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Full Option Science System (FOSS) 

www.delta-education.com – Sales

www.fossweb.com – FOSS information


Program Description


FOSS is a carefully planned, flexible, and modular approach to science instruction and assessment for K-8 students.  Its modular design provides versatility so that it can be used in many difference school settings. 

Note:  FOSS is an approved remedial program for the elementary and middle school grades only.


FOSS Elementary Program


FOSS elementary modules are organized under four topic headings called strands: Life Science, Physical Science, Earth Science, and Scientific Reasoning and Technology.  There are five modules for Kindergarten, six modules for grades one and two, eight modules for grades three and four, and eight modules for grades five and six, for a total of 27 modules.  Modules that span two grade levels provide flexibility for teachers and curriculum planners, making FOSS adaptable to just about every science framework, guide, or program.


NOTE:  FOSS has made changes to the program for grades 3 through 6:


1.       FOSS Science Stories:  New student books written to be an integral part of FOSS science modules for grades 3 - 6.  These books are designed to extend or reinforce the science concepts introduced in the classroom.  FOSS Science stories are designed to help strengthen the science, reading, and language arts connection. 


2.       Revised Teacher Guide:  Includes several new teacher resources, such as Science stories and website folios, to help extend the hands-on learning.


3.       New Assessments:  The new assessments, found in the Teacher Guide, help the teacher continually monitor student progress throughout each investigation and again at the end of the module.   Formative assessments are embedded in each part of the investigations, providing teachers with constant feedback.  Summative assessments provide a comprehensive, overall measure of the learning outcome at the end of the module.


4.       New Equipment Kits:  Repackaged to provide quick and easy access to the investigation materials. 


5.       New Teacher Videos:  FOSS Teacher Preparation Videos provide instructional support to save preparation time for teachers.  The video introduces the module and demonstrates how to set up the equipment for each investigation.  The new videos include more information on pedagogy and more footage of real classrooms using the FOSS modules. 


6.       The new FOSS website connects students, teachers, and parents with new resources.  Each module has an interactive site where students and families can exercise their science skills with instructional games and interactive simulations.  The site also provides links to other resources to explore subjects in greater depth. 


FOSS Middle School Program


FOSS for middle schools is a general science curriculum for students and their teachers in grades 6 - 8.  The curriculum is organized into topical courses that require 9 to 12 weeks to teach.  Three courses are offered under each of three strands:


Life Science


·         Diversity of Life

·         Human Brain and Senses

·         Populations and Ecosystems


Physical Science and Technology


·         Electronics


Earth and Space Science


·         Planetary Science

·         Earth History

·         Water and Weather


The FOSS program has set out to achieve two important goals.  These are:


·         Scientific Literacy:  To provide all students with science experiences that are appropriate to their cognitive stages of development, and to serve as a foundation for more advanced ideas that prepare them for life in an increasingly complex scientific and technological world.


·         Instructional Efficiency:  To provide all teachers with a complete, flexible, easy-to-use science program that reflects current research on learning and the latest instructional methodologies.


Evidence of Effectiveness


According to educational research studies, hands-on and inquiry-based science programs are more effective than traditional lecture-based approaches still used in 80% of the nation’s classrooms.  Students exposed to inquiry-based programs perform better and demonstrate a more positive attitude toward science than those in a traditional, textbook-based classroom.  (Making the Case for Teaching Science Using a Hands-On, Inquiry-Based Approach, Bayer Corporation, 1999.) 


·         Shymansky et al. (1990) combined 81 research studies (a process called meta-analysis) contrasting the performance of students in hands-on, activity-based programs with that of students in traditional textbook based classrooms.  Primary grade children exposed to hands-on instruction displayed a positive effect size of 1.4 standard deviations in science achievement.  Particularly noteworthy, was the extra achievement gain demonstrated by the students of those teachers who had taken in-service training on the new curricula.


·         Wise (1996) ran a similar study on middle and high school science education experiments.  He found 140 published comparisons between traditional teaching and alternative instruction (inquiry oriented approaches).  The inquiry instructional strategies average thirteen percentile points higher in achievement measures over traditional text and lecture modes of instruction. 


·         In a 1996 study of science achievement versus amount of hands-on experience in the classroom, Stohr‑Hunt analyzed data collected from 24,599 eighth-grade students (1,052 schools).  She was looking for an answer to this question, “do students who engage in hands-on activities frequently, (defined as daily or once a week), score higher on tests of science achievement than those students who engage in hands-on activities infrequently…?”  She found that the frequency of hands-on experience was strongly related to science achievement and reported significantly higher achievement scores for students with more exposure to hands-on learning.  (Stohr-Hunt, 1996). 


Some anecdotal information suggests that FOSS may influence scores on standardized math tests.  Well‑designed studies on this topic are just beginning.  One such study is presented below.


