• Science and technology have greatly improved food quality and quantity, transportation, health, sanitation, and communication. These benefits of science and technology are not available to all of the people in the world.

History and Nature of Science

Content Standard G

As a result of activities in grades K-4, all students should develop understanding of

  • Science as a human endeavor

Developing Student Understanding

Beginning in grades K-4, teachers should build on students' natural inclinations to ask questions and investigate their world. Groups of students can conduct investigations that begin with a question and progress toward communicating an answer to the question. For students in the early grades, teachers should emphasize the experiences of investigating and thinking about explanations and not overemphasize memorization of scientific terms and information. Students can learn some things about scientific inquiry and significant people from history, which will provide a foundation for the development of sophisticated ideas related to the history and nature of science that will be developed in later years. Through the use of short stories, films, videos, and other examples, elementary teachers can introduce interesting historical examples of women and men (including minorities and people with disabilities) who have made contributions to science. The stories can highlight how these scientists worked—that is, the questions, procedures, and contributions of diverse individuals to science and technology. In upper elementary grades, students can read and share stories that express the theme of this standard—science is a human endeavor.

Guide to the Content Standard

Fundamental concepts and principles that underlie this standard include


  • Science and technology have been practiced by people for a long time.

  • Men and women have made a variety of contributions throughout the history of science and technology.

  • Although men and women using scientific inquiry have learned much about the objects, events, and phenomena in nature, much more remains to be understood. Science will never be finished.

  • Many people choose science as a career and devote their entire lives to studying it. Many people derive great pleasure from doing science.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement