The science curriculum in sixth grade emphasizes the study of earth sciences. The standards in sixth grade present many of the foundations of geology and geophysics, including plate tectonics and earth structure, topography, and energy. The material is linked to resource management and ecology, building on what students have learned in previous grades.
Sixth-grade science topics are organized into six standard sets: Plate Tectonics and Earth’s Structure, Shaping Earth’s Surface, Heat (Thermal Energy) (Physical Sciences), Energy in the Earth System, Ecology (Life Sciences), Resources, and Investigation and Experimentation. As students learn the content defined by the standards in the Life, Earth, and Physical Science strands, they are also practicing investigation and experimentation skills. That is, the investigation and experimentation standards should be infused throughout science instruction.