The purpose of the K-12 science program is to promote the development of scientifically literate citizens, and to provide a knowledge base for students who desire to pursue career paths in science and technology.
A scientifically literate person is one who has been encouraged from the early grades to develop a natural curiosity about the world, enthusiasm for the subject and a healthy respect for the limitation of science. In later grades, students learn decision making skills and apply them to relevant social issues such as environmental pollution, use of nuclear technology and genetic engineering.
The science program should address the major realms of science. Within each realm, the topics chosen for study should stress the acquisition of concepts and the process skills appropriate to each student group. Process skills include observation, the collection of and analysis of data, drawing conclusions and the formation of generalizations.
The program design should reflect an understanding of child development and the stages of intellectual growth. In elementary school, students are in the concrete stage of thinking. Therefore, activities should be largely direct experiences.