Florida Science Standards

Instructor: Jessica Munk
The Florida Science Standards, called the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards, are designed to connect scientific knowledge, such as facts and theories, to scientific skills, such as observation and analysis. Read on to learn more about the Florida Science Standards for grades K-12.

Florida Science Standards Structure

The Next Generation Sunshine State Standards are designed to provide progressive benchmarks as students proceed through grades K-12. The Florida Science Standards are broken down into four Bodies of Knowledge. For grades 9-12, science courses are organized around these Bodies of Knowledge. At grades K-8, the Bodies of Knowledge are further broken down into 18 Big Ideas. Each grade level focuses on certain Big Ideas. Different Big Ideas standards are addressed at different grade levels, but the benchmarks for each grade do address all four of the Bodies of Knowledge.

Below is a chart of the Bodies of Knowledge and the corresponding Big Ideas. In this chart, you can find links to Study.com lessons as additional educational resources to learn more about each topic.

Body of KnowledgeBig Ideas
The Nature of ScienceScience practice; scientific knowledge characteristics; laws, theories, hypotheses and models; relationship between science and society
Earth and Space ScienceEarth in space, earth systems and patterns, earth structures
Physical ScienceProperties of and changes in matter; forms, transfers and transformations of energy; forces and changes in motion; motion of objects
Life ScienceTransformations of matter and energy; organization, development, diversity and evolution of living organisms; heredity and reproduction; interdependence

Elementary School Science Standards in Florida

Elementary level students can use our Science for Kids course as a supplemental resource to the science topics covered in the classroom.


In kindergarten, students start to explore the natural world and learn to make observations using their senses and learn about properties such as color, texture and temperature. They'll be introduced to the law of Gravity and the solar system. Additionally, students will learn about plants and animals.

First Grade

In first grade, students continue developing the ability to investigate and explore the natural world. They learn how to ask questions and learn more about the properties of the Earth and sun. In addition, they also explore water, soil and the movement of objects, and they are able to differentiate between living and non-living organisms.

Second Grade

Second graders learn how to differentiate between what can be observed and what can only be inferred. They learn to compare other's observations to their own. Students learn more about Earth's soil and the development of plants. They also learn about the weather and seasons. Further, second graders learn how to measure and weigh objects and how to discuss the different states of matter.

Third Grade

Students in third grade learn how to make inferences based on what they observe. They learn the difference in common meanings of words versus scientific meanings. Students are examine scientific models and delve deeper into the solar system. They are also introduced to forms of energy and the basic properties of light and heat. Additionally, they explore scientific classification.

Fourth Grade

In fourth grade, students begin to ask scientific questions and look for empirical answers. They are taught that scientists must find evidence to support their theories. Fourth graders learn more about the rotation of the Earth around the sun. They also look at the categories of rocks and properties of Earth's resources. Fourth graders discuss mass, motion and energy. Further, they start to learn about plant reproduction

Fifth Grade

Fifth graders are introduced to methods of experimentation, including the need for repetition. They also learn about the galaxy and characteristics of the planets. Students analyze the water cycle and how it relates to precipitation. Additionally, these students are introduced to natural disaster planning and preparation. They become acquainted with atoms, physical and chemical changes and mixtures. They also continue to progress in their knowledge of motion and energy. Further, they learn about the human body.

Middle School Science Standards in Florida

At the middle school level, Study.com offers several courses that augment the topics and concepts outlined by the standards. Check out our Physical Science, Earth Science and Life Science courses.

Sixth Grade

Sixth graders learn about replicating and creatively interpreting experiments. They increase their knowledge of scientific theories and laws. Students are introduced to Earth's different landforms, as well as to radiation and convection. They learn more about global weather patterns and hazards. Sixth graders also delve into force and speed. Additionally, they explore atoms, molecules and the human body.

Seventh Grade

Students in the seventh grade learn how to interpret new evidence. They learn about the Earth's age, plate tectonics, earthquakes and volcanoes. They will advance their knowledge in radiation, motion, light and energy. Seventh graders understand that energy can only be transferred, and they are introduced to the concept of DNA.

Eighth Grade

In eighth grade, students learn how to apply the scientific method to problems, evaluate hypotheses and make predictions. Students get more advanced knowledge regarding the Earth, Sun and Solar System, and they explore the use of technology. Eighth graders will be introduced to elements and the Periodic Table as well as to photosynthesis.

High School Science Standards in Florida

Students in grades 9-12 take science courses such as physics, biology and chemistry that are based off of the Bodies of Knowledge areas. The standards from these knowledge areas could overlap across different courses, but all students are exposed to secondary-level exploration in each of these required content areas.

High school students can get additional help with physics, biology and chemistry at Study.com.

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