Fifth Graders in Districts Using the STEMscopes Digital STEM Curriculum Achieve Higher Passing Rates on the California Science Test

HOUSTON – August 24, 2020 – California school districts that used the STEMscopes digital STEM curriculum with their fifth grade students in 2018-19 had higher fifth grade passing rates on the California Science Test (CAST) than districts that did not use STEMscopes, according to a new study published by Accelerate Learning.

In 2018-19, the first year the CAST was used throughout the state, the average passing rate for all 1,181 California districts that include fifth grade was 31.7%. In the 169 districts that used the STEMscopes curriculum, the average passing rate was 36.1%. In the 1,012 districts that used a district-created or other science curriculum, the average passing rate was 30.3%. Districts that used STEMscopes had a 5.8% higher passing rate, which is equivalent to 3,704 more students passing the CAST standards.

The study also conducted analyses to examine the results while accounting for district demographic differences. The results showed that districts that used STEMscopes continued to have higher overall science passing rates compared to districts that did not use it. Specifically, using the STEMscopes curriculum increased passing rates by 2.2% even after accounting for important demographic variables. In addition, economically disadvantaged students, students with a reported disability, and Latino students had significantly higher passing rates in STEMscopes districts compared to non-STEMscopes districts.

The STEMscopes curriculum, which was adopted by the California State Board of Education in November 2018, is built on the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS) and aligned to the California Science Framework. The phenomena-based, three dimensional STEM curriculum provides teachers with everything they need to address the Disciplinary Core Ideas, Crosscutting Concepts, and Science and Engineering Practices that form each standard of the NGSS. The curriculum is also available in Spanish for grades TK-8.

For information about STEMscopes CA NGSS 3D, visit

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About STEMscopes

STEMscopes, created by Accelerate Learning Inc., is an award-winning, research-based national leader in PreK-12 STEM curriculum. Used by over 5 million students and 250 thousand teachers across all 50 states, STEMscopes provides comprehensive digital resources, supplemental print materials, and hands-on exploration kits that drive engagement and academic growth. For more information, visit or call toll-free 800-531-0864.


Media Contact 

Javier Encinas

Vice President Marketing, Accelerate Learning