Like other elementary schools in the District, VAIS uses FOSS Science as its science curriculum. FOSS is a research-based, hands-on science curriculum for grades K—8 developed at the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California at Berkeley. FOSS program materials are designed to meet the challenge of providing meaningful science education for all students in diverse American classrooms and to prepare them for life in the 21st century.


The FOSS curriculum is founded on the idea that science is an active enterprise, made active by our human capacity to think. Scientific knowledge advances when children:


  • observe objects and events
  • think about how they relate to what is known
  • test their ideas in logical ways
  • generate explanations that integrate the new information into the established order


The best way for students to appreciate the scientific enterprise, learn important scientific concepts, and develop the ability to think critically is to actively construct ideas through their own inquiries, investigations, and analyses. The FOSS program engages students in these processes as they explore the natural world. Learn more about FOSS.