduation Requirements for the Standard, Advanced Studies, and Modified Standard Diplomas in Virginia Public Schools, are intended to prepare teachers to teach the Environmental Science Content Guidelines and to provide support strategies, including field experiences, to be used in the instruction of the course.
Four two-day Environmental Science Institutes will be held throughout the Commonwealth.
- New College Institute, 191 Fayette Street, Martinsville, VA 24112, July 11-12, 2018
- Charlottesville High School, 1400 Melbourne Road, Charlottesville, VA 22901, July 18-19, 2018
- Battlefield High School, 15000 Graduation Drive, Haymarket, VA 20169, July 25-26, 2018
- Sandy Bottom Nature Park, 1255 Big Bethel Road, Hampton, VA 23666; August 15-16, 2018
Virginia Environmental Literacy Professional Development Opportunities
The Virginia Department of Education in partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and Department of Forestry, is pleased to announce three sustained professional development opportunities for K-12 teachers and administrators. These professional development opportunities support the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Agreement commitment of engaging students in meaningful outdoor education by supporting teacher and administrator professional learning.
Teachers and administrators who apply and are accepted into cohorts are expected to attend a 2018 summer professional development workshop, four webinars through the 2018-2019 academic year, and a two-day culminating workshop in Richmond in the summer of 2019. Upon completion of all portions of the sustained professional development, teachers and administrators will receive a stipend of $225. The 2018 summer professional development workshops are outlined below.
- Investigating an Aquatic Mountain Ecosystem; Judge Matthews State Forest, 106 Matthews Lane, Galax, VA 24333, June 25-28, 2018
- Promoting Environmental Literacy: Professional Development for Science Leaders and Administrators; New Kent Forestry Center, 11301 Pocahontas Trail, Providence Forge, VA 23140, & Port Isobel Island, Tangier Island, Tangier VA, 23440, June 25-29, 2018
- TOTE: Teachers on the Estuary; Virginia Institute of Marine Science, 1375 Greate Road, Gloucester Point, VA 23062, August 7-9, 2018
2010 Science SOL Professional Development Resources
Professional development resources to support the implementation of the 2010 Science Standards of Learning are available upon request (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Science Standards of Learning identify academic content for essential components of the science curriculum at different grade levels. Standards are identified for kindergarten through grade six and for a core set of middle and high school courses – life science, physical science, Earth science, biology, chemistry and physics.
In addition to the standards, curriculum frameworks, enhanced scope and sequence guides, test blueprints and released tests, the following K-12 science instructional resources are available.
The Standards of Learning (SOL) for Virginia Public Schools establish expectations of what students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade or course in English, mathematics, science, history/social science and other subjects. The SOL in certain disciplines support Environmental Literacy explicitly and in others implicitly.
Environmental Literacy offers connections to the Virginia Standards of Learning, school programs in action, teaching resources, grant programs, and more.
Green Ribbon Schools
The U.S. Department of Education recognizes schools where staff, students, officials and communities have worked together to produce energy efficient, sustainable and healthy school environments and to ensure the sustainability and environmental literacy of graduates. More about Green Ribbon Schools. As part of the Green Ribbon Schools Application, schools and districts need to provide information on three different areas.
- Goal 1: Reduce environmental impact and costs. Support for this goal can be found at VDOE Healthy Buildings.
- Goal 2: Improve the health and wellness of students and staff. Support for this goal can be found at VDOE School Nutrition and VDOE Physical Education.
- Goal 3: Provide effective environmental and sustainability education, incorporating STEM, civic skills, and green career pathways. VDOE support for this can be found in the 2010 Science Standards of Learning.
Science Update Email
Teachers, principals and science coordinators are encouraged to register to receive the VDOE Science Update distributed by the science office about twice a month. Copies of recent emails are available as Word files.
Teaching & Learning Resources
- ESS Sample Lesson Plans – Align instruction with the 2010 Science SOL by providing examples of how the knowledge, skills and processes found in the SOL and curriculum framework can be presented to students in the classroom.
- Practices for Science Investigation Progression (PDF) – The Practices for Science Investigation Progression chart identifies the grade level at which specific science skills/practices are formally introduced and how they progress throughout the 2010 Science Standards of Learning.
- Science Standards of Learning Crosswalk Between the 2010 and 2003 Standards
- Lessons From the Bay – Activities and projects for grades 3-6 related to protecting and restoring the Chesapeake Bay watershed
- Virginia Animals and their Habitats – A model comprehensive, cross-curricular second-grade unit that addresses 40 grade-two Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) in science, mathematics, English, and history and social science.
