Welcome to Science

Welcome to the Science website for the Utah State Board of Education (USBE). On the home page, you will find links to some of the most recent news from our office, and in the subsequent pages, we've placed more details about state science standards, endorsement information, grant applications, and our ongoing projects.  Peruse, enjoy, and if you have any questions, please contact us.

Utah Core Standards

The Utah State Board of Education (USBE), in January of 1984, established policy requiring the identification of specific core standards to be met by all K–12 students in order to graduate from Utah’s secondary schools. USBE regularly updates the Utah Core Standards, while parents, teachers, and local school boards continue to control the curriculum choices that reflect local values.

Utah Core Literacy Standards

Core Standards for English Language Arts (ELAs) and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects

USBE English Language Arts Standards Include standards for Science Literacy Instruction in both Reading and Writing:

  • Reading Standards for Informational Text K-5 (Page 15)
  • Writing Standards K-5 (Page 21)
  • Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects 6-12 (Page 74)
  • Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects 6-12 (Page 78)

Educator Endorsements

The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) desires that all educators in Utah are fully qualified to teach the courses they are assigned to assure that all students get the best education possible. All secondary science courses (grades 7-12) require specific secondary science endorsements for teachers to be eligible to teach them.

Utah Secondary Science Endorsements

Science Educator Endorsement 
USBE Educator Licensing

Science Courses that can be Taught with Each Science Endorsement

Endorsement Courses

To fulfill course requirements for secondary science endorsements each course needs to meet the following three requirements:

  • The course must be posted on a college/university transcript
  • The course must be worth 3 or more credits
  • The course must be passed with a grade of C or better

Online Courses

For some teachers, online courses are the best option to take needed endorsement courses because they allow work to be done on their own time and in the comfort of their own home or classroom.

USTA/UEN Online Endorsement Courses
The Utah Science Teachers Association offers several online endorsement courses in partnership with UEN and Southern Utah University (SUU). These courses are designed with two things in mind:

  • improving teacher content knowledge
  • improving science instructional strategies

The courses are offered in a 12-week, semester setting and require 4-6 hours a week of coursework. These courses are $400 for USTA members and that price includes the posting of SUU credit. Due to the time commitment, teachers are only allowed to sign up for two classes per semester.


Many universities offer online courses that can be taken to fulfill endorsement course requirements. These courses vary from semester to semester and vary in price from University to University. Some universities also require a small payment to become a matriculated student and gain a student identification number. Please be sure to read all university requirements to assure that you are eligible, can meet prerequisite requirements, and can successfully take the course.

University Online Programs and courses they offer that meet Science Endorsement Requirements include:

  • Brigham Young University (BYU) Independent Study course offerings:
    • General Biology (BIO 100 & PDBIO 120)
    • General Microbiology (MMBIO 221)
    • General Molecular Biology (MMBIO 240)
    • Human Anatomy (PDBIO 210)
    • Elementary Chemistry (CHEM 100)
    • General Physics 1 (PHSCS 105)
    • General Physics 2 (PHSCS 106)
    • Introduction to Electricity and Magnetism (PHSCS 220)
    • Descriptive Astronomy (PHSCS 127)
    • Severe and Hazardous Weather (PHSCS 137)
    • Introducation to Geology (GEOL 101)
    • Introduction to Statistics (STAT 105)
    • Principles of Statistics (STAT 121)
    • Calculus 1 (MATH 112)
  • SUU Online course offerings:
    • Intro to Biology (BIOL 1010)
    • Intro to Chemistry (CHEM 1010)
    • Elementary Chemistry (CHEM 1110)
    • Principles of Chemistry I (CHEM 1210)
    • Chemistry Labs (CHEM 1015, 1115, 1215)
    • Geology of National Parks (GEO 1050)
    • How the Earth Works, (GEO 1090)
    • Statistics (MATH 1040)

