IQWST Review Guide

Welcome Virginia Review Committees!

On this page, you will discover the key highlights and core components of our middle school science program, IQWST, for Grades 6-8.

Developed using funds from the National Science Foundation, IQWST features:

A complete research-based and phenomenon-driven middle school science program

A teacher tested design that was developed at three major midwestern universities

A digital and print option to meet your district's needs regardless of the learning environment (classroom, hybrid, remote).

An English and Spanish edition

Data that demonstrates improved test scores after implementation

All the materials needed for the investigations are provided and bagged by lesson for teacher convenience

An Interactive Digital Edition (IDE) that integrates with several Learning Management Systems (LMS) including Google Classroom, Schoology, Canvas, Classlink, and Clever

IQWST Overview: Video One

All Hands-on Experiences are NOT Equal.

IQWST empowers students of all abilities by providing them with common experiences. The common experiences enable them to debate, discuss, uncover scientific principles and key concepts, and arrive at key understandings regardless of background, ethnicity, or socioeconomics.

Hear what teachers and students think of IQWST.

Visit our Activate Learning Everywhere page and see how we have equipped teachers with the necessary resources for remote learning.

College Readiness Results After IQWST® Implementation

IQWST Data Chart

Scientifically Literate Students can

Read Science

Readings in the IQWST lessons provide opportunities for students to engage with science/informational text. Providing students with the ability to annotate text in the interactive digital edition helps to ensure students are reading critically.

Write Science

Claim, Evidence, Reasoning (CER) – CER initially developed by Activate Learning, ensures students use evidence to support their claims and explain their reasoning.

Claim Evidence Reasoning (1)

Speak Science

In IQWST, students often work collaboratively to engage in argument from evidence. Like a scientist, they site evidence to justify what they are saying. Their questions are used to drive the learning.

Arrow Right

DO Science

IQWST provides teachers and students all of the materials needed to do all of the
3-dimensional investigations that are part of the program.

Arrow left

How IQWST Units Begin: Video Two

IQWST Units Begin by Engaging Students with an Anchoring Phenomenon.

Have you ever smelled a scent that triggers a memory? Perhaps, pine needles make you think of the holiday season. The smell of coffee might make you think of morning. The smell in the air moments before it rains might make you think of a hot summer day when the heat is temporarily broken by a late afternoon thunderstorm. After hearing the answers from students, ask them if they smell a scent in the classroom for the first time. You’ve hidden a container of peppermint oil (provided with the kit) in the room prior to them entering.  How did the smell travel from the container to their nose?



Modeling in IQWST: Video Three

A model is used to represent an idea and explanation to describe, test, and predict abstract phenomena and design systems.

Models can be modified using evidence.

At the start of the IQWST unit, the student was asked to draw what the air in front of her nose looked like, including the odor from the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies in the classroom, if she could see them.

Initial model

The same student’s model 3 weeks later. The student used evidence from the 3-dimensional investigations in IQWST to justify changes to the initial model and engage in argument with his classmates whose models differed. A final consensus model will be determined by, and agreed upon, by the class at the end of the unit.

Final Model

Coherence in IQWST

IQWST lessons, units, and sequence were designed to be coherent. In contrast to asking students to learn discrete pieces of content, which they typically forget at the end of a unit, IQWST enables students to conceptually build knowledge over the course of lessons, units, and years of instruction.

Lesson Coherence

How Can I Smell Things From a Distance?

Lesson One

Lesson 1 rev

Lesson Two

Lesson 2

Lesson Three & Beyond

Lesson 3

Unit Structure

Unit Structure

The Driving Question Board: Video 4

Students Drive the Learning in IQWST.

All students contribute to the Driving Question Board (DQB) regardless of their academic ability. Students will be empowered and encouraged to drive the learning and will uncover the answers to their very own questions using evidence they collect during investigations.

Smell 4
Smell 2

Assessments in IQWST

Computerized classroom assessments to support teaching and assess student knowledge

Thank you for reviewing IQWST