SDE: Science



{Students in a lab}
A foundation in scientific literacy prepares students to be confident and capable lifelong learners who are equipped with the skills needed to access, understand, evaluate and apply information in various contexts. Regardless of their academic standing, all students should have access to a rich and challenging science curriculum that will promote scientific literacy, while inspiring and supporting advanced study and science-related careers.


Updated February 2015. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are a set of internationally-benchmarked science learning outcomes published by 26 Lead States in April 2013. The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) contributed critical feedback during the development process through the hard work of its NGSS Leadership Team and Content Review Committee.
The NGSS are based upon the research and vision described in the National Research Council’s "Framework for K-12 Science Education" (NRC Framework). The Framework proposes shifts in the teaching and learning of science to get more students excited about and interested in the connections among science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or "STEM".
Following NGSS publication, a CSDE-led team of 40 Connecticut science educators made a concept-by-concept comparison of NGSS to Connecticut's current science standards adopted in 2004. The NGSS Content Crosswalk Report shows content similarities and differences between NGSS and Connecticut's current science standards.
CSDE continues to solicit extensive NGSS input from Connecticut science education stakeholders. The State board of Education is expected to consider NGSS adoption early in 2015.
Selected links to NGSS resources:


  • Position Statement on Science Education-PDF - Adopted by the State Board of Education on September 3, 2008, this document expresses the Board’s views on the importance of science education and provides guidelines for policymakers.
  • 2010 PK-8 Science Curriculum Standards and Assessment Expectations PDF [DOC] – Adds specificity to content standards in the 2004 Core Science Curriculum Framework. Includes Grade-Level Concepts (GLCs) that describe what students should know about the main idea in each content standard; Grade-Level Expectations (GLEs) that describe measurable student performances which provide evidence of understanding; and Assessment Expectations that indicate the content and skills selected for summative assessment on Connecticut Mastery Tests or other local assessments.
  • 2004 Science Framework-DOC – Science curriculum standards and state assessment expectations for each grade, PK-10, and for advanced courses in Grades 11 and 12.
  • 2004 Science Matrix-DOC - Traces the 11 conceptual themes in the Science Framework as they develop across elementary, middle and high school grades.
Instructional Resources

     Science Safety

Scientific Inquiry Formative Feedback Rubrics – a resource for assessing student performances in scientific inquiry and providing meaningful feedback to students to promote learning. Elementary and Middle Grades rubrics can be used to assess student work on Connecticut’s Curriculum-Embedded Performance Tasks for Grades 3 to 8, or for any performance task that features the essential components of scientific inquiry.

  • Introduction to Scientific Inquiry Formative Feedback Rubrics
  • Scientific Inquiry Formative Feedback Rubric: Grades 3-5 [DOC] [PDF]
  • Scientific Inquiry Formative Feedback Rubric: Grades 6-8 [DOC] [PDF]

Curriculum-Embedded Performance Tasks - interdisciplinary, open-ended investigations that promote the development of inquiry processes described in the 2004 Core Science Curriculum Framework.  Some questions on the state science assessments (CMT and CAPT) will refer to the contexts of the embedded tasks to assess students’ abilities to use inquiry processes.

  • Introduction to Curriculum-Embedded Performance Tasks        
         Elementary Grades
         Grade 3 Embedded Task:
         Grade 4 Embedded Task:

Grade 5 Embedded Task:

Middle Grades

Grade 6 Embedded Task:

Grade 7 Embedded Task:

Grade 8 Embedded Task:


Professional Development and Recognition

  • Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) – Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching are the nation's highest honor for K-12 teachers of mathematics and science. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education. The 2013-14 PAEMST competition is open to teachers working in Grades K-6. The nomination period will open in Fall 2013. Application information will be posted when available.
2012 PAEMST State Finalists – K-6 Mathematics:
  • Foday Dumbuya, CREC Montessori Magnet School, Hartford
  • Andrew Mazzei, Louis P. Slade Middle School, New Britain
  • Maren Sussman, Center School, Ellington
2012 PAEMST State Finalists – K-6 Science:
  • Kristen Senise, Spring Glen School, Hamden
  • Mary Servino, Interdistrict Discovery Magnet School, Bridgeport
  • Brenda Windsor, Frenchtown Elementary School, Trumbull
2013 PAEMST State Finalist – Gr. 7-12 Mathematics:
  • Jacqueline Corricelli, Conard High School, West Hartford
2013 PAEMST State Finalists – Gr. 7-12 Science:
  • Matthew Brodeur, East Hartford High School
  • Joshua Steffenson, Glastonbury High School
  • Gregory Walsh, John Winthrop School, Bridgeport