Dade County Florida


The study examined the 1996 Stanford Achievement Test (SAT) science test results of third and fifth grade students in Region III schools using the FOSS Science Kits in comparison to other Region III schools that did not use the kits.  The table below displays the 1996 SAT results for the two groups of students.  An examination of the table reveals that third and fifth grade students in schools using FOSS Science Kits outperformed other students in science.  In addition, FOSS students also achieved higher scores in Reading Comprehension, Mathematics Computation, and Mathematics Applications. 







Schools Using

FOSS Science Kits (n = 2,420)

Schools Not Using

FOSS Science Kits (n = 4,145)


Grade 3


Grade 5


Grade 3


Grade 5










































Franklin-Leach, L. S. (1992).  Hands-on Science Curriculum Helps Female Pupils.  Research study, Texas Tech, Lubbock, Texas.


Seventy three female and 63 males in five fifth grade classes were involved in a 14-week study.  Treatment classes experienced FOSS modules.  Both the males and females in the treatment group scored significantly higher on a battery of assessment devices: CTBS, content achievement measures, problem solving tasks, and attitude measures.


Correlation to Nevada State Standards


Concepts covered by FOSS are aligned to Nevada content standards for Grades 2, 3, 5 and 8.  FOSS is aligned to Indicators of Progress for Kindergarten and Grades 1, 4, 6 and 7.  Alignments are available at the Delta Education website.



Teacher Support


Each elementary FOSS module has its own teacher guide, which consists of a module overview, a set of activity folios, duplication masters for the student sheets, assessments, FACT's, and equipment inventory sheets.  For middle schools, the teacher guide includes science background, detailed lesson plans, assessments, and resource lists.


A teacher preparation video contained in each module is another Ateacher friendly@ component of the FOSS Program.  The video is an introduction to the module, and shows a FOSS staff person or experienced teacher demonstrating how to set up the equipment for each activity, in addition to brief excursions into real classrooms to see the FOSS module in use.


The cost factor incurred in purchasing the instructional modules entitles the purchasers to FOSS training.



Equipment Requirements


Every module revolves around an equipment kit, each of which is designed to serve a class of up to 32 students at one time.  There is a minimum of everyday-type consumable materials; replacements can be ordered in packages or as line items.


In addition, for the middle school program, each equipment kits includes a multimedia CD-ROM, which may be used as an interactive instruction tool for use as a whole class demonstration tool, as well as, individual or small group. A lab notebook is provided that contains organizers and student sheets, which can be photocopied for flexible use. A resource book is provided that contains images, data, and readings. 





·         Price of equipment kits for Elementary Schools range from $349.00 - $649.00

·         Price of equipment kits for Middle Schools range from $1,249 - $1,949

·        Shipping and handling is added to all orders (10%)



For Information Contact


Delta Education

Dean Taylor, Regional Manager

8928 Carefree Avenue

Flagstaff, AZ 86004

Phone: (800) 338-5270 x180

Voice: (928) 527-8717


Current Location in Nevada


Clark County School District                                          

Tom Williams Elementary

3000 East Tonopah

North Las Vegas, NV  89030

Phone: (702) 799-7179

Contact:  Teddie Brewer


Fay Herron Elementary

2421 North Kenneth

North Las Vegas, NV  89030

Phone: (702) 799-7123

Contact: Kelly Sturdy






J.D. Smith Middle

1301 East Tonopah

North Las Vegas, NV  89030

Phone: (702) 799-7080

Contact: Karen Stansfield-Paquette


Bridger Middle

2505 North Bruce Street

North Las Vegas, NV  89030

Phone: (702) 799-7185

Contact: Milana Winter


Monaco Middle

1870 North Lamont Street

Las Vegas, NV  89115

Phone: (702) 799-3670

Contact: Russ Ramirez





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Science and Technology for Children

Science and Technology Concepts for Middle School





Program Description


The Science and Technology program is a complete science program for pupils in grades 1-8.  The program can serve as an entire science curriculum or individual units can be selected to incorporate into the existing curriculum.  The modular design makes it easy for a school or school system to implement the program gradually over time. 


Science and Technology for Children (STC) serves pupils in grades 1-6.  With STC units, students participate in a variety of exciting activities involving observation, measurement, identification of properties, and controlled experiments involving life, earth, and physical science concepts. This program is filled with innovative hands-on activities designed to motivate young students.  As every STC unit was developed, careful attention was given to the diverse learning styles and the developmental readiness of children.  This applied both to the concepts in each unit and the way in which these concepts were presented.  In general, the units are most effective at the suggested grade level and up or down a grade.  With teacher modifications, the range can be widened. 

Science and Technology Concepts for Middle Schools (STC/MS) is an 8-module, inquiry-centered, middle school science curriculum developed by the National Science Resources Center (NSRC). Each STC/MS module provides opportunities for students to experience scientific phenomena firsthand. The STC/MS program builds on the skills and knowledge developed in the STC curriculum, with content balanced among the life sciences, earth sciences, physical sciences, and technology.

