Welcome to Science
Welcome to the Science webpage for the Utah State Board of Education. On this page, you will find details about state science standards, endorsement information, science teaching resources. Peruse, enjoy, and if you have any questions, please contact us.
The Utah State Board of Education (USBE), 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 USBE regularly updates the Utah Core Standards, while parents, teachers, and local school boards continue to control the curriculum choices that reflect local values.
This document was created for students, parents, teachers and school leaders as an information resource to better understand the State Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards: Preparing Students for a Lifetime of Understanding New Science Standards Success
The Utah State Board of Education, in collaboration with the Utah Education Network (UEN), has created two e-mail listservs for science teachers to learn more about Utah science events and professional development. One is focused on elementary (K-6) science and the other on secondary (6-12) science. Use the links below to register for the e-mail listserv.
The Science Core Guides are created to provide guidance for developing effective instruction aligned to the Utah Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards. They are intended to support teachers, administrators, science specialists, instructional coaches, parents, and other stakeholders as they plan instruction at a local level.
The Core Guides are not intended to be read from cover to cover. They are meant as a resource document to be used, when needed, to support teacher professional learning and curriculum decisions. They are not meant to be used by students, and therefore they may not be written in student-friendly language. The Core Guides are meant to inform teachers and leaders as they make science curriculum decisions.
- Science Core Guide: Kindergarten
- Science Core Guide: Grade One
- Science Core Guide: Grade Two
- Science Core Guide: Grade Three
- Science Core Guide: Grade Four
- Science Core Guide: Grade Five
- Science Core Guide: Grade Six
- Science Core Guide: Grade Seven
- Science Core Guide: Grade Eight
- Science Core Guide: Biology
- Science Core Guide: Chemistry
- Science Core Guide: Earth and Space Science
- Science Core Guide: Physics
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.
USBE uses competency-based endorsements The Secondary Science Endorsements Requirement Area Options (Google Doc) document summaries the options available to demonstrate competency in the requirement areas for each Secondary Science Endorsement in a one page table format.
The Course Assignment Eligibility for Secondary Science Endorsements (Google Doc) document outlines what courses each endorsement qualifies a teacher to be able to teach.
Secondary Earth Science 2 Endorsement Secondary Physics 1 Endorsement Secondary Physics 2 Endorsement Secondary Science Core Endorsement
To fulfill university 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.
University Online Course Options
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.
UtSTA's Courses for University Credit
The Utah Science Teaching Association (UtSTA) has partnered with local universities to offer endorsement courses for university credit. See the Endorsement Course (Utah Science Teaching Association) webpage on UtSTA's website (Utah Science Teaching Association) for the available online and in-person courses that are offered.
As part of the application for a secondary science endorsement, the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) asks that all applicants complete a safety certification. There are three options for Safety Certification:
- 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.
- Flinn Scientific Lab Safety Courses (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.
- UtSTA's Safety Certification Courses (Utah Science Teaching Association)
The Utah Science Teaching Association (UtSTA) in partnership with the Utah Education Network (UEN) offers a a four-week online safety certification course. It is associated with 1.0 USBE credit and helps to assure that all our science teachers are knowledgeable about the safe science classroom and laboratory practices.
The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) offers two different types of Canvas courses for K-12 Science:
Implementing the Utah Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards (K-12)
SEEd Content Courses for each grade (K-8)
Implementing the Utah Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards K-12
The course’s purpose is to support educators in understanding shifts to instruction that are required to effectively implement the Utah SEEd Standards. The Canvas-based course contains six modules: Introduction to the SEEd Standards, Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs), Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs), Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs), Engineering Design, and Using Phenomena.
This course is free for participants and is self-paced. K-12 educators may register at any point. Successful completion of the entire course is worth 2.0 USBE Credits.
SEEd Content Courses Grades K-8
The purpose of these courses is to build and support teacher science conceptual knowledge of the Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs) used within the SEEd Standards. The Grade K-6 courses are developed specifically for elementary educators and therefore only licensed K-6 teachers will be awarded USBE credit upon completion.
For these content courses, each grade level or content area has one main course in which to enroll. Within the course, there are mini-courses that explore the content knowledge expectations of each strand within the SEEd Standards for that grade level. The number of mini-courses available for each grade level are equal to the number of strands within the SEEd standards for that grade level. Educators may select which mini-courses they want to pursue and the order they want to take each one after a short introduction module is completed within the main course. Educators do not need to complete all of the mini-courses. Credit for the K-5 mini-courses is either .5 or 1.0 for each strand mini-course depending on the number of standards within the strand (2-5 standards = .5, 6+ standards = 1.0). Credit for 6-8 courses is listed as you sign up for the course. Credits will post in MIDAS three times during the year as delineated in Table 1 below. These courses are free for participants and are self-paced. Educators may register at any time.