  • USU Online course offerings:
    • Biology and the Citizen (BIOL 1010)
    • Intro to Animal Science (ADVS 1110)
    • Ecology of Our World (WILD 2200)
    • Evolution (BIOL 3010)
    • Intro to Chemistry (CHEM 1010)
    • Principles of Chemistry I (CHEM 1210)
    • Principles of Chemistry II (CHEM 1220)
    • Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 2310)
    • Organic Chemistry II (CHEM 2320)
    • Environmental Chemistry (CHEM 3650)
    • Intro Biochemistry (CHEM 3700)
    • Intro to Geology (GEO 1010)
    • Geology of World’s Oceans (GEO 3300)
    • The Universe (PHYS 3030)
    • Climate Change (PSC 6810)
    • Intro to Statistics (STAT 1040)
    • Calculus I (MATH 1210)
  • SLCC Online course offerings:
    • Intro to Chemistry (CHEM 1010)
    • Elementary Chemistry (CHEM 1110)
    • General Chemistry I (CHEM 1210)
    • General Chemistry II (CHEM 1220)
    • Severe Weather (ATMO 1010)
    • Climate Change (ATMO 1020)
    • Introduction to Geology (GEO 1010)
    • Intro to Statistics (MATH 1040)
    • Calculus I (MATH 1210)
    • Elementary Physics (PHYS 1010)
    • Elementary Astronomy (PHYS 1040)
    • Physics for Science and Engineers I (PHYS 2210)
    • Physics for Science and Engineers II (PHYS 2220)

Face-to-Face Courses

For some teachers, a face-to-face learning experience is preferred because it allows teachers the chance to experience modeled curriculum and experienced teaching. These courses are usually offered in a week-long session over the summer months.

Utah Science Teachers Association (UtSTA)
UtSTA partners with local colleges and universities to connect teachers from across the state with experienced teachers in a week-long learning model.

Utah Master Naturalist
Utah Master Naturalist is a Utah State University Extension program that offers courses specific to Utah Ecology in a week-long learning model that fulfill Ecology I and II requirements.

Earth Science Education
Earth Science Education is a set of three week-long courses focusing on Utah Landforms, Rocks and Minerals, and Geologic history. Completion of all three courses will award an educator a 3 credit Earth 

Safety Certification

As part of the application for a secondary science endorsement, the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) asks that all applicants complete a safety certification. There are three options for Safety Certification.

Utah Science Teachers Association (UtSTA) Safety Course
This certification process is a free four-week online course from UtSTA in partnership with UEN. It is associated with 1.0 USBE credit and helps to assure that all our science teachers are knowledgeable about the safe science classroom and laboratory practices.

Flinn Scientific Course
Flinn Scientific offers an online course that qualifies to fulfill the safety certification requirement. The course is self-paced and has been said to take only 4+ hours to complete. Please note that this is a vendor company and completing their free course will sign you up for marketing with that company.

District Safety Course
Many school districts offer a safety course for teachers that fulfill the safety certification requirement. Please ask your district office if a course like this exists.

Professional Learning


Courses are available to provide professional learning opportunities to teacher that help improve their content knowledge, teaching, and pedagogy. The courses are available from multiple institutions:

Professional Learning Series

Science with Engineering Education (SEEd)

USBE received help from several Utah LEA Science leaders to create Online SEEd Standards Science Content Courses. The purpose of these courses is to help teachers improve their content understanding of the disciplinary core ideas found in the strands and standards of the new 6-8th Grade SEEd Standards. The courses also have a focus of helping teachers to identify and share phenomena with the intent of giving them more ideas to use when teaching the SEEd Standards. Participants that complete all of the course requirements will be awarded 0.5 to 1.0 USBE Credit (depending on the size of the course).


Informal Science Education Enhancement (iSEE)

iSEE is a collaborative partnership between Clark Planetarium, Discovery Gateway, The Leonardo, The Living Planet Aquarium, Red Butte Garden, Natural History Museum of Utah, HawkWatch International, Thanksgiving Point, and the Utah State Board of Education (USBE).

iSEE programs serve K-12 teachers and students and are designed to spark students’ natural curiosity and sense of wonder by providing exciting opportunities to experience science, practice science skills, and gain a deeper understanding of science.

