Students in a science classroom are actively engaged in the hands-on exploration of the world around them. The Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) are the foundation from which all instruction is built. When coupled with best practices such as Marazano’s High Yield Strategies and Webb’s Depth, students are equipped to understand scientific concepts, develop higher order thinking, and inquiry-based skills. The students learn subject matter disciplines in the context of inquiry, technology, personal and social perspectives, and the history and nature of science. This hands-on approach utilizes explorations that investigate and analyze scientific questions. The students are required to demonstrate the ability to communicate mathematically as they actively investigate scientific concepts and share the results of their experimentation. This leads to students that are engaged in learning and prepared for either the workforce or matriculation at an institution of higher learning.
State mandated assessment in science occurs within each grade level. The Georgia Milestones in Science is used in grades 3–8. The Georgia Milestones End of Course Tests assesses student’s knowledge in biology and physical science courses at the high school level. Additional information on Georgia’s mandated science assessments can be found on the Georgia Department of Education website.
Science students participate in several academic competitions throughout the school year. The primary competition is the DeKalb Regional Science and Engineering Fair. The science fair is held annually in the month of February. The students who excel in this competition then compete at the Georgia State Science and Engineering Fair. Through these competitions the students have the ability to earn scholarships as well as other prizes. The DeKalb Science and Engineering Fair website provides additional information about the DeKalb Regional Science and Engineering Fair. Students also have an opportunity to participate in the First Lego League Robotics, Science Olympiad, Future City, and Governor’s Honors competitions.