Welcome to Science

Welcome to the Science website for the Utah State Board of Education. On the home page, you will find links to some of the most recent news from our office, and in the subsequent pages, we've placed more details about state science standards, endorsement information, grant applications, and our ongoing projects. Peruse, enjoy, and if you have any questions, please contact us.

Utah Core Standards

The Utah State Board of Education, in January of 1984, established policy requiring the identification of specific core standards to be met by all K-12 students in order to graduate from Utah's secondary schools. The Utah State Board of Education regularly updates the Utah Core Standards, while parents, teachers, and local school boards continue to control the curriculum choices that reflect local values.

Current Utah Core Standards

Utah State Board of Education Core Standards for Science:

Future Utah Core Standards (Implemented for the 2020-2021 School Year)

Utah K-12 Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards:

Utah Core Literacy Standards

Core Standards for English Language Arts (ELAs) and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects

Utah State Board of Education English Language Arts Standards Include standards for Science Literacy Instruction in both Reading and Writing:

  • Reading Standards for Informational Text K-5 (Page 15)
  • Writing Standards K-5 (Page 21)
  • Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects 6-12 (Page 74)
  • Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects 6-12 (Page 78)

Note: If you need this information in an accessible format contact the department directly.

Educator Endorsements

The Utah State Board of Education desires that all educators in Utah are fully qualified to teach the courses they are assigned to assure that all students get the best education possible. All secondary science courses (grades 7-12) require specific secondary science endorsements for teachers to be eligible to teach them.

Utah Secondary Science Endorsements

Science Educator Endorsement
Utah State Board of Education Educator Licensing

Courses That Can Be Taught with Each Science Endorsement

Endorsement Courses

To fulfill course requirements for secondary science endorsements each course needs to meet the following three requirements:

  • The course must be posted on a college/university transcript,
  • The course must be worth 3 or more credits, and
  • The course must be passed with a grade of C or better.
Online Courses

For some teachers, online courses are the best option to take needed endorsement courses because they allow work to be done on their own time and in the comfort of their own home or classroom.

Utah Science Teachers Association (UtSTA)
The UtSTA offers several online endorsement courses in partnership with UEN and Southern Utah University (SUU). These courses are designed with two things in mind:

  • Improving teacher content knowledge, and
  • Improving science instructional strategies.

The courses are offered in a 12-week, semester setting and require 4-6 hours a week of coursework. These courses are $400 for UtSTA members and that price includes the posting of SUU credit. Due to the time commitment, teachers are only allowed to sign up for two classes per semester.


Many universities offer online courses that can be taken to fulfill endorsement course requirements. These courses vary from semester to semester and vary in price from university to university. Some universities also require a small payment to become a matriculated student and gain a student identification number. Please be sure to read all university requirements to assure that you are eligible, can meet prerequisite requirements, and can successfully take the course.

University Online Programs and Courses that meet Science Endorsement Requirements

Brigham Young University (BYU) Independent Study course offerings:

  • General Biology (BIO 100 & PDBIO 120)
  • General Microbiology (MMBIO 221)
  • General Molecular Biology (MMBIO 240)
  • Human Anatomy (PDBIO 210)
  • Elementary Chemistry (CHEM 100)
  • General Physics 1 (PHSCS 105)
  • General Physics 2 (PHSCS 106)
  • Introduction to Electricity and Magnetism (PHSCS 220)
  • Descriptive Astronomy (PHSCS 127)
  • Severe and Hazardous Weather (PHSCS 137)
  • Introducation to Geology (GEOL 101)
  • Introduction to Statistics (STAT 105)
  • Principles of Statistics (STAT 121)
  • Calculus 1 (MATH 112)
  • SUU Online course offerings:
    • Intro to Biology (BIOL 1010)
    • Intro to Chemistry (CHEM 1010)
    • Elementary Chemistry (CHEM 1110)
    • Principles of Chemistry I (CHEM 1210)
    • Chemistry Labs (CHEM 1015, 1115, 1215)
    • Geology of National Parks (GEO 1050)
    • How the Earth Works, (GEO 1090)
    • Statistics (MATH 1040)

