Features of the FOSS program
There are a number of features that distinguish the FOSS program.
Research-based and nationally field-tested
FOSS was developed through a rich collaboration of scientists, educational researchers, curriculum developers, assessment specialists, teachers, administrators, community members, and parents. FOSS combines proven teaching strategies with field-tested materials to promote scientific literacy and student achievement.
FOSS is the result of academic research on learning interwoven with practical experiences in classrooms. FOSS helps all educators teach and manage inquiry-based science. The carefully designed instructional sequences and thoroughly tested equipment provide support for teachers with different experience levels in science.
Students learn science by doing science
FOSS engages students in inquiry. Students construct an understanding
of science concepts through their own investigations and analyses,
using laboratory equipment, student readings, and interactive technology.
Students exercise logical thinking and decision-making skills appropriate
to their age level.
Integrated reading, writing, and mathematics
FOSS helps develop basic skills within the context of learning science through student readings, science journals, student projects, and the use of mathematics to quantify and communicate results of investigations and experiments.
The FOSS assessment system uses a number of formative and summative
strategies to help teachers and students monitor their progress
and measure their ability to apply the concepts they have learned.
The system includes teacher observations, student sheets, response
sheets, student self-assessments, and end-of-module and summative
exams. The FOSS assessment system is an ongoing research project
at Lawrence Hall of Science.
FOSS developers, working with a multimedia design team, have developed a series of interactive activities on CD-ROM and on-line for use by students K8 at home and at school. The interactive technology is an essential component of the middle school courses.
Teachers of FOSS receive comprehensive teacher guides, teacher preparation
videos, resources on CD-ROM and on-line, a national consultant network,
and the FOSS Newsletter. The original developers of FOSS are available
through the FOSS Project at Lawrence Hall of Science to support
educators and to extend the national consultant network for ongoing
professional development. LHS works closely with Delta Education,
the FOSS publisher, to maintain high-quality materials and support.
The development of FOSS has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the University of California at Berkeley, and Delta Education, the FOSS publisher/partner.