Virginia Association of Science Teachers

Virginia Department of Education

As members of the Virginia Association of Science Teachers, you are joining a cadre of teachers that are eager to support science learning in the Commonwealth.  At VDOE, our goal is to support all teachers in reaching the vision of science literacy at all levels.   In order to do this effectively, we need the support of state science leaders, teachers, pre-service programs, state agencies, and science-based organizations such as VAST.  If you have suggestions on how we can improve our support, please feel free to contact us at any time!  Contact information is provided below.


Science Standards of Learning Development and Revision Process underway! 

The Code of Virginia requires a review of Virginia’s Standards of Learning every seven years thus the 2018 Science Standards of Learning were adopted in 2018 and are scheduled for review in 2025.  These standards included content and practice expectations for 13 grades/courses, including grades K-6, Life Science, Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science and Physics. 

The 2018 Science Standards of Learning did not address standards or curriculum frameworks for Virginia Board of Education (Board) approved courses at the secondary level for level II courses and environmental science. These laboratory science courses are listed in the Board of Education Approved Courses to Satisfy Graduation Requirements for the Standard, Advanced Studies, and Modified Standard Diplomas in Virginia Public Schools.

The lack of standards or curriculum frameworks for these eleven courses have led to inconsistent content and student expectations in courses offered across the Commonwealth. In addition, teachers have not had support in these courses regarding (a) what is to be taught or (b) how it is to be taught. This has been a particular concern for new teachers.

Although the typical timeline for stakeholders and educators to review and revise the standards is approximately one year, the proposed timeline includes an additional year to develop and review both the standards and curriculum framework for the eleven Board-approved courses for which standards are not currently in place (see Attachment A of the BOE Presentation and Written Report).

Digital Game of STEM: As employment opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) continue to expand in Virginia and throughout the United States, the selection of STEM courses in K-12 allows students to prepare for a variety of STEM careers.  The Game of STEM was developed to provide a sampling of potential STEM careers and to support students, counselors, and teachers as students determine course pathways.  The Game of STEM was developed in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Education, CodeVA, and the Virginia Association of Science Teachers.  

The Digital Game of STEM (1).pdf

Teacher Resources

Performance Assessment

Grades 3-5 Science Investigation Rubric

Grades 3-5 Design Challenge Rubric

Grades 6-8 Science Investigation Rubric

Grades 9-12 Science Investigation Rubric

Environmental Literacy

What is a MWEE’s and what does it mean to me as a classroom teacher?

MWEEs (meaningful watershed educational experiences) are the cornerstones of student environmental education about and in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. MWEEs seek to seamlessly connect standards-based classroom learning with outdoor field investigations to create a deeper understanding of the natural environment. Specifically, MWEEs ask students to explore local environmental issues through sustained, teacher supported programming that includes, but is not limited to, issue definition, outdoor field experiences, action projects, and sharing student-developed synthesis and conclusions with the school and community.

Environmental Literacy in Virginia- information about meaningful watershed educational experiences, teacher resources, grant opportunities, professional development and more can be found on this page.

Governor McAuliffe’s Environmental Literacy Challenge



SOL Practice Items – Practice items provide examples of the new content and increased rigor of the 2010 Science SOL.

Released SOL Tests – Released SOL tests in all subjects.

Science SOL Test Blueprints – Much like the blueprint for a building, a test blueprint serves as a guide for test construction.  The blueprint indicates the content areas that will be addressed by the test and the number of items that will be included by content area and for the test as a whole. There is a blueprint for each test.


Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund Advisory Committee – Restoration and Education Grants
Applications due September 23, 2023 

Applications will be accepted from private not-for-profit conservation organizations, schools and universities, and governmental agencies whose projects will affect water bodies that are located within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. There is no limit on the amount that an applicant may request. More information on the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund, including the application, W-9 and EDI forms (both new), grant guidelines, and a catalogue of past projects can be found at
Chesapeake Bay Application Packet 2021v3.pdf.

Virginia Environmental Endowment
Applications due – December 1 and June 15
Grant-making priorities in the Virginia Program are focused on water quality, Chesapeake Bay, land conservation and use, environmental education and awareness, and other emerging issues. See the 
Virginia Program page for details, and the Proposal Submission page for application instructions.

NOAA – Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) Grant Program
Applications due – See grant process website at NOAA
The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Education and Training (
B-WET Chesapeake) grant program supports hands-on watershed education to students and teachers to foster stewardship of the Bay. Environmentally literate citizens with the skills and knowledge to make well-informed environmental choices are key to sustaining the nation’s ocean and coastal environments.

Dominion – Environmental Stewardship Grants Program
Applications due – March 2
The Dominion Foundation will award up to $1.2 million in
environmental stewardship grants to nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations in communities served by Dominion companies. The Dominion Foundation will consider grant requests up to $50,000 that focus on specific, short-term projects that promise measurable results to improve the environment.

    Important Links

    Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching – The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through 12th-grade mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States

    Energy in Virginia – Curriculum guide and supporting materials related to the Grade Six Science Standards of Learning energy standards.

    Contact Information

    Anne Petersen, Ph.D. -

    Myra Thayer,

    Gregory MacDougall


    Virginia Association of Science Teachers

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