Science – Resources

Science Updates:

June 2016:
May 2016

April 2016:
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
Sept/Oct 2015:
August 2015:
ISPACE News and events

State Assessments Information:

Practice Resources

5th Grade Test Specifications-Updated 12/30/15
8th Grade Test Specifications-Updated 12/30/15
Physical Science Test Specifications-Updated 12/30/15
Biology Test Specifications-Updated 12/30/15

5th Grade Performance Level Descriptors
8th Grade Performance Level Descriptors
Physical Science Performance Level Descriptors
Biology Performance Level Descriptors

Performance Standards (Scale Score Ranges)

Understanding Ohio’s State Tests Reports


Assessment Question Banks

AAAS Project 2061 Assessment Tool :  The assessment items on this website are the result of more than a decade of research and development by Project 2061, a long-term science education reform initiative of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Here you will find free access to more than 600 items. The items:

  • Are appropriate for middle and early high school students.
  • Test student understanding in the earth, life, physical sciences, and the nature of science.
  • Test for common misconceptions as well as correct ideas.

This website also includes:

  • Data on how well U.S. students are doing in science and where they are having difficulties, broken out by gender, English language learner status, and whether the students are in middle school or high school.
  • “My Item Bank,” a feature that allows you to select, save, and print items and answer keys (requires site registration).
  • A feature that allows you to create and take tests online using items from the item collection (requires site registration).

Intended primarily for teachers, these assessment items and resources will also be useful to education researchers, test developers, and anyone who is interested in the performance of middle and high school students in science. View key ideas, items, and misconceptions by browsing the topics.

Maine Department of Education: The Maine Department of Education annually releases 50 percent of the science items on the Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) for grades 5, 8, and 11. Each year of released items includes a practice test form and answer booklet, in which students can become familiar with format and questions types, and a supplemental scoring guide with samples of student work. Released items are available from 2009.

Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System: The question database currently contains released items administered on MCAS Science (1056 items) and Biology (585 items) tests from 2009-2015.

Michigan Online Assessment Tool:  This site provides access to released items from various state and national standardized tests. All items have been coded to current Michigan Benchmarks and Assessment Standards. The database contains both multiple choice and constructed response questions as well as ACT questions and can be searched to develop a test built around specific content or assessment standards. After making your selections, a test will be created as an editable Word document.

Other AIR Portals:  You will need to go into each portal and choose the appropriate grade to see the tests that are available.  Some states have SS, SC, Reading, and Math for all grade levels-others have just ELA and Math for specific grade levels.  They all work similar to Ohio’s portal.

Arizona: (Math and ELA only)
California: (Math and ELA only)
Connecticut: (Math and ELA only)
Idaho: (Math and ELA only)
South Dakota:  (Math and ELA)
Practice performance tasks for Math and ELA
West Virginia: (Math and ELA only)

On-Line Resources:

Believe In Ohio: A free, complete, and turn-key program from The Ohio Academy of Science that helps high school students prepare for the future incorporating STEM/Business/Career Tech Project and Competition.  Program would compliment a career tech program or technical writing course.  In addition:

  • Helps address the challenges presented by the implementation of the Common Core (CCSS) Technical Reading and Technical Writing Standards, the Ohio Core, and the new Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES), and the need for real-world experiential learning.
  • Provides training, program support grants, subsidized professional development courses and other incentives for teachers to participate.  CK-12 provides free and fully customizable K-12 educational resources aligned to state math and science standards and tailored to meet student and teacher needs including free online textbooks, videos, exercises, flashcards, and real world applications for over 5000 concepts.  Teachers can create their own resources personalized for their teaching including a digital textbook.

Columbus CSD On-Line Curriculum Guides standardize the curriculum and pacing of instruction across their district.  It also provides a tremendous resource for other teachers, schools, and districts.

To access the guides:
1. Click on the link above
2. Scroll down to the “Ohio Department of Education – New Learning Standards Website Model Curriculum Resources”
3. For Science Resources
a. Scroll to the Science pull down menu
b.  Click on the down arrow which will open a drop down menu.  This will open a menu to Model Curriculum and      lessons, and pacing guides for each of the four quarters by grade level/subject.

Science Online from INFOhio
 available to all schools at no charge through INFOhio, for the colorful diagrams that illustrate complicated science and math concepts. Now, in addition to a new streamlined interface, Science Online includes interactive virtual experiments. These come with complete material lists and instructions. Students can complete these in the lab and replicate them virtually. In addition to interactive experiments, teachers and students will find:

  • eLearning Modules that include lesson plans;
  • Videos that can be streamed or embedded in classroom Web pages or learning management systems;
  • Topic Centers (research starters) that include background articles, videos, diagrams, experiments, and timelines;
  • Folders to save articles and searches;
  • Read-aloud and translation features; and
  • Live chat help.

Ohio’s Quality Review Rubric: a tool designed to evaluate units that include integrated and focused lessons aligned to Ohio’s New Learning Standards. The rubric is NOT designed to evaluate a single task or activity, nor does it require a specific lesson or unit template. The goal of this rubric is to help build capacity of educators to select, develop and improve the quality of instructional materials for use in their classrooms and schools.

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