The science program in the Braintree Public Schools is built on the belief that science is for all students. From pre-Kindergarten to grade 12, science experiences drawing upon students' natural curiosity build a strong foundation in life, physical, and earth and space science, as well as in technology and engineering. In addition, students develop skill in the practices of science and engineering - the ways through which we have come to know the workings of the natural world and have engineered solutions for our needs within it. Throughout these experiences, students are challenged to think analytically and creatively, preparing them for success in higher education and careers in a technological world.
Science instruction begins in preschool, where science is integrated into the larger curriculum. As is the case for all science instruction throughout the district, lesson content aligns with the Department of Education's curriculum framework for science and technology/engineering. Science instruction continues through elementary school, where students learn some life, some earth and space, and some physical science each year. Elementary students also work to attain technology/engineering standards through both science and the computer/media curriculum. Instruction is hands-on and active, complemented with reading of engaging texts and frequent writing in science notebooks.
In middle school, students continue with integrated instruction that includes technology/engineering, life, earth and space, and physical sciences each year. An advanced cluster and a proficient cluster, help provide students with the right balance of challenge and support to meet their learning needs. The state literacy standards in science and technology/engineering are also an integral part of the middle school curriculum.
Braintree High School
At Braintree High School students are required to study three years of science, and many students choose to study science for four years. A variety of courses at different levels match individual students' needs for time to master new concepts and skills. To earn a high school diploma, students must demonstrate competency in one science discipline by passing an MCAS exam, generally in biology or physics at the end of freshman year. Courses are rigorous, incorporating both the disciplinary core ideas and the science and engineering practices as they apply to science in our lives and as they prepare students for future study of science. Within the core curriculum, all students study biology, chemistry and physics.
In addition, elective courses, such as anatomy and physiology, forensic science and astronomy/astrophyics, give students an opportunity to pursue more specific areas of interest.
Advanced Placement (AP)
Finally, five Advanced Placement science courses are offered:
- AP Biology
- AP Physics 1
- AP Physics 2
- AP Chemistry
- AP Environmental Science
Equivalent to college courses, these classes challenge students to work at higher levels and may allow them to earn college credit before they have finished high school.