Utah State University (USU) Online course offerings:

  • Biology and the Citizen (BIOL 1010)
  • Intro to Animal Science (ADVS 1110)
  • Ecology of Our World (WILD 2200)
  • Evolution (BIOL 3010)
  • Intro to Chemistry (CHEM 1010)
  • Principles of Chemistry I (CHEM 1210)
  • Principles of Chemistry II (CHEM 1220)
  • Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 2310)
  • Organic Chemistry II (CHEM 2320)
  • Environmental Chemistry (CHEM 3650)
  • Intro Biochemistry (CHEM 3700)
  • Intro to Geology (GEO 1010)
  • Geology of World's Oceans (GEO 3300)
  • The Universe (PHYS 3030)
  • Climate Change (PSC 6810)
  • Intro to Statistics (STAT 1040)
  • Calculus I (MATH 1210)
  • Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) Online course offerings:
    • Intro to Chemistry (CHEM 1010)
    • Elementary Chemistry (CHEM 1110)
    • General Chemistry I (CHEM 1210)
    • General Chemistry II (CHEM 1220)
    • Severe Weather (ATMO 1010)
    • Climate Change (ATMO 1020)
    • Introduction to Geology (GEO 1010)
    • Intro to Statistics (MATH 1040)
    • Calculus I (MATH 1210)
    • Elementary Physics (PHYS 1010)
    • Elementary Astronomy (PHYS 1040)
    • Physics for Science and Engineers I (PHYS 2210)
    • Physics for Science and Engineers II (PHYS 2220)
Face-to-Face Courses

For some teachers, a face-to-face learning experience is preferred because it allows teachers the chance to experience modeled curriculum and experienced teaching. These courses are usually offered in a week-long session over the summer months.

UtSTA partners with local colleges and universities to connect teachers from across the state with experienced teachers in a week-long learning model.

Earth Science Education
Earth Science Education is a set of three week-long courses focusing on Utah Landforms, Rocks and Minerals, and Geologic history. Completion of all three courses will award an educator a 3 credit Earth.

Safety Certification

As part of the application for a secondary science endorsement, the Utah State Board of Education asks that all applicants complete a safety certification. There are three options for Safety Certification:

  1. District Safety Course
    Many school districts offer a safety course for teachers that fulfill the safety certification requirement. Please ask your district office if a course like this exists.
  2. Flinn Scientific
    Flinn Scientific offers an online course that qualifies to fulfill the safety certification requirement. The course is self-paced and has been said to take only 4+ hours to complete. Please note that this is a vendor company and completing their free course will sign you up for marketing with that company.
  3. Utah Science Teachers Association (UtSTA) Safety Course
    This certification process is a free four-week online course from UtSTA in partnership with Utah Education Network (UEN). It is associated with 1.0 Utah State Board of Education credit and helps to assure that all our science teachers are knowledgeable about the safe science classroom and laboratory practices.

Professional Learning


Courses are available to provide professional learning opportunities to teacher that help improve their content knowledge, teaching, and pedagogy. Courses are available from multiple institutions.

Earth Science Education

Endorsement and Professional Development Courses
Utah Science Teachers Association (UtSTA)

Informal Science Education Enhancement (iSEE) Utah Organizations

Utah Master Naturalist
Utah State University (USU)

Professional Learning Series

Online Science Course Schedule
Utah Education Network (UEN)

Utah State Board of Education received help from several Local Education Agency (LEA) Science leaders to create the Online Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards Content Courses. The purpose of these courses is to help teachers improve their content understanding of the disciplinary core ideas found in the strands and standards of the new 6th through 8th Grade SEEd Standards. The courses also have a focus of helping teachers to identify and share phenomena with the intent of giving them more ideas to use when teaching the SEEd Standards. Participants that complete all of the course requirements will be awarded 0.5 to 1.0 Utah State Board of Education Credit (depending on the size of the course).