A Request for Proposals (RFP) has been released to the public for new institutions interested in joining iSEE with provisional status. This grant opportunity is open to any non-profit institution that meets all the requirements outlined therein. This funding is available pending Utah Legislative approval and proposals are due on Friday, May 4th, 2018 at 5:00 pm.

FY19 iSEE Request For Proposals

FY19 iSEE Request For Proposals

Mathematics and Science Partnership Program (MSP)

Title II, Part B
The Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) grant was a federally funded (Title II, Part B) competitive grant program. The MSP grant was discontinued by the Federal Government with the adoption of the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR)

Centers Initiative Application
USTAR's goal is to create USTAR Centers that will enhance the ability of district and charter schools to attract and retain mathematics and science teachers while simultaneously offering more opportunities for students and effectively using the capacity of capital facilities.

The last USTAR application period occurred for Utah LEAs in spring of 2017 for three-year funding from Fiscal Year (FY)2018 to FY2020. During this past application and review period, all USTAR legislative funding was awarded to the LEAs that applied and funding is now fully encumbered through the end of the 2019-2020 school year. All LEAs that are currently interested in applying for USTAR future funding will need to wait for the next application period which is not expected to occur until spring 2020 for FY2021. NOTE: The funding of all USTAR grants is contingent on continued funding from the Utah State Legislature.

Application instructions, forms, and documents from the previous review period are available here for reference in future application periods.

All proposals are due via e-mail to Ricky Scott by 5 p.m. on February 17, 2017.

Application Instructions | Application Form

Application Programming DescriptionsFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Utah Science Open Educational Resources (OER) Textbooks

The science education community in partnership with Dr. David Wiley from Brigham Young University (BYU) and funding from a Hewlett Foundation Grant has embarked on a statewide scaling for open education resource development for Science (Grades 3-12).

Building upon previous collaborations with educators in Nebo School district reaching back to 2009, the project reached out to engage educators from across the state on teams to build state textbooks for secondary science courses in 2012 and elementary science courses in 2013. Twenty three districts and 7 charter schools had teacher representation in the writing groups that pulled together the textbook from open education resources such as CK-12 and Thunderbolt Kids. The final textbooks are available in a digital PDF format for free under a creative commons license.

The project will continue with supported implementation efforts for teachers, along with a commitment to continue to update the materials each year using community feedback and data. This will be a continual process that provides a sustainable and cost effective solution to supporting student reference materials that are adaptable to changes in the Utah Core and science content knowledge.


Science OER Textbook Community Feedback
As we continue to refine and improve these documents, we welcome feedback to be considered by the annual review committee.

2017-2018 Science Textbooks

We have partnered with CK-12 to be a hosting site for our textbooks. Books can be accessed online through the given links or downloaded in a PDF format. Teachers will also be able to start an account at CK-12 and use the Science OER Textbooks as a starting point to make their own adjustments (please note that the logistics of printing any books with personal adjustments will need to be organized by the teacher). Click here for the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) books as well as books created by other schools in Utah.  As we continue to refine and improve these documents, we welcome your feedback on the online survey.

Online OER Books on CK-12
All books are available on the CK-12 website.

This format allows teachers to give access to specific pages of each book by using a direct link. Teachers can also create a free CK-12 login and make their own personalized version of a book. If changes are made, teachers are responsible to make sure that all Creative Common rules are met, work on formatting, and find a printer if that's their final desire. 

Downloadable OER Books
Formatted PDFs for all 2017-2018 Science OER books

The formatting of the CK-12 website PDF downloads doesn't usually look very nice. With the great help of our OER Team we offer PDF versions of the Printed Books for a free download. These can be used to print the books if you have a better system or to be loaded on student machines. 

Science Textbooks: Hard Copy Purchases 
Printed textbooks from BR Printers

Due to problems we have had with the past printing service, a new printing service has been found. BR Printers have been wonderful to work with and they have a specific account manager to help us with orders and questions that may come. They have a page specifically for our books where orders can be made online and paid by credit card or your school/district can set up a Purchase Order. To contact our BR Printers account manager please e-mail Greg Velasquez.

