FOSS Science Curriculum
FOSS Science Curriculum
For two years, our middle school science program has been partnering with Lawrence Hall of Science (Cal Berkeley) and their
FOSS (Full Option Science Program) science curriculum. FOSS is an internationally known science curriculum for K-8 that uses
leading research and current best practices to develop science teaching kits. We currently use their science curriculum in all of our
They have selected St. Finn Barr middle school as a partner in their research and development of the next generation of middle school
What this means for SFB:
We are collaborating on some amazing education research! Our students are exposed to leading edge education research and the
educators themselves (who, by the way, are top notch scientists).
The team will return to SFB this fall as they work with our 8th grade class on the 2nd edition of the Chemical Interactions program.
If you have any questions or would like more information, please reach out to our Science Director - Mrs. Christine Bertko
Students are exploring liquid, one of the states of matter. They are exploring the properties of six different unknown fluids as
they roll them in bottles down ramps. This is a part of a first grade FOSS physics unit.
The second graders are in the middle of a geology unit on weathering and are investigating the focus question -
What happens when rocks rub together?
Using magnifying lens, they examine an assortment of rocks, compare and contrast them and then rub them together to
Students have been investigating seeds and are now engineering solutions to the focus question -
How do seeds disperse away from the parent plant?
After studying the variety of dispersal methods (examples: animals, wind water, projectile) the students are given the task of
designing their own dispersal method. Using a variety of materials, students construct the structure around the seed and test it
outside with buckets of water, their own sweatshirts, wind and air.
The focus question - How does energy transfer in a food web?, guides the students as they investigate energy systems on
FOSSWeb. The students research an ecosystem (for example, Mono Lake) and create food webs with the local organisms.
Fifth graders are dissecting owl pellets and learning a bit of comparative anatomy as they analyze the diets of these raptors.
Carefully removing feathers and fur from the pellets, the students comparing their findings with bone charts of birds, shrews,
moles and voles to identify the owl's prey.
Note: The pellets are regurgitated remains of the undigested fur, feather and bones of owl prey. Because the owl does not
have teeth, only a very powerful beak, they swallow large parts of these animals and later regurgitate the non-digestible parts
of the animal. These pellets are obtained from a biological supply house that packages and sterilizes them for research use.