VRHS Science Department Overview

  • Vista Ridge High School's science department is implementing a new curriculum known as the progressive science initiative. The goal of the initiative is to increase student achievement in science. PSI was designed using the same innovative, research-based approaches used in its sister program, the progressive math initiative. This will also maximize the amount of advanced placement science courses students can take before graduating from Vista Ridge High School.

Science Department Overview

  • Science (from Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. In an older and closely related meaning, "science" also refers to a body of knowledge itself, of the type that can be rationally explained and reliably applied. A practitioner of science is known as a scientist.

    In modern usage, "science" most often refers to a way of pursuing knowledge, not only the knowledge itself. It is also often restricted to those branches of study that seek to explain the phenomena of the material universe. In the 17th and 18th centuries scientists increasingly sought to formulate knowledge in terms of laws of nature such as Newton's laws of motion. And over the course of the 19th century, the word "science" became increasingly associated with the scientific method itself, as a disciplined way to study the natural world, including physics, chemistry, geology and biology. It is in the 19th century also that the term scientist was created by the naturalist-theologian William Whewell to distinguish those who sought knowledge on nature from those who sought other types of knowledge.

    However, "science" has also continued to be used in a broad sense to denote reliable and teachable knowledge about a topic, as reflected in modern terms like library science or computer science. This is also reflected in the names of some areas of academic study such as "social science" or "political science".

    Teaching science is essential to developing an inquisitive nature about the world around us. Science provides methods and processes for investigating how things work and why things happen. Science education prepares students to be both the inventors and critical consumers of the 21st century.

    Science, Technology, Engineering and Math


    STEM education provides a venue for the transformation of teaching and learning by integrating content and the skills of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Engaging students in 21st century practices through inquiry, critical thinking and reasoning, collaboration, invention, and information literacy through STEM education directly impacts their ability to succeed by mastering and transferring concepts within STEM disciplines and across all content areas.

Educational Content Areas

  • The power of Colorado’s education improvement efforts lies in having a comprehensive system consisting of relevant and rigorous standards, aligned and meaningful assessments, excellent teachers and school leaders, and high-performing schools and districts. All aspects of the system are continuously improving to advance student learning and prepare students to succeed in an increasingly competitive workforce The Colorado Academic Standards are the expectations of what students need to know and be able to do at the end of each grade. They also stand as the values and content organizers of what Colorado sees as the future skills and essential knowledge for our next generation to be more successful. State standards are the basis of the annual state assessment.

    Colorado has 10 content areas:
    • Colorado Arts
      • Music
      • Visual Arts
      • Theatre
      • Dance
    • Comprehensive Health and Physical Education
    • Mathematics
    • Reading, Writing, and Communicating
    • Science
    • Social Studies
    • World Languages

Science Resources