Curriculum Departments
microscope and liquids in beakers

The QACPS science program provides rigorous instruction for all students in grades Pre-K through 12. This enables students to meet graduation requirements set forth by the State of Maryland. Instruction is aligned to the Maryland College and Career Ready Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which consists of the Disciplinary Core Ideas, Science and Engineering Practice, and the Crosscutting Concepts.

Elementary School Science

QACPS students in kindergarten through fifth grade begin to develop an understanding of the four disciplinary core ideas: physical sciences; life sciences; earth and space sciences; and engineering, technology, and applications of science. In the earlier grades, students begin by recognizing patterns and formulating answers to questions about the world around them. By the end of fifth grade, students are able to demonstrate grade-appropriate proficiency in gathering, describing, and using information about the natural and designed world(s). Elementary school students develop ideas and skills that will allow them to explain more complex phenomena in the four disciplines as they progress to middle school and high school.

Middle School Science

6th Grade Physical Science

7th Grade Physical Science

Students in middle school continue to develop an understanding of the four core ideas in the physical sciences. Content blends the core ideas with scientific and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts to support students in developing usable knowledge to explain real-world phenomena in the physical, biological, and earth and space sciences. In the physical sciences, performance expectations at the middle school level focus on students developing an understanding of several scientific practices. These include developing and using models, planning and conducting investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, using mathematical and computational thinking, and constructing explanations; and to use these practices to demonstrate an understanding of the core ideas. Students are also expected to demonstrate an understanding of several engineering practices including design and evaluation.

8th Grade Life Science

Students in middle school develop an understanding of key concepts to help them make sense of the life sciences. These ideas build upon students’ science understanding from earlier grades and from the disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts of other experiences with physical and earth sciences. There are five life science topics in middle school: 1) Structure, Function, and Information Processing, 2) Growth, Development, and Reproduction of Organisms, 3) Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems, 4) Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems, and 5) Natural Selection and Adaptations. Instruction supports students in developing usable knowledge across the science disciplines.

High School Science

Students in high school continue to develop their understanding of the three domains of science. These ideas include the most fundamental concepts for Earth and Space Science, Life Science, and Physical Science, but are intended to leave room for expanded study in upper-level high school courses. Instruction allows high school students to explain more in-depth phenomena central to all three domains of science and engineering. Content blends the core ideas with scientific and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts to support students in developing usable knowledge to explain ideas across the science disciplines.

MCAP Life Science

On July 25, 2023, the Maryland State Board of Education adopted (COMAR) 13A.03.02 Graduation Requirements for Public High Schools in Maryland and 13A.03.04 Test Administration and Data Reporting Policies and Procedures. As a result of this new requirement, starting in the school year 2023-2024, first time ninth graders will be required to take the MCAP Life Science Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (LS MISA).

The LS MISA is a state-administered high school assessment that is incorporated into students’ final course grades. The exam will be in December or May, depending on when the student is enrolled in the course. Their score will account for 20% of the final course grade. This year, it is more important than ever for students to work hard throughout the course of the school year to prepare for the LS MISA.

For additional information regarding this change in assessment practice, please feel free to contact your school or Mr. Michael V. Page, Supervisor of Science, (410) 758-2403 or [email protected].


Next Generation Science Standards
Grade K – 5 Next Generation Science Standards 

Middle School Science Next Generation Science Standards 

High School Next Generation Science Standards
NGSS Appendix F: Science and Engineering Practices
NGSS Appendix G: Crosscutting Concepts 

National Academies of Science, Engineering & Medicine

Physical Sciences 

Life Sciences 

Earth and Space Sciences 

Engineering, Technology and Applications of Science


Mr. Michael Page
Supervisor of Instruction
(410) 758-2403 ext. 178
202 Chesterfield Avenue
Centreville, Maryland 21617
[email protected]