You are here

Broward County School Raises Passing Rate 21 Percentage Points in One Year on Florida’s Grade 5 Statewide Science Assessment After Implementing STEMscopes

HOUSTON – Oct. 31, 2017 – At Horizon Elementary, a Title I school in Broward County Public Schools, the passing rate on the Florida Grade 5 Statewide Science Assessment jumped from 27 percent in 2016 to 48 percent in 2017. How did Horizon’s fifth grade teachers help their students make a gain of 21 percentage points in one year? In 2016-17, they transformed their classrooms into active learning spaces for science with the STEMscopes™ digital science curriculum and hands-on exploration kits.

“Previously, we had low test scores every year on our county benchmark assessments and our state assessment in science. We were using a textbook as our main resource for teaching science, but it wasn’t really motivating, especially when compared with today’s technologies,” said fifth grade teacher Karen Silensky. “We wanted to find a way to engage students at a deeper level and get them excited about science.”

Horizon Elementary began using the STEMscopes Florida digital science curriculum at the fifth grade level in fall 2016, as well as a Spanish version that is available for the program. Developed by Accelerate Learning, STEMscopes Florida is 100 percent aligned to the Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS) in science. It can be used as a core science curriculum or supplementary resource in traditional, blended, and 1:1 classroom environments.

From 2016 to 2017, the passing rate on the Grade 5 Statewide Science Assessment increased from 27 percent to 48 percent for Horizon Elementary. In contrast, the passing rate for Broward County rose from 45 percent to 47 percent, and the average passing rate for the state of Florida remained at 51 percent.

“STEMscopes is a major motivator for our students. It helps them grasp concepts, build their critical thinking skills, and connect science to real-world situations,” said fifth grade teacher Robin Butcher. “In 2017, we were one of only two elementary schools in the district — which has more than 250 elementary schools — that had double-digit gains. STEMscopes helped contribute to Horizon Elementary’s gains.”

“Before, students didn’t understand that science is everywhere. They thought science was a book. Now they realize science is everyday life,” said Silensky.

For more information, visit or call toll-free 800-531-0864.


Teaching & Learning