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image of Curtis Tufts Science Periodic Table Science Room

Director of Science 

Rocco Cieri


Our world has never been so complex, and scientific and technological reasoning have never been so necessary to make sense of it all. It is self-evident that science, technology, and engineering (STE) are central to the lives of all citizens when they analyze current events, make informed decisions about healthcare, or decide to support public development of community infrastructure. By the end of grade 12, all students must have an appreciation for the wonder of science, possess sufficient knowledge of science and engineering to engage in public discussions on related issues, and be careful consumers of scientific and technological information and products in their everyday lives. Students’ STE experience should encourage and facilitate engagement in STE to prepare them for the reality that most careers require some scientific or technical preparation, and to increase their interest in and consideration of careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). All students, regardless of their future education plan and career path, must have an engaging, relevant, rigorous, and coherent STE education to be prepared for citizenship, continuing education, and careers.

Guiding Principles

  • An effective science and technology/engineering program develops students’ ability to apply their knowledge and skills to analyze and explain the world around them.
  • An effective science and technology/engineering program addresses students’ prior knowledge and preconceptions.
  • Investigation, experimentation, design, and analytical problem solving are central to an effective science and technology/engineering program.
  • An effective science and technology/engineering program provides opportunities for students to collaborate in scientific and technological endeavors and communicate their ideas.
  • An effective science and technology/engineering program conveys high academic expectations for all students.
  • An effective science and technology/engineering program integrates STE learning with mathematics and disciplinary literacy.
  • An effective science and technology/engineering program uses regular assessment to inform student learning, guide instruction, and evaluate student progress.
  • An effective science and technology/engineering program engages all students.
  • An effective science and technology/engineering program requires coherent districtwide planning and ongoing support for implementation.


DESE Curriculum Frameworks

DESE Science and Technology/Engineering Frameworks

High School Curriculum Overview Vision

By the end of high school, students should have an understanding of and ability to apply each

science and engineering practice to understand the world around them. Students should have had many opportunities to immerse themselves in the practices and to explore why they are central to the applications of science and engineering. Some examples of these science and engineering practices include:

1. Define a design problem that involves the development of a process or system with
interacting components and criteria and constraints that may include social, technical, and/or
environmental considerations.
2. Develop and/or use a model (including mathematical and computational) to generate data to
support explanations, predict phenomena, analyze systems, and/or solve problems.
3. Plan and conduct an investigation, including deciding on the types, amount, and accuracy of
data needed to produce reliable measurements, and consider limitations on the precision of
the data.
4. Apply concepts of statistics and probability (including determining function fits to data,
slope, intercept, and correlation coefficient for linear fits) to scientific questions and engineering problems, using digital tools when feasible.
5. Use simple limit cases to test mathematical expressions, computer programs, algorithms, or
simulations of a process or system to see if a model “makes sense” by comparing the outcomes with what is known about the real world.
6. Apply scientific reasoning, theory, and/or models to link evidence to the claims and assess
the extent to which the reasoning and data support the explanation or conclusion.
7. Respectfully provide and/or receive critiques on scientific arguments by probing reasoning
and evidence and challenging ideas and conclusions, and determining what additional
information is required to solve contradictions.
8. Evaluate the validity and reliability of and/or synthesize multiple claims, methods, and/or
designs that appear in scientific and technical texts or media, verifying the data when possible.

Typical Course Sequence of a High School Student:

Grade 9 - Biology (Honors or College Prep)
Grade 10 - Chemistry (Honors or College Prep)
Grade 11 - Physics (Honors or College Prep)
Grade 11/12 Electives (based upon course selection and availability) - 
  • Anatomy and Physiology  (Honors or College Prep)
  • Environmental Science (Honors or College Prep) 
  • Physics (Honors or College Prep) 
  • AP Biology (pre-requisites)
  • AP Chemistry (pre-requisites)
  • AP Physics C (note for AP Physics C: must have taken Physics 1 and be concurrently enrolled in or have taken Calculus).
Mini-course electives for Grade 11/12 students (these meet 2x in a 6 day cycle) 
Geology/Earth Science (new minicourse in development)