Science Department

High quality science instruction is for ALL students.

MCPS Science engages all students through phenomenon-based, 3-Dimensional learning and provides opportunities for students to connect their learning to real world problems. Our instructional goal is to prepare students for lifelong learning by developing skills necessary for success in college and career as outlined by the NGSS Science and Engineering Practices.

Vision:

All students achieve full scientific literacy through standards referenced, problem/project based instruction that develops critical thinkers who apply scientific and engineering practices to authentic problems in a globally competitive society.

Mission:

We will support community partnerships, provide schools with curricular instructional support and professional learning that model science and engineering practices, incorporate literacy and math, engage students and make connections to real world phenomena.

 

Curriculum

View Science Curriculum Homepage

Elementary Curriculum

View Course Information

Middle School Curriculum

View Course Information

High School Curriculum

View Course Information

 
 

STEM Opportunities for Students

BigFuture Days College Fair

College Board is hosting their first-ever series of virtual college fairs called BigFuture™ Days. This program, geared towards sophomores and juniors, gives students an opportunity to connect directly with college admissions representatives and current college students. They'll have a chance to explore colleges in a way that's not overwhelming, ask questions about topics they want to learn about, and take action on key college planning steps. Any interested participants can click on the links below to access additional information.

***Note: The regions and respective dates below are based on location of the colleges in the US. Students may attend any or all of the four sessions.

BigFuture Days West + Southwest: Saturday, February 6

BigFuture Days Southeast: Tuesday, February 23

BigFuture Days Northeast:  Sunday, March 7

BigFuture Days Midwest: Thursday, March 11

Learn More


The Exelon STEM Leadership Academy

The Exelon STEM Leadership Academy is a free, week-long, residential* program for 10th and 11th grade girls interested in STEM to learn from women working in STEM and other leaders; explore sustainability, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and climate change; and connect with like-minded peers. The Academy concludes with an energy challenge and a chance to win great prizes! Each participant will also receive an iPad to use for Academy activities and to take home at the end of the week.

Learn More

 
 
 
 
 

Featured Scientist:

Catherine Johnson

Mathematician/NASA Scientist

In 1952, Catherine Johnson began working as a human ‘computer’ for NACA (the early predecessor of NASA), helping to calculate flight trajectories and other important mathematical figures necessary for technological advancement of the flight program.  Unlike many of her colleagues, all African American women, Johnson showed a great deal of curiosity beyond that of the complex calculations they were tasked with, raising the eyes of many scientists working within the organization.  This curiosity landed her a position with the newly budding space program at NASA and soon she found herself attending meetings with top officials as they prepared to send humans into space.  Johnson’s mathematical skills were instrumental in the early development and success of the space program, helping to send the first humans into space and making it possible for astronauts to land on the moon.  Johnson's mathematical calculations and abilities also aided in the safe return of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission that had trapped three astronauts in space with little hope of survival. Despite the increased use of electronic computers, Johnson remained relevant into the 1980’s as she manually checked over the work done by computers to confirm their accuracy and collaborating on space projects throughout the 70's and 80's including NASA's Space Shuttle program. Her contributions to NASA helped vault the United States as a major player in space exploration and altered its course forever.

Learn More

Katherine G. Johnson  
 
 

Monthly Challenge Activity

Spring weather can be extremely crazy!  One day it is 75 degrees and sunny and the next day some places might see over a foot of snow!  One day you are outside eating ice cream or playing in the warm sunshine and the next you are hunkered down in your house while thunderstorms and wind coming through.  Meteorology is the study of weather and meteorologists' job is to analyze data, radars, and weather maps to look at trends and patterns to be able predict what the weather will be on any given day.  Weather forecasting is incredibly important as it prepares people for dangerous weather, allows people to make fun plans, and even helps make long range plans for all sorts of fields from farming to natural resource management!  Weather is cool!

Elementary:

Track the weather for 2 weeks using a calendar format!  On your calendar, include the date, temperature, a picture of the weather for the day, how much cloud cover, and the wind speed.  Look at your work each day and see what kind of patterns you see!

Middle School:

Take the elementary calendar to the next level.  Design a calendar and track the weather using both your observations and a weather website of your choosing.  On your calendar include not only temperature, weather, and wind speed, but also barometric pressure, dew points, and the height of the clouds.  When you have finished, use your findings to determine patterns in the weather related to barometric pressure, type of weather, temperature, and cloud cover.  Tell your teacher what patterns you see or write a brief paragraph of your findings and send it to James.Brameyer@mcpsmd.net!  

High School:

High School students can now take the middle school idea and expand upon the idea by using the information that they track over the course of 5-10 days and make a prediction about the next 3-4 days based on the patterns you see.  You can do this on a calendar or make a video with friends like you would see on a weather station!  Have fun with it and include cool maps and visuals and share it with your teacher.

Science News for Students

Founded in 2003, Science News for Students is a free, award-winning online publication published by the Society for Science dedicated to providing age-appropriate science news to learners, parents and educators.

Visit Website

 
 
 

Science Spotlights

 Tilden Nationals  

School Highlights

Tilden Middle School Science Olympiad Team!

On Saturday, March 17th Tilden’s Science Olympiad Team placed 1st in the State Competition winning the competition by just two points. Students competed virtually in 19 science and engineering events against 24 of the top schools in the state. The team was led by Kate Patrabansh, who placed first in all five of her events. Along with, Riddhi Sadhanala who also placed first in all four of her events. Furthermore, this would not have been possible without the collaboration and dedication of all 15 team members. The entire team contributed to this incredible success by placing top 7 in all 19 events (See results below).  During this competition season, the students have competed in 10 virtual tournaments, dedicating almost every weekend to these competitions. In between competitions, the students prepared by studying and researching their events. The competition season continues as Tilden will represent Maryland for the first time at the National Competition on May 22nd.  Congratulations and best of luck at Nationals! Go Tilden Science Olympiad!!!!  

Vivian Li

Student Highlights

Vivian Li, Montgomery Blair High School

Vivian Li is a senior at Montgomery Blair High School. She is the founder and team lead of climatedu, an online climate course designed for middle and high school students. She is actively involved in climate journalism and has been recognized by the New York Times as a winner in their annual STEM Writing Contest. She has worked with Climate Tracker, reporting on the September 2019 climate strike in NYC and remotely mentoring student journalists across the nation. In 2019, she began volunteering with Silver Spring Hub of Sunrise Movement, a youth-led climate activism organization. Since then, she has taken on roles as the hub's Creative Lead and Communications Lead. In college and beyond, she plans to study science communication and sustainable development.  To learn more, visit the climatedu website or instragram! 
 
MCPS Science - Teacher Highlights - Virtual Collaborators  

Teacher Highlight

Early in 2020, our nation and schools were flipped upside down as the Covid-19 pandemic thrust all into a position not seen before in modern times. As a district we were forced to approach teaching and learning in an entirely new direction as we had to transition our entire curricular program into a virtual platform and recreate the student engagement our students experienced in person in our classrooms into the virtual world. In order to do so, the Pre K-12 team relied upon a group of incredible teachers who volunteered their time to write, review, and publish new content, all while continuing to perform their own teaching duties and support their students, families, colleagues, and friends. We want to take a moment to say thank you to all of these dedicated staff members, many of which continue to support the creation of new materials for use in our ‘classrooms’ as we progress into the second half of the school year.

Virtual Collaborators