High School Science in CREC Magnet Schools is based on the Connecticut’s Science Standards which are the Next Generation Science Standards. Through a series of three core high school science courses (Integrated Science, Biology, and Chemistry), students develop their science and engineering skills to figure out scientific concepts and solve problems for engineering. High school science courses use phenomena, or anchoring events or problems, to set the stage for learning about science content. Within this context, students conduct investigations and research to figure out these complex phenomena throughout the course of their units of study. By the end of high school, CREC Magnet Schools Science Curricula aims to prepare students to be scientifically literate citizens, equipped with the knowledge and skills to enter into public debates involving science, such as those that relate to healthcare or the environment. 

The goal of science instruction in CREC high schools is to engage students in deep understanding of the world, both natural and designed, through investigation. Additionally, high school instruction refines students ability to utilize scientific practices to critically think, analyze data, and evaluate information as they figure out new scientific content. Science instruction provides opportunities for students to become critical consumers of scientific information as it relates to their everyday lives. Finally, instruction in science seeks to create a desire to continue to learn about the beauty and wonder of science throughout their lives. 

To meet this end, CREC science teachers commit themselves to engaging students in real-world problems and phenomena. Students are being asked to figure out what something is, or why something is, through independent investigation and research. Teachers are telling students less, and asking them to figure out more as deep and critical thinkers, working with their peers to solve problems. 

Throughout each unit, students will:

  • Collaborate with their peers and conduct investigations to understand scientific concepts and to solve real-world problems. 

  • Communicate scientifically, through formal writing, such as lab reports or technical reports, scientific boards, and more informal explanations and arguments. 

  • Create and use models to demonstrate and predict science concepts. 

  • Practice and utilize scientific skills for investigation and design. 

  • Use productive discourse to deepen understanding through small group and whole class discussion. 

  • Evaluate the merits and limits of scientific models, explanations, or arguments. 

How to Support Your Student at Home:  

  • Ask your child questions about what they are doing in science, or what problems they are trying to figure out in class. Encourage and promote curiosity. When your child asks how something works or why something is, don’t tell them. Ask them to try to figure it out, and listen to their reasoning to keep them curious. If possible, have them fidget with items to see their inner workings. 

  • Help your child develop a routine for doing homework, studying, eating, and sleeping that will establish a lifelong pattern for healthy habits. Continue to reinforce that your child maintain a daily routine for doing homework, studying, eating, and sleeping. 

  • Watch special science-related TV and video programs together (e.g. Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, The Weather Channel, NASA TV). Watch the news on TV together, and discuss articles about natural disasters, advances in medicine, and disease transmission. Have conversations about the credibility of the news sources, and the relevant evidence. 

  • Share newspaper or magazine articles and informational books about topics your child is interested in and/or are studying in school.

  • Encourage your students to tinker, engineer and conduct science investigations at home, safely. You can provide opportunities to use various tools when you are putting something together or building or fixing things around the home. Plan and grow a vegetable or flower garden or potted plants at your home. Provide homes for birds. Start composting and ask your child to explain how composting relates to energy passage.

  • Read about science. Encourage friends and family to give books or magazine subscriptions to your child as gifts. Share newspaper or magazine articles and informational books about topics your child is interested in and/or are studying in school.

  • Share and discuss how you solve problems and use measurement in your everyday life, such as while cooking, building, gardening, or caring for a family pet.

Resources for Parents at Home:

  • Smithsonian Education Creates opportunities for students to explore, discover, and learn about art, culture, history, travel, science and nature

  • Explore NASA STEM  Delivers information about the space program, aeronautics and programs for students

  • How Stuff Works Offers videos and articles on a variety of topics with the underlying concept of how things work

  • Khan Academy Offers free courses that can be used to review and enhance content knowledge in the sciences. 

  • A collection of activities related to Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics

  • Home | NOVA Videos and podcasts from PBS on a variety of science and technology topics

  • Science Friday A weekly podcast on new and interesting science. Great to listen together

  •, Citizen Science Association : Home |, Be a part of a science project and study. Explore opportunities to collect data for a variety of different projects

For more information, please contact the Supervisor of Science, Julie Christianson, at [email protected].

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