RPS Science empowers all students to engage in skills-based and relevant learning by providing teachers and schools with materials and resources that promote hands-on exploration, collection of real data, a sense of place, and a lens to critically view and discuss issues related to science and society.
The vision of RPS Science is that all Richmond students graduate as scientifically literate citizens, able to use critical thinking skills to navigate the modern world and to have a connection to their local environment and the world at large.
5E/Constructivist Model of Instruction
In RPS, we are moving towards district-wide use of the 5E model of science instruction, focusing on providing students with an opportunity to experience and probe a concept prior to being provided anything that might be considered “formal” direct instruction. The 5E model is a well-researched and studied model, with a large bank of evidence supporting it as being effective in helping students with meaning-making, skills, and concept acquisition.
Implementation of Adopted & Written Curricula
Beginning in SY 2021-22, RPS Science will implement Amplify Science in all 3rd-Physical Science classrooms and SAVVAS Realize for high school courses, including Earth Science. Both of these curricula were chosen through the RFP process on account of the high quality of their pedagogical, physical, and digital resources. RPS Science will support students, teachers, and administrators in this implementation with professional learning, regular office hours, coaching observations, and meaningful benchmarks.
Environmental Stewardship Through Place-Based Learning
Richmond is lucky to have a large quantity of natural resources within and near the urban center that can be leveraged for learning. RPS Science will work with teachers and our partners (James River Association, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, James River Park System, Blue Sky Fund) to build programming in schoolyards and neighborhoods that will engender in our students a sense of place and connection to their local and global environment. Students will have the opportunities to engage in place-based learning - “At the core of place-based education is the need for more equitable learning environments for all students—environments where students are seen, valued, and heard.”