The Inquiry Project Curricula & PD

Science curricula and professional development aligned with the NRC Science Framework.

The Inquiry Project takes a unique approach to a study of matter for grades 3–5, bringing together core ideas, scientific practices, and crosscutting concepts. The curriculum for each grade is built around a network of science concepts relevant to understanding matter and include ideas about material, weight, and volume. As they learn about the core idea of matter, students use scientific practices that are central to inquiry such as reasoning from evidence, building and using models, and developing explanations.

  • In grade 3, investigations of weight and material are front and center and volume is introduced briefly at the end of the unit. Within their investigations, students learn to use data tables and measure lines to represent weight.
  • In grade 4, students investigate properties of earth materials. They learn to distinguish and measure weight and volume and investigate their relationships in different solid and liquid materials.
  • In grade 5, students investigate properties of gases. They deepen their understanding of matter as they investigate phase change and transformations of water as it freezes, melts, evaporates, and condenses.

Teacher and student guides are available for purchase or print-on-demand through This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL-0628245.