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Estimated Completion Time

36 Weeks


The Elementary Science K-5 courses will spark curiosity in students and build a solid foundation in concepts across many types of sciences including Earth Science, Life Science, and Physical Science. Students will engage in science and engineering practices by asking questions, defining problems, developing and using models, planning and conducting investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, using mathematics and informational technology, constructing explanations, designing solutions, engaging in scientific arguments using evidence, and communicating results.  A framework of active student learning supports and allows students to engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate throughout all courses. This dynamic format will help students build their own understanding from experiences and new ideas in order to facilitate a better understanding of the world around them.

Please view the Elementary Parents’ Survival Guide: The First Four Weeks of Online Learning for guidance on helping your student in the transition to online learning.

Course Requirements

To achieve success, students are expected to submit work in each course weekly. Students can learn at their own pace; however, “any pace” still means that students must make progress in the course every week. To measure learning, students complete self-checks, practice lessons, multiple choice questions, projects, discussion-based assessments, and discussions. Students and families are expected to maintain regular contact with teachers because, when teachers, students, and parents work together, students are successful.

Required Materials – Please view the list of materials before registering.

Major Topics and Concepts

Module 01: Gravity

  • 01.00 Module One Pretest
  • 01.01 What Goes Up, Must Come Down
  • 01.02 Keep It Up
  • 01.03 Overcoming Gravity
  • 01.04 Module One Review and Reflection
  • 01.05 Module One Assessment

Module 02: Stars

  • 02.00 Module Two Pretest
  • 02.01 Star Light, Star Bright
  • 02.02 Many Different Stars
  • 02.03 The Sun and Other Stars
  • 02.04 Distant Stars
  • 02.05 Our Star
  • 02.06 Starry Night
  • 02.07 Fixed Points of Light
  • 02.08 The Sun’s Glare
  • 02.09 A Closer Look
  • 02.10 Up Close with the Stars
  • 02.11 Module Two Review and Discussion-Based Assessment
  • 02.12 Module Two Assessment

Module 03: Forms of Energy

  • 03.00 Module Three Pretest
  • 03.01 What Is Energy?
  • 03.02 Heat Energy
  • 03.03 Sound Energy
  • 03.04 Electrical Energy
  • 03.05 Mechanical Energy
  • 03.06 Module Three Review and Reflection
  • 03.07 Module Three Assessment

Module 04: Motion

  • 04.00 Module Four Pretest
  • 04.01 Energy That Moves You
  • 04.02 Energy Can Change You, Too
  • 04.03 The Science of Patterns
  • 04.04 Science Made Me Do It!
  • 04.05 Module Four Review and Discussion-Based Assessment
  • 04.06 Module Four Assessment

Module 05: Heat

  • 05.00 Module Five Pretest
  • 05.01 It’s All About Heat
  • 05.02 Can You Feel the Heat?
  • 05.03 Light and Heat
  • 05.04 Experimenting with Heat and Light
  • 05.05 Getting Warmer in the Sun
  • 05.06 The Case of the Solar Oven
  • 05.07 Goodbye Sun, Hello Cool Temperatures!
  • 05.08 No Energy, No Heat
  • 05.09 Favorite Seasons
  • 05.10 Module Five Review and Discussion-Based Assessment
  • 05.11 Module Five Assessment

Module 06: Light

  • 06.00 Module Six Pretest
  • 06.01 Light Sources
  • 06.02 Faster Than the Speed of Light
  • 06.03 Behavior of Light
  • 06.04 Reflected Light
  • 06.05 Refracted Light
  • 06.06 Absorbed Light
  • 06.07 They Go Together
  • 06.08 Module Six Review and Discussion-Based Assessment
  • 06.09 Module Six Assessment

Module 07: Properties of Matter

  • 07.00 Module Seven Pretest
  • 07.01 Physical Properties
  • 07.02 Hard or Soft
  • 07.03 Comparing Physical Properties
  • 07.04 Mass of a Solid
  • 07.05 Volume of a Liquid
  • 07.06 Comparing Temperatures
  • 07.07 Module Seven Review and Discussion-Based Assessment
  • 07.08 Module Seven Assessment

Module 08: Changes in Matter

  • 08.00 Module Eight Pretest
  • 08.01 The States of Water
  • 08.02 Properties of Matter
  • 08.03 Changes of States
  • 08.04 Feel the Heat!
  • 08.05 Where Did They Go?
  • 08.06 Module Eight Review and Discussion-Based Assessment
  • 08.07 Module Eight Assessment

