Curriculum & Instruction » Science


Students within The Cranbury School District receive science instruction from Kindergarten through 8th grade. The science program is based on the New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS) and promotes student collaboration, exploration of ideas, and meaningful learning experiences. Students are encouraged to ask questions about the world around them and apply scientific concepts to authentic experiences. At all grade-levels, students are given opportunities to conduct investigations and utilize evidence to support their conclusions. The primary goal of the science program at The Cranbury School is to help students develop critical thinking skills, create solutions to real-world problems, and build upon their knowledge of scientific and engineering practices.

Scientific and Engineering Practices:

  • Asking questions and defining problems
  • Planning and carrying out investigations
  • Analyzing and interpreting data
  • Developing and using models
  • Constructing explanations and designing solutions
  • Engaging in argument from evidence
  • Using mathematics and computational thinking
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information




NJSLS Crosscutting Concepts


Observed patterns of forms and events guide organization and classification, and they prompt questions about relationships and the factors that influence them.

Cause and Effect: Mechanism and Explanation

Events have causes, sometimes simple, sometimes multifaceted. A major activity of science is investigating and explaining causal relationships and the mechanisms by which they are mediated. Such mechanisms can then be tested across given contexts and used to predict and explain events in new contexts.

Scale, Proportion, and Quantity

In considering phenomena, it is critical to recognize what is relevant at different measures of size, time, and energy and to recognize how changes in scale, proportion, or quantity affect a system’s structure or performance.

Systems and System Models

Defining the system under study—specifying its boundaries and making explicit a model of that system— provides tools for understanding and testing ideas that are applicable throughout science and engineering.

Energy and Matter

Flows, cycles, and conservation tracking fluxes of energy and matter into, out of, and within systems helps one understand the systems’ possibilities and limitations. 

Structure and Function

The way in which an object or living thing is shaped and its substructure determine many of its properties and functions.

Stability and Change

For natural and built systems alike, conditions of stability and determinants of rates of change or evolution of a system are critical elements of study.


Grades K-5

At the elementary level, students are exposed to a variety of scientific concepts that build in complexity. Students participate in activities that allow them to generate original ideas, collaborate with their peers, and create innovative solutions to real-world issues. The K-5 science program utilizes McGraw Hill’s Inspire Science curriculum, which integrates multiple subject areas, including language arts and mathematics. Differentiated activities and enrichment opportunities are embedded into the program to ensure students are meeting their full potential. Each lesson begins with a formative assessment, designed to assess prior knowledge and inform instruction. Through scaffolded activities and differentiated materials, students are challenged at an appropriate level and have the chance to demonstrate mastery of science concepts in a variety of ways. In each unit, through hands-on activities and technology integration, students are given opportunities to take ownership of their own learning and explore their curiosities. 


Grades 6-8

In grades 6-8, students build upon their knowledge of the scientific concepts previously learned, and content is spiraled throughout their middle school experience. Through hands-on lab activities and discussions, students investigate subjects such as Earth science, physics, biology, and chemistry. Students work collaboratively to analyze data and develop solutions to real-world problems. The 6-8 science program utilizes Elevate Science by Savaas, which includes online resources to supplement hands-on activities. Students explore career connections through video clips in an effort to expose them to various STEAM occupations. The Elevate platform allows students to participate in virtual labs, complete digital note-taking activities, and extend their learning by accessing enrichment opportunities. Throughout the middle grades, students are encouraged to collaborate with one another and develop critical thinking skills at an increasingly independent level. 


Cranbury School District Curriculum Link