Utah Science Open Educational Resources (OER) Textbooks

The science education community in partnership with Dr. David Wiley from Brigham Young University (BYU) and funding from a Hewlett Foundation Grant has embarked on a statewide scaling for open education resource development for Science (Grades 3-12).

Building upon previous collaborations with educators in Nebo School district reaching back to 2009, the project reached out to engage educators from across the state on teams to build state textbooks for secondary science courses in 2012 and elementary science courses in 2013. Twenty three districts and 7 charter schools had teacher representation in the writing groups that pulled together the textbook from open education resources such as CK-12 and Thunderbolt Kids. The final textbooks are available in a digital PDF format for free under a creative commons license.

The project will continue with supported implementation efforts for teachers, along with a commitment to continue to update the materials each year using community feedback and data. This will be a continual process that provides a sustainable and cost effective solution to supporting student reference materials that are adaptable to changes in the Utah Core and science content knowledge.


Science OER Textbook Community Feedback
As we continue to refine and improve these documents, we welcome feedback to be considered by the annual review committee.

2019-2020 Science Textbooks

The Utah OER Science Textbooks have been updated for the 2019-2020 school year.

Please be aware that revisions were only made to the Grades 6-8 SEEd Textbooks for the 2019-2020 school year. No changes were made to content of the Grade 3-5 and High School Science Textbooks due to the recent adoption of new SEEd Standards for these grades, to make this as clear as possible to the books the years listed on the cover for these unchanged books will now say 2018-2020.

Downloadable OER Books
Formatted PDFs for all 2018-2020 Science OER books

The formatting of the CK-12 website" please change that entire paragraph to:

To provide teachers with a formatting version of each textbook, PDF versions of the Printed Books are available for a free download. These files can be used to print the books in-house if Districts and Charters have a better system for printing or they can be loaded on student machines.

Science Textbooks: Hard Copy Purchases
Printed textbooks from BR Printers

For another year, we have partnered with BR Printers to offer pre-published printed versions of the textbooks. Their website now has two pages, the main page defaults to the 2018-20 books and there is still a link to access the 2018-19 books from last year if desired. Orders can be made online and paid by credit card or your school/district can set up a Purchase Order. To contact our BR Printers account manager please e-mail Luke O'Kane at luke@brprinters.com.

Books from BR Printers range from $2.60 to $5.05 depending on the size of the book. Only 2-Day Shipping is available for the BR Printers books and shipping costs, on average, add about an additional $0.75/book for orders more than 100 books.

These textbooks have a glossy color cover, with black and white pages. This keeps the costs low. LEAs, schools, etc. are welcome to print the books through their own printing services using the PDF files above. Utah State Board of Education has worked with BR printers to support easy print ordering, but LEAs are more than welcome to print these resources in house or based on their access and cost.

Editable OER Textbooks 

To help teachers adjust these textbooks to fit their instructional needs, the team has created editable OER Textbooks for the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade SEEd Texbooks available on Google Docs. With these documents teachers with a Google account can right click the book(s) they are interested in and click on "Make a Copy" which will make an editable copy of the book in their Google Drive. It is the hope the future, updated SEEd books for grades 3-5 and High School will also have these books available for teachers to use.

Important Note: The OER Textbook Project works very hard to ensure that only materials with an open "creative common" license are used. After a copy is made it is the responsibility of the new user that any content, pictures, illustrations, diagrams, etc. added to your books are free of a private copyright license and are solely responsible for consequences regarding breaking regulations with these copyrights.

2017-2018 Archived Textbooks


State Science Education Coordinating Committee (SSECC)

SSECC is voluntary science community that work to discuss the needs of and share information about how to improve science education in Utah. It is made up of representatives from Utah districts and charter schools, Utah institutes of higher education, and Utah informal education organizations.

