• The North Carolina Science Essential Standards maintain the respect for local control of each Local Education Authority (LEA) to design the specific curricular and instructional strategies that best deliver the content to their students. Nonetheless, engaging students in inquiry-based instruction is a critical way of developing conceptual understanding of the science content that is vital for success in the twenty-first century. The process of scientific inquiry, experimentation and technological design should not be taught nor tested in isolation of the core concepts drawn from physical science, earth science and life science. A seamless integration of science content, scientific inquiry, experimentation and technological design will reinforce in students the notion that “what” is known is inextricably tied to “how” it is known. A well-planned science curriculum provides opportunities for inquiry, experimentation and technological design. Teachers, when teaching science, should provide opportunities for students to engage in “hands-on/minds-on” activities that are exemplars of scientific inquiry, experimentation and technological design.

    Science as Inquiry

    Traditional laboratory experiences provide opportunities to demonstrate how science is constant, historic, probabilistic, and replicable. Although there are no fixed steps that all scientists follow, scientific investigations usually involve collections of relevant evidence, the use of logical reasoning, the application of imagination to devise hypotheses, and explanations to make sense of collected evidence. Student engagement in scientific investigation provides background for understanding the nature of scientific inquiry. In addition, the science process skills necessary for inquiry are acquired through active experience. The process skills support development of reasoning and problem-solving ability and are the core of scientific methodologies.

    North Carolina requires three units of science for high school graduation. The science graduation requirements include Biology, one course in a physical science (to include Physical Science, Chemistry, Physics) and one course in an earth/environmental science.

  • Anthecology and Apiculture

  • Anatomy & Physiology Honors

  • Biology

  • Biology - Advanced Placement

  • Biology II, Honors

  • Chemistry

  • Chemistry - Advanced Placement

  • Earth and Environmental Science

  • Earth and Environmental Science - Advanced Placement

  • Genetics

  • Marine Science - Honors

  • Microbiology - Honors

  • Physical Science

  • Physics - Honors

  • Physics - Advanced Placement