Secondary Science

Our goal is to help our students become scientifically literate citizens and to expose students to a wide variety of field and hands on activities that will engage them in real world experiences.

According to the National Science Education Standards, "students cannot achieve high levels of performance without access to skilled professional teachers, adequate classroom time, a rich array of learning materials, accommodating work spaces, and the resources of the communities surrounding their schools." The science department is helping to provide this support with interactive hands on activities in conjunction with a reflective experience and a rich curriculum.

A main focus for the Newport News Public Schools Science department is to excite our students about Science with interactive hands-on labs. We strive to challenge our students with a reflective piece to ensure that learning takes hold and students are not merely participating in a fun activity.


Rodney Culverhouse
Instructional Supervisor
(757) 283-7850 x.10117

Casey Ruder
Instructional Specialist
(757) 283-7850 x.10233

Amanda Riordan
Instructional Coach
(757) 283-7850 x.10237

Program Description

The secondary science course of study in Newport News public schools is designed to develop the knowledge and skills of the environment, physical and chemical aspects of life. The students pursue these three basic blocks of science through scientific inquiry and working with the scientific method to solve a problem that will enable students to put into perspective people, places, ideas, and events that have shaped our state, our nation, and our world.

In grades six through twelve, students will develop an understanding of the world of science and how science plays a role in the industry and their lives with respect to the past, present, and future of our world. As the students study the environment, they will develop an understanding of the impact animals and plants have on the environment. Students will develop an understanding of how different groups interact with their environment, and how our communities and nations are affected by conditions and events in other places. Studying the physical aspects of our world will students understand the basic principals of engineering and physical properties of the world around in order to be informed citizens and to participate in the public life of our community, state, and nation. Studying the chemical properties of the world around us will help students understand the interactions on a molecular and macro level of the world that surrounds them and help them to understand the impact of humans as a producer, or consumer; and their role in the global environment.

In addition, the courses in the science program are designed to develop the following skills and proficiencies:

  • Recognizing and understanding cause and effect
  • Analyzing the relationship between the past and the present
  • Understanding and analyzing change over time
  • Problem solving and decision-making
  • Studying and comparing people, places, ideas, events
  • Recognizing and analyzing multiple perspectives
  • Making inferences and generalizations and drawing conclusions
  • Gathering, classifying, sequencing & interpreting information and visual data
  • Recognizing and interpreting spatial relationships

Science Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions

Science Courses of Study

Students take a sequence of science courses in grades 6 thru 12. For a Standard Diploma, the student must take and receive three credits from two different science disciplines (including Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry or Physics). One credit needs to be verified by the State.

For an Advanced Diploma, students must take and receive credit for four high school science courses (including Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry or Physics) in order to earn an advanced studies diploma. Four credits from three different science disciplines. Two credits need to be verified by the State.

High School science courses required for graduation are offered at average, honors, and advanced (AP, IB) levels.

In addition to required courses, high school students may choose from the following courses: AP Environmental Science, Physics, Biology and Chemistry.