The Joliet Public Schools District 86 Science curriculum is built upon the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) through the use of National Geographic (Elementary) and Discovery Education (Junior High). These standards were fully implemented during the 2016-2017 school year, and integrate engineering with an emphasis on preparing students for college, career, and citizenship. In order to increase students' 21st century skills and transition from knowing science to doing science, NGSS has adopted phenomenon-based learning (PhenoBL) that begins all lessons by asking questions or posing problems (i.e. Why does an airplane fly and stay up in the air?). At its best, phenomenon-based learning is problem-based learning, where the learners build answers together to questions or problems posed concerning a phenomenon that interests them. The questioning and problem-solving skills can then be used cross-curricular and students will be able to see the crossing of boundaries between subjects and integrate knowledge from other courses. The students' applications of these skills are celebrated annually through our Junior High School STEM Extravaganza, where students also have the opportunity to advance to the Regional Science Fair.

Next Generation Science Standards

Phenomenon-Based Learning

For more information regarding the Joliet Public Schools District 86 Science curriculum, please see the grade-specific documents below:

Science Fair Information

Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Grade Science Fair Information
The purpose of the Science Fair is to facilitate students’ excitement about science by extending their experiences and knowledge beyond the curriculum. This allows students to explore a topic of their choosing and an opportunity to advance to the state level and compete against other young scientists from all around Illinois. There are three opportunities for all Junior High Students to participate in Science Fair: Extended Curriculum, After School Club, and Independently. Students may choose the option that works best for them, however, this decision is completely voluntary. Your child will still be able to learn about the scientific method and design process through classroom lessons. Reach out to your students’ science teacher if you have any questions or visit for more information.


Science Fair Elective Overview

Self-Paced Science Fair Scope and Sequence 2022-2023

Science Fair Parent Letter 2022-2023