Completing content courses for Grades 6-8 do not qualify teachers to meet requirement areas for a Science Core Endorsement. For information on the course requirements for this teaching endorsement, review the Secondary Science Core Endorsement Specs document.
Credit for Science Canvas Courses
To receive credit for a mini-course or for the K-12 Introduction to Three-Dimensional Instruction course, educators enrolled in any of the courses must receive 90% on the quizzes, complete the discussion posts, and submit the required feedback survey for the mini-course or the entire Introduction course. Once enrolled in a course the participants will continue to have access to the Canvas course content even after they are finished so that it can be used as a reference in the future. Credit will be assigned three times during the year as delineated below.
USBE Science Canvas Course Credit Posting Dates
Third week of June
Third week of September
Third week of January
Critical Registration Note
Log into your Canvas account before clicking on the enrollment links provided above. If you are already logged in when you enroll, the self-enrollment process will be much smoother. This is important because if you cannot remember your password, the login page will provide a Forgot Password link to fix the issue. The self-enrollment page of each course does not provide that option.
If you do not have a Canvas account when you self-enroll in a course, you will not be asked for a password at that time. You will receive an e-mail asking you to finish setting up your account.
Utah Science Open Educational Resources (OER) Textbooks
Note: The final revision of the OER Textbooks do not have a year posted on the front cover.
OER textbooks are available for K-12 and align to the Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards. The Utah Science OER Textbook Project was started to bring Utah teachers together to create a resource that aligns to the Utah core science standards. They are not intended to be curriculum as they do not include labs, assessments, or a teacher guide with answers. They are intended as a reference material for students with content to support teachers’ classroom instruction and help make sense of science concepts found in standards.
The OER textbooks are available in digital formats for free under a creative commons license. These digital documents can be used and adjusted to support teacher and student needs. They can be loaded onto student electronic devices or printed in their entirety or as individual pages through school or district printing services. Formatted OER textbooks are also available to purchase in bulk at a low cost using a state printing contract.
2022 OER Textbooks
Open Educational Resources: Utah's Open Textbook Projects (Science)
Utah Education Network (UEN)
To provide teachers with a formatting version of each textbook, PDF versions of the printed books are available to download for free. 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.
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 that person to assure that any content, pictures, illustrations, diagrams, etc. added to your adapted books are free of a private copyright license and are solely responsible for consequences regarding breaking regulations with these copyrights.
Utah Science Education Tools (USETs)
Science Education Leaders in Combined SSECC are developing science education tools for educators. These tools focus on a specific aspect of high quality, phenomena based, three-dimensional teaching and learning in Utah. They provide background information, give examples of what teachers and students do in the classroom, shares a rubric for self-assessment and reflection, and has resources for further learning. The USETs can be found on Utah's Education Network's (UEN) SEEd emedia hub.
STEM Endorsement Incentive Program (EIP)
The STEM EIP was created in July of 2019 to incentivize educators across the state to achieve endorsements in the STEM subjects. The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) will be using these funds to provide reimbursement for applicable STEM endorsement coursework for both elementary and secondary educators. For more information, please refer to the STEM Endorsement Incentive Program Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) (Google Docs).
Please contact Isaac Pitcher at email@example.com if you have questions about the STEM EIP Program
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. Three sections of SSECC exist: Elementary (K-6), Secondary (6-12), and Combined (K-12)
Meetings are held three times a year either in-person or virtually. If you are interested in attending, please reach out to one of the science education specialists listed below.
2023-2024 Meeting Schedule
September 29, 2023 - In-person @ USBE Basement-West
- Secondary: 8:30-10:30 am
- Combined: 10:45 am-12:45 pm
- Elementary: 1:30-3:30 pm
January 26, 2024 - Virtual
- Elementary: 8:30-10:30 am
- Combined: 10:45 am-12:45 pm
- Secondary: 1:30-3:30 pm
April 26, 2024 - Virtual
- Secondary: 8:30-10:30 am
- Combined: 10:45 am-12:45 pm
- Elementary: 1:30-3:30 pm
Past Meeting Notes
Fall 2020(Google Docs)
- Elementary SSECC Meeting Notes
- Secondary SSECC Meeting Notes
- Combined SSECC Meeting Notes
Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST)