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Developed by teachers in California

MIDDLE SCHOOL 6–8 PROGRAMS FOR CA NGSS

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Impact Science?

A: Impact Science is a California company founded by science teachers. Our focus is middle school science, and we offer two state adopted 6–8 programs: Integrated and Discipline-Specific (Earth/Life/Physical Science). Our programs were carefully sequenced to provide coherent and integrated learning experiences that are relevant and meaningful for all your students. We provide a full suite of resources in a flexible delivery format which allows for seamless implementation in any school setting — and allows you to keep the focus on student learning.

Q: How does Impact Science help advance learning for all students?

A: Engagement and motivation are the key to learning, and Impact Science engages all students by keeping science and engineering as real and hands-on as possible. With phenomena and projects that are relevant and accessible to students, we provide multiple opportunities for exploration. Readings relate directly to the activities and concepts that students have been learning and students’ own experiences. You will see increased engagement and learning in all your students. Accommodation tips within the lessons suggest additional ways to support English learners and students with a variety of learning differences — and to help all students develop greater academic vocabulary and skills.

Q: What does Impact Science offer for more advanced students?

A: Impact Science keeps advanced students engaged with an Extension in every lesson. Students can further investigate a topic that is related to lesson level phenomena and share out with their classmates when you bring the class back together for the debrief.

Q: How are Impact Science programs delivered?

A: Impact Science can be delivered in a Google Drive folder to your district or school. Teachers can download any lesson plans, teacher resources, and student pages from Google Drive to their computer for the duration of the license. Files can be printed, projected, or distributed digitally using Google Classroom or other content management systems, posted on your class website, and shared with anyone within your district as needed.

Q: What assessments are included?

A: Impact Science provides a variety of assessments. The unit level assessments were created in partnership with WestEd and include pre-assessments, interim assessments, summative assessments, and 3D project rubrics assess 3D learning at the unit level. In addition, built-in formative assessments in every lesson provide you with the insight you need to support powerful, responsive 3D learning for all your students.

Q: Who created the Impact Science programs?

A: Impact Science was written by a team of middle school teachers in California with expertise in engineering and a variety of science fields, under the direction of the company founders, who are both experienced middle school science teachers. We teamed up to create the middle school NGSS-aligned curriculum that all California schools need.

Q: Are classroom materials included with the curriculum or do materials need to be purchased separately?

A: There are no kits. Impact Science uses everyday materials as much as possible. Materials are not included with purchase, but Materials Lists by grade are provided for ease of ordering from your chosen materials vendor. Our grade-by-grade materials list are customizable. Order only what you need. This saves storage space as well. However, if you would prefer to have kits assembled for your school, some custom ordering is available which can include materials as part of your Purchase Order.

Q: Do students need internet access or computers to use Impact Science?

A: No internet connection is required to use Impact Science, except when students are doing online research or teachers want to show simulations or live data from public domain websites, for example. On the other hand, for schools that prefer to go paperless, our files can be used with Google Classroom and many other content management systems. Our goal is to give teachers the flexibility to choose how they use the program — to print lessons and readings, order print materials, project the lessons, or distribute digitally.

Q: Is there a Spanish edition?

A: Yes! Ciencia con Impacto is our complete Spanish edition. All Student Pages, video clips, and other resources are all available in Spanish (digital and print) and have the same images and formatting as the English edition.

(Since our program is delivered in Google Drive, you can also translate student pages, readings, and other resources into many other languages with the click of a button.)

Q: Is the Impact Science curriculum phenomenon based?

A: Yes, each unit is centered around an anchor phenomenon phrased as a driving question, such as “Why did the dinosaurs go extinct?” or “What is causing the Earth’s magnetic field?” See Our Programs tab or download our Course Maps. (Integrated or Discipline-Specific)

For example, in our Earth Systems unit the phenomenon is “How did the Grand Canyon form?” Students are introduced to this question in the first lesson, and build the understandings and practices necessary to answer it over the course of the unit. By the end of the unit, they are able to explain the anchor phenomenon in detail and use evidence to support their explanations. Other anchor phenomena include “Why did the dinosaurs go extinct?” and “How do we get astronauts safely to the International Space Station and back?” Each anchor phenomenon is specially crafted to engage student curiosity.

In addition, the lessons include many lesson-level investigative phenomena for students to explore and make sense of.

Q: How are instructional segments and storylines used in the program?

A: Impact Science units are grouped together and linked with a strong storyline. Each unit has its own anchor phenomenon and one or more projects, and is a manageable length — three or four weeks on average. (Download the Instructional Segments and Storylines for Integrated or Discipline-Specific Programs)

Q: Does the Impact Science curriculum use the 5E lesson cycle?

A: Yes, each daily lesson follows the 5E/7E lesson cycle with each section clearly labeled for ease of navigation: Engage, Explore, Explain/Elaborate, Evaluate — plus Elicit and Extend.  Especially with middle school, we think it's really important to engage students right away, so every lesson has an Opener (Engage). It’s also important to do a quick assessment each day, so every lesson has an Exit Card (Evaluate) to check student learning as you go.

Each unit also follows a 5E/7E structure as recommended by BSCS. You can see the first lesson or two in each unit are Engage lessons. Next we give students several lessons to Explore the topic. About halfway through each unit the concepts start to come together, and we expect students to be able to Explain more. This is when you can give the interim assessment as well. Toward the end of the unit there are sometimes more optional Extension lessons. In every unit there is at least one project-based performance assessment so you can authentically Evaluate student learning. The Unit Design document shows the 5E structure of a unit.

Q: Is the Impact Science curriculum 3-Dimensional?

A: Yes. See the color coded tags in the Summary at the beginning of every lesson plan. The Summary and lesson Goal explain how the three dimensions work together in the lesson. You can see color-coded tags corresponding to the 3 dimensions throughout the lesson. The standards covered in every lesson and the unit as a whole are also laid out in the Standards Correlation Chart in each unit folder.

Go to our Sample Curriculum tab to see sample lessons from grades 6, 7, and 8. Request a unit from our blue Request a Free Sample Unit button to see all the components for yourself.

Q: How much does Impact Science cost?

A: $12 per student per year for a 1-year license; $11 per student per year for a 5-year license; $10 per student per year for an 8-year license.

 

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