2018 Meetings

September 28, 2018
Utah State Board of Education, Board Room
250 East 500 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
Register at MIDAS: Course #39831

Google Docs:

State Science Education Coordinating Committee (SSECC)/SMECC Fall 2018 Meeting | SSECC

January 12, 2018
Utah State Board of Education, Board Room
250 East 500 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

Meeting Recording

Agenda | Meeting Notes | Presentation


Friday, March 9, 2018
Utah State Board of Education
250 East 500 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

Meeting Recording

Agenda | Meeting Notes | Presentation


Future SSECC Meetings

Utah State Board of Education Massively Integrated Data Analytics System (MIDAS) Course Registration

Friday, January 18, 2019
Utah State Board of Education
250 East 500 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
Register at MIDAS: Course #39831

Google Docs:

State Science Education Coordinating Committee

Friday, March 15, 2019
Utah State Capitol
State Office Building Auditorium
350 State Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84011
Register at MIDAS: Course #39831

Google Docs:

2017 Meetings

January 27, 2017
Utah State Board of Education, Board Room
250 East 500 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

Agenda | Meeting Notes | Presentation


March 10, 2017
Utah State Board of Education, Basement West
250 East 500 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

Agenda | Meeting Notes | Presentation


October 6, 2017
Utah State Board of Education Board Room
250 East 500 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

Meeting Recording

Agenda | Meeting Notes | Presentation


Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST)

What is PAEMST?

PAEMST is the highest honors bestowed by the United States government specifically for K-12 Mathematics and Science (including Computer Science) teaching. Established by Congress in 1983, the PAEMST program authorizes the President to bestow up to 108 awards each year.

Why apply?

Recipients of the award receive the following:

  • A certificate signed by the President of the United States.
  • A paid trip for two to Washington, D.C., to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities.
  • A $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
  • In addition to recognizing outstanding teaching in mathematics or science (including computer science), the program provides teachers with an opportunity to build lasting partnerships with colleagues across the nation. This growing network of award-winning teachers serves as a vital resource for improving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education and keeping America globally competitive.

Do I qualify and what is the process for applying?

Visit PAEMST for more information.

Previous Winners


2015: Magdalene (Maggie) Huddleston

2013: Andrew (Drew) Neilson

2011: James (Jim) Larson

2009: Amy Pace

2007: Ty Robinson

2005: Bradford Talbert

2003: Emma Smith

2002: Ken O'Brien

2001: Rosalee Riddle

2000: Curtis Craig

1999: Glen Westbroek

1998: Steven Cox

1997: Sharon Miya

1996: Kathleen Ochsenbein

1995: Barry Bishop

1994: Duane Merrell

1993: Vern Bangerter

1992: Brett D. Moulding

1991: Ronald Cefalo

1990: Thomas (Phil) Talbot

1989: Michael Harris

1988: Dwight Brown

1987: Linda Preston

1986: LaMont Jensen

1985: John Heppler

1984: M. Hunt, Jr.

1983: Carl Bruce


2014: Britney Powell

2012: Julie Hammari

2010: Mathilda (Tillie) Uribe

2008: Vickie Ahlstrom

2006: Antinette Haggerty

2004: Carol Skousen

2002: Ann Houmand

2001: Patti Seeholzer

1999: Sally Ogilvie

1998: Terri Denney

1997: Carrie Jones

1996: Teresa Rountree

1995: Cathy Welch

1994: Darrell Spendlove

1993: Karen Bishop

1992: Susan Fredrickson

1991: Rebecca Olson

1990: Peggy Crandall

E-mail List

Science Teacher E-mail List Registration for Educators
Utah State Board of Education, in collaboration with Utah Education Network (UEN), has created an e-mail list for science teachers to learn more about Utah science events and professional development.

Science Team

Richard Scott
Secondary Science Education Specialist
Phone: (801) 538-7808 | E-mail

Melissa Mendenhall
Elementary Science Education Specialist
Phone: (801) 538-3971 | E-mail

Kira Hedden
Office Specialist
Phone: (801) 538-7773 | E-mail