What is FOSS?
FOSS is a research-based science curriculum for grades K–8 developed at the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California at Berkeley. FOSS is also an ongoing research project dedicated to improving the learning and teaching of science. The FOSS project began over 20 years ago during a time of growing concern that our nation was not providing young students with an adequate science education. The FOSS program materials are designed to meet the challenge of providing meaningful science education for all students in diverse American classrooms and to prepare them for life in the 21st century. Development of the FOSS program was, and continues to be, guided by advances in the understanding of how youngsters think and learn.
Science is an active enterprise, made active by our human capacity to think. Scientific knowledge advances when scientists observe objects and events, think about how they relate to what is known, test their ideas in logical ways, and generate explanations that integrate the new information into the established order. Thus the scientific enterprise is both what we know (content) and how we come to know it (process). The best way for students to appreciate the scientific enterprise, learn important scientific concepts, and develop the ability to think critically is to actively construct ideas through their own inquiries, investigations, and analyses. The FOSS program was created to engage students in these processes as they explore the natural world.
 

FOSS GRADES 3–4 MODULES

GRADE LEVEL

LIFE
SCIENCE

PHYSICAL
SCIENCE

EARTH
SCIENCE

SCIENTIFIC REASONING
AND
TECHNOLOGY

THINKING PROCESSES

Grades
3–4

Human Body

Magnetism and Electricity

Water

Ideas and Inventions

Advanced organizing
Comparing
Communicating
Observing

Structures of Life

Physics of Sound

Earth Materials

Measurement

 

FOSS GRADES 1–2 MODULES

GRADE LEVEL

LIFE
SCIENCE

PHYSICAL
SCIENCE

EARTH
SCIENCE

THINKING PROCESSES

Grades
1–2

New Plants

Solids and Liquids

Air and Weather

Beginning
organizing

Comparing
Communicating
Observing

Insects

Balance and Motion

Pebbles, Sand, and Silt

 
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