Research on BSCS Science Tracks: Connecting Science and Literacy

BSCS Science Tracks is a comprehensive, modular, kit-based elementary school science program that includes a full year of instruction at each grades K–5. At each grade level, 1–5, there are four modules, one each in physical science, Earth and space science, life science, and science and technology. A full-year kindergarten program is integrated in one teacher's guide. Because of its hands-on, collaborative structure, the program is appropriate for students of all ability levels.

The research reports listed on this page represent ongoing studies over the years, beginning in 1989. This program was originally called BSCS Science for Life and Living, then Science T.R.A.C.S.

Download full report | Making T.R.A.C.S. In ESL: The Effect of Science T.R.A.C.S. and Science-to-Go on ESL Student Literacy Scores

In a comparison of two groups of first-grade English language learners, Mary McMillan Magee indicates that the majority of participants in the Science T.R.A.C.S and Science-to-Go programs showed greater growth in their literacy scores than those students who did not participate in the study.

Magee, M. M. (2002). Making T.R.A.C.S. In ESL: The Effect of Science T.R.A.C.S. and Science-to-Go on ESL Student Literacy Scores.

Download full report | BSCS Science for Life and Living: An Evaluation Report from an External Evaluator

This paper, written by Norris Harms, provides a summary based on data collected in field test and control classrooms during a full-year field test of materials in the school year 1989-1990. Evaluation questions addressed by this report are based on questions that were uppermost in the minds of a number of teachers, science educators, and BSCS staff interviewed by the evaluator. These questions are set in the context of changes that appear to be strongly influencing science instruction on a national level.

Harms, N. (1990). BSCS Science for Life and Living: An Evaluation Report from an External Evaluator.

Download full report | BSCS Science Tracks Research Study, Report to Kendall Hunt

BSCS conducted a small research study in Denver Public Schools (elementary) in the school year 2004-2005 in conjunction with the second revision of the TRACKS elementary science program. BSCS gathered evidence of the impact of the physical science modules on achievement and attitudes toward science among third, fourth, and fifth graders. In addition, BSCS performed a field test and received feedback from teachers on the effectiveness of the literacy strategies that were incorporated into the revised programs.

BSCS. (2005). TRACKS Research Study, Report to Kendall Hunt. Colorado Springs, CO: BSCS.

Download full report | Outcomes for Students Using a Model Elementary Science Curriculum

This study examined the student outcomes of process skills, conceptual knowledge and thinking skills of fifth-grade elementary school students using a model curriculum as defined by the National Center for Improving Science Education (NCISE). The study included eight fifth-grade classrooms that used one of the model elementary science curricula identified by the NCISE, Science for Life and Living, developed by BSCS (1992), and 10 fifth-grade classrooms that used one of two activity centered traditional science (ACTS) programs.

Maidon, C. H., & Wheatley, J. H. (2001). Outcomes for Students Using a Model Elementary Science Curriculum. Paper presented at the National Association of Research in Science Teaching (NARST) Annual Conference.