Science at eStem
Equipped with his five senses, mankind explores the world and calls this adventure, The Nature of Science.
In his 1889 book, The Nature of Science, Edwin Hubble eloquently describes the core tenant of teaching science: to use whatever tools we have available to observe, question, and make sense of the world around us. The goal of the science curriculum at eStem Public Charter Schools is to engage students not just in the core concepts and ideas that students need to know, but also in the practices, skills, and methodologies used by scientists and engineers alike. These science and engineering practices are outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards and form the backbone of the K-12 science curriculum at eStem:
- Asking questions and Defining Problems
- Developing and Using Models
- Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
- Analyzing and Interpreting Data
- Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
- Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
- Engaging in Argument from Evidence
- Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
From Kindergarten through 12th grade these practices along with the core ideas described in the Arkansas Framework for Science are integrated together into hands-on STEM units that often focus on real-world environmental, civil, or engineering challenges. All students receive daily science instruction that involves, inquiry-based activities, labs, engineering challenges, direct instruction, and rigorous assessment. In addition to their daily science lessons, K-4 students receive additional science instruction weekly in our elementary STEM Lab led by an elementary science specialist. Middle School students may elect to enroll in addition science instruction provided through the Middle School STEM Lab, a project-based semester-long course built around the application of science and technology in society. The eStem Science department utilizes an integrated curriculum of four main content areas: physical science, earth and space science, life science, and engineering. All lessons are fully aligned with both the Arkansas Framework for Science and the Next Generation Science Standards. Additionally, science instruction at eStem incorporates the College and Career Readiness Standards as outlined by the ACT. Curriculum materials are based on peer-reviewed, data-driven content curated from a number of sources including National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), TCI, Arkansas STEM Coalition, Ocean Literacy Framework, NOAA, NASA, USGBC Learning Lab, and the Ocean Exploration Trust STEM Learning Modules.