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In grades nine through twelve, the standards and performance indicators for the science and engineering practices and core science content for the high school courses transition students to developing more abstract models and explanations to understand concepts in greater detail and sophistication as they build from experiences in kindergarten through grade eight. The seven core concepts (patterns; cause and effect; scale, proportion, and quantity; systems and system models; energy and matter; structure and function; and stability and change) are reinforced in the appropriate context of the core science content through hands-on instruction in the classroom.
These courses should not only serve as the foundation for advanced studies at the secondary level and in institutions of higher education but should also provide students with the science skills that are necessary for informed decision making regarding scientific societal questions and to lay the foundation for skills necessary for science related technical careers.
Students should engage in scientific and engineering practices as a means to learn about the specific topics identified for the course. It is critical that educators understand the Science and Engineering Practices are not to be taught in isolation. There should not be a distinct “Inquiry” unit at the beginning of each school year. Rather, the practices need to be employed within the content for each grade level.
In South Carolina, students are required to have a minimum of three (3) science units for high school graduation. Students must also pass a high school course in science in which an end-ofcourse examination is administered.