The importance and success of high quality Science instruction at Summit: Kindergarten – 8th grades


In creating a world-class academic program for 21st Century learners Summit has established a strong reputation for teaching communications, math and science.

  • Communication is the process of expressing our thinking and understanding, including the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening.
  • Math has been called the language of science and Willis Harman, a noted engineer, social scientist, academic, futurist, writer, and visionary, described Science as “…the cognitive authority of the world.  It’s where we turn for our understanding of reality.”
  • Science is the language of precision and inquiry used around the world.

Science: At Summit we use the Full Option Science System (FOSS) curriculum as the foundation of our teaching.  Science classes are taught in lab settings, beginning in kindergarten and continuing through middle school.  Over the past three years we have been making changes to this core curriculum using ideas from the Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS) which include connections to Science-Technology-Engineering-Math (STEM) practices, crosscutting concepts, disciplinary core ideas, and the Summit Core Standards for English Language Arts and Math.

Science is inherently interesting, and children are natural investigators. Children learn science concepts best by doing science which is why 50% of middle school classes and over 70% of elementary classes focus on experiments; hands-on experiences with objects, organisms, and systems.  Hands-on activities are motivating for students, and they stimulate inquiry, curiosity and collaboration. Students at all grade levels investigate experiment, gather data, organize results, and draw conclusions based on their own actions.

Each year our fourth and eighth graders participate in the AIMS Science tests which are administered to students in public and charter schools across the state.  The AIMS test reports the percentage of students that meet and exceed state standards for science. The table below illustrates that over 90% of Summit students met or exceeded standards for the past six years.

Grade 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 AVG
4th 100% 100% 98% 91% 92% 97% 96%
8th 96% 100% 100% 100% 100% 93% 98%

We are very proud of our two amazing Science teachers, Andrea Yocum (middle school) and Lori Phillips (kindergarten – grade five), for inspiring our students to learn and love the language of Science.

At Summit we prepare your children for success as the students, workers and citizens of the future.  Thank you for continuing to send your children to Summit School of Ahwatukee.