VDOE :: Science


Students in science lab.The Science Standards of Learning identify academic content for essential components of the science curriculum at different grade levels. Standards are identified for kindergarten through grade six and for a core set of middle and high school courses – life science, physical science, Earth science, biology, chemistry and physics.

In addition to the standards, curriculum frameworks, enhanced scope and sequence guides, test blueprints and released tests, the following K-12 science instructional resources are available.

2018 Science Standards of Learning: Science and Engineering Practices

The Science and Engineering Practices reflected in the 2018 Science Standards of Learning describe behaviors that scientists engage in as they investigate the natural world and the practices that engineers use as they design and build models and systems.

Science utilizes observation and experimentation along with existing scientific knowledge, mathematics, and engineering technologies to answer questions about the natural world.  The scientific method, which includes systematic observation, measurement, and experimentation as well as the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses, is used as scientists investigate the natural world.

Engineering employs existing scientific knowledge, mathematics, and technology to create, design, and develop new devices, objects or technology to meet the needs of society.  Engineers apply science and mathematics as they engage in the Engineering Design ProcessThis link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website.

By utilizing both scientific and engineering practices in the science classroom, students develop a deeper understanding and competences with techniques at the heart of each discipline.

Performance Assessment

Performance assessment measures subject-matter proficiency, requires students to apply the content and skills they have learned, and should present opportunities for students to demonstrate acquisition of the “Five C’s” – critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration and citizenship – described in the Board of Education’s Profile of a Virginia Graduate. 

Environmental Literacy

The Standards of Learning (SOL) for Virginia Public Schools establish expectations of what students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade or course in English, mathematics, science, history/social science and other subjects.  The SOL in certain disciplines support Environmental Literacy explicitly and in others implicitly. Environmental Literacy offers connections to the Virginia Standards of Learning, school programs in action, teaching resources, grant programs, and more.

Green Ribbon Schools

The U.S. Department of Education recognizes Green Ribbon Schools where staff, students, officials and communities have worked together to produce energy efficient, sustainable and healthy school environments and to ensure the sustainability and environmental literacy of graduates.

Professional Development

2019 Deeper Learning: Using the 2018 Science Standards of Learning to Support Instruction

The PowerPoints below were generated to support the 2019 Deeper Learning Science training.  These resources are available to teachers and divisions to assist in personal and division led professional development.

Teaching & Learning Resources



  • Lessons From the Bay – Activities and projects for grades 3-6 related to protecting and restoring the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The Lessons from the Bay are currently being revised.  If you would like the materials before they are posted again, e-mail [email protected]  
  • Virginia Animals and their Habitats – A model comprehensive, cross-curricular second-grade unit that addresses 40 grade-two Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) in science, mathematics, English, and history and social science.
  • Project PROMISE – Hands-on, problem-based, inquiry-based K-3 science curriculum and related professional development resources.

Middle & High School School


Assessment Resources

  • SOL Practice Items – Practice items provide examples of the new content and increased rigor of the 2010 Science SOL.
  • Released SOL Tests – Released SOL tests in all subjects.
  • Science SOL Test Blueprints – Much like the blueprint for a building, a test blueprint serves as a guide for test construction.  The blueprint indicates the content areas that will be addressed by the test and the number of items that will be included by content area and for the test as a whole. There is a blueprint for each test.
  • Ancillary Test Materials – Includes Periodic Table of the Elements

Award Programs

Professional Organizations

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