The STC/MS modules include:

·         Catastrophic Events

·         Energy, Machines, and Motion

·         Human Body Systems

·         Properties of Matter

·         Organisms

·         Earth in Space

·         Light

·         Electrical Energy and Circuit Design

The modules can be sequenced for 2 one-year courses, each year consisting of a module from each of the 4 science/technology strands, or as 4 one-semester courses for earth science, life science, physical science, and technology. The STC/MS program materials include assessment components, suggestions for the use of educational technology, and reading selections to broaden student learning.

Each STC/MS module is based on a 4-stage learning cycle that is grounded in educational research and practice.


Evidence of Effectiveness


The Science and Technology program is a complete science program for pupils in grades 1-8.  The program is filled with innovative hand-on activities designed to motivate pupils; the program is the result of a joint effort by some of the leaders in the fields of education and science. 


The National Science Resources Center (NSRC), operated by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Academy of Sciences to improve the teaching of science in the nation’s schools, began developing the Science and Technology program in 1988; the curriculum was completed in 1997. 


The NSRC evaluated each Science and Technology unit’s effectiveness with children, by nationally field‑testing it in diverse urban, rural, and suburban public schools.  The Program Evaluation and Research Group of Lesley College, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, evaluated the assessments in each unit.  Each unit also reflects the incorporation of teacher and student field-test feedback and of comments on accuracy and soundness from nationally known scientists and science educators who serve on the Science and Technology Advisory Panel.  This research and development process was completed to ensure all Science and Technology units are scientifically accurate and pedagogically appropriate for pupils. 


Traverse City Public Schools, Traverse City Michigan


Review of results from the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) was used to determine the effectiveness of the Science and Technology program on student academic achievement.  In analyzing the results, a comparison was made between the results of school districts that adopted a significant number of Science and Technology units and the state average.  (NOTE:  The Science and Technology program was implemented in 1996; therefore, results from 1996 should be considered baseline).  Test results are categorized by socio-economic status of school districts.








Table 1 represents results of school districts that are generally considered to be of a high socio-economic level (low free and reduced lunch frequency) as compared to statewide results:



Table 1





Michigan State Average




Troy Public Schools




Utica Community Schools






Table 2 represents results of school districts that are generally considered to be of diverse socio-economic backgrounds (higher free and reduced lunch frequency):




 Table 2





Michigan State Average




Lanse Cruse Schools




Shelby Public Schools




South Lake Public Schools




Traverse City Public Schools





Table 3 represents results of school districts that are generally considered to be of low to very low socio‑economic backgrounds (very high free and reduced lunch frequency):


Table 3





Michigan State Average








Muskegon Public Schools




Saginaw Public Schools






Summary of Results


While there are many statistical variations that could be applied to these results, one dramatic trend emerges. Out of these very different school districts, eight out of nine showed improvement greater than the state average increase of 3.6%, from 1997 to 1998.  In some cases the improvement is dramatic (South Lake - +32%; Crawford AuSable - +24.5%).  The smallest improvement was at the Traverse City Schools - +6%; however, this district was already 15% higher than the state average before implementation of the program. 




Correlation to Nevada State Standards




Teacher Support


The key to the successful use of the Science and Technology program is the comprehensive Teacher’s Guide. Each Guide provides in-depth information on how to prepare for and lead every activity in the program, as well as assess student progress.  Notes and classroom management tips help the teacher to efficiently manage all materials.  Complete preparation steps make planning and implementing each lesson easy and efficient.  There are goals for each unit, objectives for individual lessons, topics for class discussion, student questions and answers, and an extensive bibliography. 


In-service training can be arranged at an additional cost through the Carolina Biological Supply Company. It is recommended that this type of training occur before implementation, so that teachers can work through a module themselves and become familiar with the experiential learning of STC.


Equipment Requirements


Everything needed to teach a Science and Technology module—teacher's guide, student books, and the equipment and materials to conduct each lesson's inquiries—is available in each purchased kit. 



Prices of Science and Technology kits will vary depending on the module.

·        For the Science and Technology for Children program, each kit provides enough materials for eight weeks of instruction for a group of 30 pupils. 

·        For the middle school program, kits are offered in one-class sets (for one class or 32 students) or in 5-class sets (for 5 classes of 32 students each).  One Teacher’s Guide is included in each kit; additional Teacher’s Guides may be purchased separately. 

·        Kit refurbishment services are available.


For Information Contact


Crystal McKenrick, Adoptions Coordinator

Carolina Biological Supply Company

Science and Technology Program

2700 York Road

Burlington, NC 27215

Phone:  (800) 227-1150 x 5302

            (800) 334-5551


Current Location in Nevada


No school in Nevada has chosen this program during this state remediation funding cycle.