- Project PROMISE – Hands-on, problem-based, inquiry-based K-3 science curriculum and related professional development resources.
Middle & High School School
- Virginia BIOSTEM Resources – The Virginia BioSTEM Resources project offers middle and high school educators a range of bioscience and technology resources they can use with their students.
- Energy in Virginia – Curriculum guide and supporting materials related to the Grade Six Science Standards of Learning energy standards.
- Virginia Science Activities, Models & Simulations (SAMS) – Activities, models and simulations correlated to the 2010 Science Standards of Learning and Curriculum Framework.
- Using Significant Digits in Chemistry (PDF) – This technical assistance document provides some basic rules for determining significant digits and using significant digits in calculations.
- GreenSTEM@VCU – Lesson plans and videos integrating science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education with a focus on energy and the environment using service-learning techniques for middle school science, mathematics and technology teachers.
- Technology Sparks, Ideas for Teachers: Integrating Technology with the Virginia Standards of Learning (PDF) – Resources and suggestions for incorporating technology into sixth-grade science, life science and physical science.
- LENS Project Cornerstone Assessments
- Manuals available from ACS Chemical Science Safety in the classroom include:
- Safety in the Elementary Classroom (Grades K-6)
- Chemical Safety for Teachers and Their Supervisors (Grades 7-12)
- Guidelines and Recommendations for the Teaching of High School Chemistry (Grades K-12)
- Manuals available from OSHA Laboratory Safety Documents include:
- Laboratory Safety Guidance
- Chemical Hygiene Plan Fact Sheet
- Working with Small Animals Quick Facts
- CDC School Chemistry Laboratory Safety Guide
- Manuals available from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries include:
- Wildlife in the Classroom: What is Required to Display Wildlife in the Classroom
- Elementary & Secondary Wildlife Display Reporting Form
- Safety Observation Tool (Word)
- Science Safety Self-Assessment Checklist (Word)
- SOL Practice Items – Practice items provide examples of the new content and increased rigor of the 2010 Science SOL.
- Released SOL Tests – Released SOL tests in all subjects.
- Science SOL Test Blueprints – Much like the blueprint for a building, a test blueprint serves as a guide for test construction. The blueprint indicates the content areas that will be addressed by the test and the number of items that will be included by content area and for the test as a whole. There is a blueprint for each test.
- Ancillary Test Materials – Includes Periodic Table of the Elements
- Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching – The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through 12th-grade mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States.
- Virginia Association of Science Teachers (VAST)
- National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
- Virginia Science Education Leadership Association (VSELA)
- Meaningful Watershed Experience – The 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, signed by Governor Terence McAuliffe on June 16, 2014, commits the Commonwealth to meet the goals and outcomes set forth in the multijurisdictional compact. The education Goal and Outcomes of the Agreement extend to all localities and watersheds of the Commonwealth and the target of environmental literacy for all students by graduation. One goal is to continually increase students’ age-appropriate understanding of the watershed through participation in teacher-supported, meaningful watershed educational experiences and rigorous, inquiry-based instruction, with a target of at least one meaningful watershed educational experience in elementary, middle and high school depending on available resources. These experiences connect standards-based classroom activities with hands-on field investigations. The following resources will assist teachers in meeting this requirement:
- Bay Backpack– Chesapeake Bay watershed-related lesson plans and activities, field studies, and professional development opportunities
- Chesapeake Bay Foundation – SOL-aligned curricula and professional development
- Department of Game and Inland Fisheries – wildlife and fisheries resources for students and teachers
- Science Museum of Virginia – information for planning field trips to the museum
- Science Museum of Western Virginia – educational programs for students and professional development for teachers in grades K-12
- Virginia Department of Forestry – conservation education information for students
- Virginia Living Museum - information on activities in the museum and outreach programs
- Virginia Museum of Natural History – information on professional development opportunities for teachers and resources for students including Virginia Science Standards Institute and Virginia Science Institute for STEM Education information and materials
- Virginia Naturally School Recognition Program – information on the commonwealth's official environmental education school recognition program
- Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom – educational program to increase agricultural literacy in grades K-8
- Science Matters – professional development and networking opportunities from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
- NASA – space-related educational resources for teachers and students
- Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching – information on the highest recognition that a K-12 mathematics or science teacher may receive
- Virginia Junior Academy of Science – information for programs and competitions for the advancement of science in grades 7-12