Module 09: Plant Structures and Functions

  • 09.00 Module Nine Pretest
  • 09.01 The Golden Apple Flower Show
  • 09.02 The Busy Leaf
  • 09.03 Rooted to the Ground
  • 09.04 The Thirsty Roots
  • 09.05 The Mighty Stems
  • 09.06 How Flowers Are Made
  • 09.07 Seeds and Fruit
  • 09.08 Plants Eat Food?
  • 09.09 Module Nine Review and Discussion-Based Assessment
  • 09.10 Module Nine Assessment

Module 10: Plant Responses

  • 10.00 Module Ten Pretest
  • 10.01 Heat, Light, and Gravity
  • 10.02 Plants Respond to Heat
  • 10.03 Plants Respond to Light
  • 10.04 Plants Respond to Gravity
  • 10.05 Investigating with Plants
  • 10.06 Module Ten Review and Reflection
  • 10.07 Module Ten Assessment

Module 11: Plant Classification

  • 11.00 Module Eleven Pretest
  • 11.01 Flowering Plants
  • 11.02 Non-Flowering Plants
  • 11.03 Ferns and Mosses
  • 11.04 Structures of Flowering Plants
  • 11.05 Structures of Non-Flowering Plants
  • 11.06 Comparing Flowering and Non-Flowering
  • 11.07 Classifying Plants
  • 11.08 Communication Among Scientists
  • 11.09 Module Eleven Review and Discussion-Based Assessment
  • 11.10 Module Eleven Assessment

Module 12: Animal Classification

  • 12.00 Module Twelve Pretest
  • 12.01 A Is for Arthropod, and V Is for Vertebrate!
  • 12.02 Comparing Systems
  • 12.03 Classifying Animals
  • 12.04 Module Twelve Review and Reflection
  • 12.05 Module Twelve Assessment

Module 13: Adaptations

  • 13.00 Module Thirteen Pretest
  • 13.01 Seasonal Adaptations
  • 13.02 Animal Responses to the Seasons
  • 13.03 Survival in Numbers
  • 13.04 Plant Responses to the Seasons
  • 13.05 Staying Alive!
  • 13.06 Seasonal Changes Around the World
  • 13.07 Comparing the Life Cycles of Plants and Animals
  • 13.08 Module Thirteen Review and Discussion-Based Assessment
  • 13.09 Module Thirteen Assessment

Credits 1


  • Gravity
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of gravity by observing and explaining what gravity does to objects, describing gravity as a force, and identifying ways to overcome the force of gravity.
  • Stars
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of stars by identifying and comparing appearance based on brightness, sizes, and distances, and recognizing stars as fixed points in the sky..
  • Forms of Energy
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of forms of energy by identifying examples of light, heat, sound, electrical, and mechanical energy; showing energy-related empirical evidence; and recording measurements and observations of energy.
  • Motion
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of motion by describing how energy can cause motion and change, and observing the motion of objects and behavior of magnets.
  • Heat
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of heat by identifying objects that give off light and heat, showing how objects are heated by the sun and will cool down when the sun is not present, and describing the seasons and climate regions.
  • Light
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of light by identifying sources of light energy; describing how light travels; showing how light can be reflected, refracted, absorbed; and explaining why some regions have more sunlight and warmer climates than others.
  • Properties of Matter
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of the properties of matter by measuring the mass of a solid and the volume and temperature of liquid; describing and comparing the physical properties of matter; and recording observations.
  • Changes in Matter
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of changes in matter by identifying the three states of matter and the three states of water; describing the changes and properties of each state of water when cooling and heating occurs, and explaining how observations or measurements can be used to explain the natural world.
  • Structures and Functions
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of plant structures and functions by describing how plants transport water and nutrients; explaining how plants produce food and what they need to grow; and identifying the role of leaves, roots, stems, seeds, fruits and flowers.
  • Plant Responses
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of plant responses by explaining how plants respond to heat, light and gravity; and using observations to decide how a plant might grow.
  • Plant Classification
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of plant classification by identifying flowering and non-flowering plants; comparing structures of flowering and non-flowering plants; classifying plants as flowering, non-flowering, seed-producing, or spore-producing plants; and describing how fossils can provide evidence of the organism's environment
  • Animal Classification
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of animal classification by describing an animals’ physical characteristics and behaviors; explaining how traits can be influenced by the environment and inherited from parents; classifying animals into major groups.
  • Adaptations
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of adaptation by describing how plants and animals respond to seasons in order to survive, and how some animals form groups for survival; explaining how different characteristics among organisms may provide advantages in survival; and making a model to show how life cycles are diverse and share common patterns.



Attend a virtual open house

We offer regular online open house webinars where VLACS staff members provide parents and students with an overview of our programs and answer questions about online learning.