South Carolina Science Standards

Instructor: Shelby Golden
Check out South Carolina's science standards with this article. Find out what students will study in different grades and learn about useful educational tips.

Science Standards in South Carolina

South Carolina's science standards are broken down by grade level. Students from kindergarten to 8th grade will focus on three specific areas of science each year:

  • Earth and space
  • Physical
  • Life

In addition to content standards, students will also be encouraged to consider certain core concepts that can be applied to all branches of science. These include patterns, cause and effect, mechanism and explanations, systems and system models, structure and function, scale, proportion and quantity, energy and matter, flows, cycles and conservations, stability and change.

Students will also spend time developing their understanding of the skills associated with science and engineering. Kids will learn to ask scientific questions, use models, carry out investigations, understand data, apply mathematical concepts, come up with solutions, participate in scientific arguments and communicate information in an accurate way.

All students will work on developing good scientific habits, such as answering questions by exploring and making observations. They will also study how technology can be used to solve problems.

Difficulty will increase with each grade, and students will be expected to build on what they've learned previously.

Elementary School Standards


Kindergarteners in South Carolina will learn about the relationship between living organisms and the environment, weather patterns and different properties of matter.

1st Grade

1st graders will work on understanding the properties of light and how the Sun and the Moon affect the Earth. Class time will also be spent on helping students understand the natural resources found on Earth, as well as the structures found in plant life.

2nd Grade

In this grade, students will explore seasonal weather, along with the properties of liquids, solids and magnets. Kids will also study motion and the physical structures of animal life.

3rd Grade

The properties of matter will be covered, along with how matter can change states. Students will study the relationship between electricity and magnetism, along with the Earth's surface. Time will be dedicated to studying how organisms deal with their environment.

4th Grade

Students at this grade will explore the water cycle, climate and weather. The stars and other celestial objects will be studied, as will the properties of light and sound. Students will develop an understanding of the reproductive traits of plants and animals.

5th Grade

5th graders will work on studying properties related to matter and mixtures. They will have the chance to learn about the factors that affect landmasses and oceans. Biotic and abiotic factors will also be studied in this grade. Finally, students will study motion.

Educational Tip!

Students can use this Science for Kids course to easily review what they're learning in elementary science classes. This course is full of short lessons that kids can work on at their own pace. These lessons go over the different scientific concepts elementary schoolers need to study.

Middle School Standards

6th Grade

Students who have reached middle school will work on studying the flow of energy in the Earth. They will also explore the properties of energy. Time will be spent studying the classification of different living organisms. Protists, fungi and plants will also be focused on.

7th Grade

In the 7th grade, students will focus on the structure and conservation of matter. They will explore how organisms are organized, as well as the transfer of genetic information. The relationship between organisms, biotic and abiotic factors will also be discussed.

8th Grade

8th graders will take time to study object motion and stability, the properties of waves, and Earth's place in the solar system. Students will also study how the structure of the Earth can be altered, as well as natural resources. The geologic history of the Earth will also be covered.

Educational Tip!

Middle schoolers can take advantage of these Earth, Life and Physical Science courses as they work their way through these grades. These online courses allow students to go over different concepts as many times as they need to and reach out to content experts if they have any questions.

High School Standards

High school science standards are arranged differently than the lower grades. These courses focus on specific scientific subjects, allowing students to develop a strong understanding of scientific concepts in relation to society and careers. Like K-8 standards, high school standards also include the core concepts expressed across grade levels and content, as well as science and engineering practices. The South Carolina standards for science require that high school students take at least three science courses. Classes include:


High school biology students will study the functions of cells, heredity, biological evolution, energy transfer and the dynamics of different ecosystems. The vital importance of energy will be studied.'s High School Biology Course is designed to help students at this grade level master the concepts associated with this branch of scientific study.


This class will allow students to learn more about atomic structures, nuclear processes, and the behavior of different states of matter. Chemical reactions, thermochemistry, and chemical kinetics will also be studied, as well as bonding, chemical formulas, and solutions, acids and bases. Teachers will also provide information about the conservation of energy.

High school students can use this Chemistry Course to get extra help going over these scientific concepts.


Students who take high school physics in South Carolina will learn more about force and energy. These subjects include linear motion, contact forces, noncontact forces, fields, changes in motion, energy transfer and work, electricity, magnets and the following kinds of energy:

  • Thermal
  • Sound
  • Mechanical
  • Radiation
  • Nuclear

This High School Physics Course provides students with a great way to go over these complicated subjects at their own pace.

Earth Science

Earth science at the high school level allows students to develop an understanding of astronomy, the geosphere, the paleobiosphere, the hydrosphere and the atmosphere.

Accessing this High School Earth Science course is a great way for students to reinforce what they're learning in this class.

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