Oregon Science Standards

Instructor: Shelby Golden
Prepare to learn about the science standards used in Oregon. This article covers what students will learn from kindergarten through 12th grade. It also provides information about study tools that students can access.

Oregon's Science Standards

Oregon now uses the Next Generation Science Standards. These standards were adopted in 2014, and ensure that students develop an understanding of scientific concepts. Standards also focus on helping students learn to use scientific skills by integrating science and engineering practices as well as crosscutting concepts into its disciplinary core ideas.

For all school levels, students will become familiar with the following science and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts as they work through core concepts:

Science & Engineering PracticesCrosscutting Concepts
Developing & using modelsScale, Proportion & Quantity
Planning & carrying out investigationsCause & Effect
Engaging in argument from evidenceEnergy & Matter
Constructing explanations & designing solutionsStability & Change
Asking questions & defining problemsSystems & System Models
Using mathematics & computational thinking
Obtaining, evaluating & communicating information

Oregon's Elementary School Science Standards

Elementary schoolers can get study help with this online science course for kids as they go through these grades.


Kids in kindergarten will learn about the importance of food to animal life. They'll also study weather and how people and other animals change the environment around them. Natural resources, motion and sunlight will also be considered.

1st Grade

1st graders will learn about the external parts of plants and animals, as well as how traits vary between parents and their offspring. They'll find out more about the movement of the moon, sun and stars, as well as seasonal patterns. Vibration, light and communication devices will be discussed.

2nd Grade

The needs of plants, variety in living things and events in Earth's history will be covered. Kids will learn how water and wind impact the Earth. They'll study maps, matter and the effects of heat and cold.

3rd Grade

Students in 3rd grade will study reproduction, social interaction in animals, inherited characteristics and traits that are impacted by the environment. They'll also find out more about extinct animals, fossils and adaptation. Weather patterns, climate, natural hazards, forces and patterns associated with motion will be covered.

4th Grade

In 4th grade, students will learn about the structures of plants and animals, sense receptors, rock formations, rainfall and plate tectonics. They'll consider how humans use natural resources and focus on the hazards that accompany natural processes. Energy, light, waves and information transfer will be taught.

5th Grade

Students will explore the needs of plants, the importance of food to animals and the cycle of matter. Additionally, they'll learn about the sun, the orbit and rotation of the Earth, Earth's systems, water and how humanity influences the planet. Students will focus on matter, mixtures and gravitational force.

Oregon's Middle School Science Standards

Students in middle school in Oregon can check out these courses on life, earth and physical science to reinforce what they're learning in:

6th Grade

6th graders will consider cells, cellular structures, body subsystems and plant reproduction. They'll discuss types of reproduction and inherited traits, in addition to the water cycle, weather patterns and global climate changes. Students will learn about temperature and energy transfer.

7th Grade

Teachers will make sure students understand how plants use light, food and its relationship to energy, cellular respiration, food webs and the relationships found in ecosystems. Effects of biodiversity, Earth's processes, weathering, erosion, the importance of natural resources and the physical and chemical properties of different substances will be covered. Students will also learn about chemical reactions.

8th Grade

Students will have a chance to learn about genes, common ancestry, natural selection, artificial selection and adaptation. They'll study the solar system, geologic time and how humans negatively impact the Earth. Motion, electromagnetic and gravitational forces, energy and wave properties will be discussed at this grade level.

Oregon's High School Science Standards

High school standards in Oregon are not divided by grade level. Students will still be learning about life science, earth science and physical science. They can check out the above courses for study help.

Life Science Standards

High schoolers will study mitosis, and the significance of photosynthesis and cellular respiration to life. They'll focus on the carrying capacity of ecosystems, how ecosystems function and factors associated with biodiversity. Additionally, students will learn about DNA, chromosomes, how sexual reproduction varies traits and how evolution is influenced.

Earth and Space Science Standards

In these grades, students will consider the life of the sun, the Big Bang theory, Kepler's Laws, the theory of plate tectonics and nuclear fusion. They'll get additional information about the dynamics of Earth, our global climate and how the Earth's surface is changing. Future changes to the climate, effects of natural hazards and continuing impacts related to humanity will be covered.

Physical Science Standards

Students will explore the periodic table, atoms and chemical and nuclear processes. Newton's laws, Coulomb's law, energy manifestations, the conservation of energy, the evolution of uncontrolled systems and solar cells will be discussed. Students will find out more about waves and wavelengths as well as electromagnetic radiation frequency.

Engineering Design Standards

The engineering design standards were created to help students understand the importance and interconnections between technology, science and engineering. Although these standards may vary in content from one grade band to the next, the same core concepts are explored in some manner. The focus of these standards include but aren't limited to conducting experiments, figuring out solutions to problems, creating models with modern technology and evaluating data. You can use these lesson on technology in the science classroom as well as this lesson on how science and technology are related to further your students' understanding.

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