These textbooks will have a color cover, but black and white pages. This keeps the costs low. Districts, schools, etc. are welcome to print the books through their own printing services using the PDF files above. We have provided the links below to support easy ordering, but you are more than welcome to print these resources on your own based on your access and cost.

It is highly recommended that one copy is purchased for review before you place a large order for multiple copies. 

2015-2017 Archived Textbooks


Evolution Position Statement

Answering Questions about Teaching Evolution in Utah.

Position Statement on Teaching Evolution

Utah Science Standards for Biology

Intended Learning Outcomes for Biology

Utah Office of Administrative Code:


American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS):

Darwin Online
Arts and Humanities Research Council

Evolution: A Journey into Where We're From and Where We're Going.
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)

Evolution: Constant Change and Common Threads
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

Evolution Resources
National Academies

State Science Education Coordinating Committee (SSECC)

SSECC is voluntary science community that work to discuss the needs of and share information about how to improve science education in Utah. It is made up of representatives from Utah districts and charter schools, Utah institutes of higher education, and Utah informal education organizations.

Future SSECC Meetings

Friday, March 9, 2018
250 East 500 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
Register at MIDAS Course# 39831

2017 Meetings

January 27, 2017
USBE, Board Room
250 East 500 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

Presentation | Agenda | Meeting Notes


March 10, 2017
USBE, Basement West
250 East 500 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

SSECC Presentation | SSECC Agenda | Meeting Notes


October 6, 2017
USBE Board Room
250 East 500 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

SSECC Recording | SSECC Presentation

SSECC Agenda | Meeting Notes


Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST)


What is PAEMST?

PAEMST is the highest honors bestowed by the United States government specifically for K-12 mathematics and science (including computer science) teaching. Established by Congress in 1983, the PAEMST program authorizes the President to bestow up to 108 awards each year.

Why Apply?

Recipients of the award receive the following:

  • A certificate signed by the President of the United States.
  • A paid trip for two to Washington, D.C., to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities.
  • A $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
  • In addition to recognizing outstanding teaching in mathematics or science (including computer science), the program provides teachers with an opportunity to build lasting partnerships with colleagues across the nation. This growing network of award-winning teachers serves as a vital resource for improving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education and keeping America globally competitive.

Do I qualify and what is the process for applying?

Click here for more information.

Previous Winners

2015: Magdalene (Maggie) Huddleston
2013: Andrew (Drew) Neilson
2011: James (Jim) Larson
2009: Amy Pace
2007: Ty Robinson
2005: Bradford Talbert
2003: Emma Smith
2002: Ken O'Brien
2001: Rosalee Riddle
2000: Curtis Craig
1999: Glen Westbroek
1998: Steven Cox
1997: Sharon Miya
1996: Kathleen Ochsenbein
1995: Barry Bishop
1994: Duane Merrell
1993: Vern Bangerter
1992: Brett D. Moulding
1991: Ronald Cefalo
1990: Thomas (Phil) Talbot
1989: Michael Harris
1988: Dwight Brown
1987: Linda Preston
1986: LaMont Jensen
1985: John Heppler
1984: M. Hunt, Jr.
1983: Carl Bruce
2014: Britney Powell
2012: Julie Hammari
2010: Mathilda (Tillie) Uribe
2008: Vickie Ahlstrom
2006: Antinette Haggerty
2004: Carol Skousen
2002: Ann Houmand
2001: Patti Seeholzer
1999: Sally Ogilvie
1998: Terri Denney
1997: Carrie Jones
1996: Teresa Rountree
1995: Cathy Welch
1994: Darrell Spendlove
1993: Karen Bishop
1992: Susan Fredrickson
1991: Rebecca Olson
1990: Peggy Crandall

E-mail List

Science Teacher E-mail List Registration for Educators
USBE, in collaboration with Utah Education Network (UEN), has created an e-mail list for science teachers to learn more about Utah science events and professional development.

Science Team

Richard Scott
Phone: (801) 538-7808 | E-mail
Caren Johnson
Office Assistant
Phone: (801) 538-7773 | E-mail