Professional Organizations


Teachers & Administrators

  • AAAS Benchmarks for Science Literacy
    On-line updates of the 1993 Project 2061 statements of what all students should know or be able to do in science, mathematics, and technology by the end of grades 2, 5, 8, and 12.
  • AAAS Science Netlinks
    Resources for K-12 science educators, including lesson plans, interactives and reviewed Internet resources linked to national standards.
  • Access Excellence
    Site for health and bioscience teachers.
  • American Institute of Physics
    The American Institute of Physics (AIP) is a not-for-profit membership corporation chartered in New York State in 1931 for the purpose of promoting the advancement and diffusion of the knowledge of physics and its application to human welfare.
  • American Chemical Society
    The American Chemical Society promotes the public's perception and understanding of chemistry and the chemical sciences.
  • Classroom of the Future
    The COTF serves as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) premier research and development program for educational technologies.
  • Council of Chief State School Officers
    The Council of Chief State School Officers is a nationwide nonprofit organization comprised of public officials who head departments of education in the states. CCSSO publishes a number of documents (e.g., State Indicators of Science and Mathematics Education) of interest to science educators.
  • CSSS Safety Brochure [PDF]
    Science laboratory safety brochure produced by the Council of State Science Supervisors.
  • Eisenhower National Clearinghouse
    ENC's mission is to identify effective curriculum resources, create high-quality professional development materials, and disseminate useful information and products to improve K-12 mathematics and science teaching and learning.
  • Geological Society of America
    Established in 1888, The Geological Society of America provides access to elements that are essential to the professional growth of earth scientists at all levels of expertise and from all sectors: academic, government, business, and industry.
  • iCONN Science Reference Center
    Database of articles from scientific reference books, magazines, journals, biographies, images and videos. Searchable by topic and readability level.
  • iCONN Science Education websites
    Links to web sites that offer a wide range of resources related to science curriculum, instruction, assessment, research, open courseware, instructional materials, etc.
  • NASA Spacelink
    An Aeronautics and Space Resource for Education.
  • National Science Education Standards
    Criteria by which to judge the quality of what students know and are able to do; the quality of science programs; the quality of science teaching; the quality of the system that supports science teachers and programs; and the quality of assessment practices and policies.
  • National Science Foundation
    The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent agency of the U.S. Government. NSF's mission is to promote the progress of science, to advance the national health, prosperity and welfare; and to secure the national defense.
  • National Assessment of Educational Progress ("NAEP") Science Framework 2009
    Describes science knowledge/abilities that will be assessed on the national assessment administered to a representative sample of Connecticut students in Gr. 4-8.
  • NAEP Questions Tool
    A bank of released questions from 1996, 2000 and 2005 administrations of NAEP science assessments for elementary, middle and high school.
  • Performance Assessment Links in Science ("PALS")
    A resource bank of science performance assessment tasks indexed via the National Science Education Standards (NSES) and various other standards frameworks.
  • Presidential Awards Home Page
    Information about the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).
  • Science Education Safety - Key Issues in School Laboratory Safety

  • Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study ("TIMSS")
    A bank of released questions from 1995, 1999 and 2003 administrations of TIMSS science and math assessments for elementary and middle grades.
  • U.S. Department of Education
    Information about and from the U.S. Department of education for educators, policy makers, parents, students, researchers, and other citizens.
  • USGS - Education
    The Learning Web, a portion of the U.S. Geological Survey to, a portion of the USGS web sit dedicated to K-12 education, exploration, and life-long learning.

Parents & Community

  • Connecticut Science Center
    Families and individuals alike will find entertainment and educational value in hands-on, engaging, and exciting exhibits and programs that emphasize current science and science you can use every day.
  • U.S. Department of Education
    Information for parents about No Child Left Behind, helping your child with science, homework help, supplemental services and school/district data.


  • National Youth Science Camp is an intense residential science education program for young scientists the summer after they graduate from high school.


Elizabeth Buttner, Consultant
Phone: (860) 713-6849
Major Responsibilities:
   PreK-8 Science
   Mathematics and Science Partnership Grant Program
   Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science (PAEMST)
   Connecticut Mastery Test


Content Last Modified on 2/4/2015 3:33:58 PM