Arkansas Science Standards

Instructor: Shelby Golden
Get information about the current science standards used in Arkansas, as well as upcoming changes to these standards. You can also find study resources that can help students from kindergarten to 12th grade.

Science Standards in Arkansas

The state of Arkansas is in the process of transitioning their science standards to be in line with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This process in expected to be completed in the 2018-2019 schoolyear. Standards from kindergarten through 4th grade will shift for the 2016-2017 school year, but standards for all other grades will remain the same for the time being.

Kindergarten - 4th Grade Science Standards in Arkansas

With the new changes to kindergarten through 4th grade standards, students will study core science topics, focus on crosscutting concepts and develop science and engineering practices in each grade. Using a combination of technology, mathematical and scientific skills, as well as engineering practices will encourage students to have a deeper appreciation for science and its influences on the world around them. Help your students through this journey of scientific discovery with these science lessons for kids. You can use them to create your own lesson plans, or assign them to students as a way to reinforce what you've taught in class.


Students will focus pushing and pulling. They'll learn what living organisms need in order to survive. Weather forecasting and local weather will also be discussed in this grade.

1st Grade

1st graders will learn about vibration and the way light travels. The parts of living creatures that allow them to survive will be covered, along with connections between parents and their offspring. Students will find out about celestial objects.

2nd Grade

In this grade, students will learn about the properties of materials. They'll also consider the needs of plants and how living organisms survive in various habitats. Factors that change the surface of the earth will be studied.

3rd Grade

Magnets and other forces will be covered in this grade. Students will also learn about the traits of plants and animals, as well as how organisms react to changing environments. Weather in different locations and at different times of the year will be discussed.

4th Grade

Kids will learn about waves as well as speed and energy. They'll also consider the structures of living things and their purposes. Weathering, erosion and Earth's natural processes will be a part of science class in this grade.

Engineering, Technology and Applications of Science Standards

Students in each grade level will encounter standards that focus on their comprehension of identifying problems and then creating and testing solutions. Students will use various tools and technologies as well as engineering processes to meet the expectations of these standards. To help your students through these processes, teach them about the importance of technology in science with this lesson on technology integration.

5th - 8th Grade Science Standards in Arkansas

Kids in 5th - 8th grade will continue working on developing their scientific abilities and knowledge by understanding the nature of science. Students can check out these courses in life, earth and physical science as a way to supplement classroom learning.

5th Grade

Cell theory, cell function, the parts of plant and animal cells, photosynthesis and cellular respiration will be studied in this grade. Students will also focus on the transfer of energy through energy pyramids, food webs and cycles in ecosystems. Matter, physical changes, the effects of heat on substances, simple machines and types of energy will be studied. Kids will learn about minerals, rocks, soil and fossils. Kids will find out about stars, planets and additional objects in the solar system.

6th Grade

Students will learn about plant and animal tissues and organs. They'll study selective breeding and differences in species across time. Behaviors and structural adaptations will be considered. Chemical properties, chemical changes, compound machines, force and speed are included in the learning standards for this grade. Teachers will teach students about forms of energy and energy transfer. Students will learn about the layers of the Earth, internal forces, earthquakes and plate tectonics. Kids will also have a chance to learn about eclipses.

7th Grade

In this grade, students will focus on the relationship between cells, tissues and organs. They'll also consider plant and vertebrate organ systems. Human body systems, reproductive cells and asexual and sexual reproduction will be covered. Homeostasis and environmental conditions will be studied. Compounds, elements, mixtures and solutions will be considered. Students will learn about Newton's Laws and natural resources. They'll also discuss the atmosphere, tools associated with the weather, various types of weather conditions, the water cycle and Earth's magnetic field. Students will focus on differences between Earth and other planets.

8th Grade

Various single-celled organisms will be considered at this grade level, as well as the differences between eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. Genetics, genes, Punnett Squares and recessive, inherited and acquired traits will be discussed. Students will learn about the theory of evolution and natural selection. Atomic theory, electricity, magnetism, circuits, waves and the electromagnetic spectrum will be focused on. Students will learn about global warming, external forces on the Earth, topographic maps, erosion and soil profiles. Gravity and galaxies will be considered.

High School Science Standards in Arkansas

High school students in Arkansas must complete 3 units of science in order to graduate. Students are required to take one biology course. For the final 2 units, they can choose from physical science, chemistry or physics classes.


Students will learn about motion, equilibrium, work, energy, fluid mechanics and the conservation of momentum. They'll study thermal energy, thermodynamics, simple harmonic motion and the laws of reflection and refraction. Electric forces and fields, capacitance, currents and quantum mechanics will be covered. This physics course for high school can help students review what they're learning in class.


In this class, students will focus on the functions of cells, energetics, heredity, genetics and biological evolution. They'll also find out more about diverse organisms and global ecological issues. Students who need extra help can check out this high school biology course as a supplementary course.

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