The science curriculum lends itself to the development of thinking and reasoning ability, a major goal in all subject areas. The curriculum emphasizes rational thought processes through active participation in scientific methods to help students cope with a rapidly changing scientific and technological world. Three science units, including a physical science, earth/environmental science, and biology are required for graduation.
The goal of the North Carolina Standard Course of Study for Science is to achieve scientific literacy. The National Science Education Standards define scientific literacy as "the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes required for scientific decision making, participation in civic and cultural affairs, and economic productivity."
The tenets of scientific literacy include the ability to:
- Find or determine answers to questions derived from everyday experiences.
- Describe, explain, and predict natural phenomena.
- Understand articles about science.
- Engage in non-technical conversation about the validity of conclusions.
- Identify scientific issues underlying national and local decisions.
- Pose explanations based on evidence derived from one's own work.
North Carolina students can achieve scientific literacy through an instructional program based on the Standard Course of Study for Science. The High School Program is based on discipline specific courses including Biology, Chemistry, Earth/Environmental Science, Physical Science, and Physics. Advanced courses including AP® and IB courses are encouraged.