We believe that the best way to learn science is to do science. FOSS is a K–8 hands-on science curriculum created here at the Lawrence Hall of Science with support from the National Science Foundation.
FOSS developers are dedicated to the proposition that all students learn science best by doing science. FOSS investigations provide in-depth exposure to subject matter while guaranteeing that the cognitive demands placed on students are appropriate to their cognitive abilities.
The FOSS national program (2005 edition) includes 35 modules and/or courses organized under four strands:
- Life Science
- Physical Science
- Earth Science
- Scientific Reasoning and Technology
The FOSS CA K–5 Program (2007 edition, state adopted) consists of 18 modules, three for each grade level. Program components include an extensive teacher guide, equipment kits, teacher preparation videos, science resource books for students, and multimedia access. Delta Education publishes and distributes FOSS.
Over half the students in California are being served by FOSS. FOSS is used in all settings including urban, rural, and diverse economies. Amid this diversity, many commonalities are being found amongst the teachers serving these students—dedication to children, commitment to quality science education, and enthusiasm for FOSS.
A cadre of highly qualified consultants, trained by the FOSS staff, is providing professional development for teachers. Different types and levels of workshops are offered, including:
- module implementation
- materials management
- teacher leadership
Professional development is customized based on the needs of each district.
This program was developed for grades K–8.