In science classes across South Carolina, teachers and students are working with a whole new set of standards. Known as South Carolina College- and Career-Ready (SCCCR) Science Standards, these are designed to provide students with a more comprehensive, authentic, and relevant study of science across grades 3-12.
At Progress Learning, we’re committed to staying ahead of these changes, and we’re thrilled to announce that these new standards are now fully integrated into our platform. This means teachers can now begin assigning lessons and creating assessments that are 100% aligned with SCCCR Science Standards.
Let’s walk through what these new standards are, what has changed, and how Progress Learning can support.
What Are the SCCCR Science Standards?
Officially approved in June 2021 by the State Board of Education and the Education Oversight Committee, the South Carolina College- and Career-Ready Science Standards are a complete overhaul of the previous South Carolina Academic Standards (SCAS) from 2014. According to the National Center for Science Education, the old standards received an F on Making the Grade?, a report on climate change in state science standards.
The process of writing and developing these new standards was a collaboration between science teachers, informal science educators, business and industry leaders, science education leaders, and members of the community, including parents and recent South Carolina graduates. For the new biology standards, a committee of Life Science classroom teachers worked together to develop them.
What are the Goals of the New Standards?
As the name implies, the goal of the new South Carolina College- and Career-Ready Science Standards is to prepare students for college and career readiness. The standards are intended to follow a coherent progression and provide students with an authentic and relevant science curriculum.
The standards are 3-dimensional performance expectations, meaning they are based on 3 dimensions: engaging in scientific and engineering principles, applying crosscutting concepts, and integrating disciplinary core ideas.
- Science and Engineering Practices: This is all about encouraging students to engage in scientific practices such as asking questions, using models, carrying out scientific investigations, analyzing data, using mathematical thinking, designing solutions, and using evidence.
- Crosscutting Concepts: These are the themes that span across all engineering and science domains. They include patterns; cause and effect; scale, proportion, and quantity; systems and system models; energy and matter; and structure and function.
- Disciplinary Core Ideas: These are the four science and engineering domains and are meant to be learned progressively over multiple grades. The four are physical science; earth and space science; life science; and engineering, technology, and applications of science.
A Closer Look at the New SCCCR Standards
Let’s explore what students are expected to learn at each grade level with these new standards.
3rd Grade Science
Third graders will study magnets, how organisms vary in their traits, what happens to organisms when their environment changes, typical weather patterns around the world, and how the impact of weather-related hazards can be reduced.
4th Grade Science
Fourth graders will study waves, how energy is transferred, internal and external structures of plants and animals, rock formation and rock layers, earth materials, erosion, plate tectonics, and natural resources.
5th Grade Science
Fifth graders will study the structure and properties of matter, chemical reactions, gravitational force, energy flow in organisms, the universe and its stars, Earth’s major systems, the role of water, and how we can protect Earth’s resources and environment.
6th Grade Science
Sixth graders will study the flow and properties of energy, cell structure and function, geology, rock strata, geosciences and changes in Earth’s surface, the cycle of water, regional climates, and natural hazards.
7th Grade Science
Seventh graders will study atomic and molecular composition, chemical reactions, natural resources and synthetic materials, conservation of mass, kinetic and potential energy, photosynthesis, ecosystems, and global climate change.
8th Grade Science
Eighth graders will study Newton’s third law, electric and magnetic forces, gravitational interactions, lunar phases, tides, eclipses, seasons, and the solar system, as well as reproduction, gene mutations, and natural selection.
High School Chemistry
Chemistry students will study the relative properties of elements, chemical reactions, thermochemistry, electromagnetic radiation, and how waves/particles transfer energy and send and store information.
High School Earth and Space Science
Students will study the Big Bang theory, nuclear fusion, the lifecycle of a star, gravity, plate tectonics, the carbon cycle, climate change, as well as the atmosphere, geosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere.
High School Physics
Students will study Newton’s second law of motion, Coulomb’s law, the relationship between energy and forces, electromagnetic radiation, as well as gravitational, electric, and magnetic fields.
High School Biology 1
Students will study the structure and function of cells, the growth and development of organisms, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, energy transference, biodiversity and ecosystem health, biological evolution, and natural selection.
High School Biology 2
This brand-new course, which launched in Fall 2023, offers students a deeper understanding of the concepts and skills from Biology 1. Additional study includes microbiology, biotechnology, and animal behavior.
Progress Learning is 100% Aligned to SCCCR Standards
As always, we’re dedicated to ensuring that our teachers and students are working with their latest state standards. We are constantly keeping track of new standards for each state and updating our platform accordingly.
This past year, our product team worked tirelessly to integrate all the new science standards into Progress Learning. Now, teachers can begin creating assessments and assignments and generating bell ringers and other instructional resources that are 100% aligned to the SCCCR Science Standards.
If you’re looking for additional support with these new standards, reach out to us for a free demo! We want to ensure you have everything you need to adapt to these new standards with ease.