K–8 Science

Inquiry-Based Investigations
Curious, Capable Scientists

student looking in microscope

Exemplars science performance tasks and assessment tools provide teachers and administrators with a way of teaching and assessing science-process and communication skills.

Our open-ended scientific investigations help students develop conceptual understanding while utilizing the skills of inquiry, engineering, and communication.

Material is classroom-tested and may be used for assessment, instruction, and professional development. Standards-based science rubrics and student anchor papers are integral components of our material. Alignments are available for NGSS as well as state, national and STEM standards.

Exemplars science tasks have been reviewed and approved by NSTA Recommends.

Our science products are flexible for any learning environment— whether teaching in-person or in a virtual classroom.

Explore one of our K–8 online subscription options:

Scientific Inquiry for the 21st Century

A suite of science performance tasks and assessment tools based on 21st century science skills. 220 hands-on investigations are organized by Content Standards, Big Ideas, Inquiry Process and Design Technology Skills, and Math Concepts. Designed to support state and national science standards and STEM standards. Includes science rubrics for teachers and students.

Scientific Inquiry for the 21st Century: Built for the NGSS

A compilation of science performance tasks and assessment tools developed expressly to support the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). 220 hands-on scientific investigations are organized by Disciplinary Core Ideas, Crosscutting Concepts, and Science and Engineering Practices. Includes science rubrics for teachers and students.


  • 220 open-ended science performance tasks for assessment, instruction, portfolio pieces, and staff development
  • Assessment rubrics that offer teachers clear guidelines for evaluating students understanding and providing meaningful feedback
  • Student rubrics that encourage self- and peer-assessment
  • Annotated student anchor papers that demonstrate and explain what it looks like to meet (and not meet) the standard for each investigation
  • Rich, teaching notes and Planning Sheets to guide instruction and assessment
  • Interdisciplinary links to extend learning across the curriculum
  • Alignments for state and national standards, NGSS, and STEM
  • Tools for remote and blended learning

Please contact us or call 800-450-4050 for more information about getting started with Exemplars.

You can also request a quote for pricing information.

What Educators Are Saying

  • Your work is fantastic! We are looking for a way to monitor the growth of a student as a scientist from grade to grade. Your rubrics will help us to begin this important work.

    P. Bator, Elementary Science Curriculum Specialist, MA

    There is more than enough in each activity for a teacher, even one without a great deal of science background, to plan high-quality, inquiry-based lessons and assess student performance with confidence ... This program will provide an invaluable service to schools ...

    C. Seidman, Science Teacher/NSTA Review Panel Member

    I moved to Yokota Air Force Base in Japan and taught at Yokota West Elementary School. Our school principal purchased Math and Science Exemplars and I used them with kindergarten - 4th grades. I am now in Laurel Bay and would like to use Math and Science Exemplars again. I am hooked and cannot imagine teaching without my Exemplars! Thanks so much!

    C. Sinclair, Teacher, SC
  • Teaching STEM proved to be very time consuming last year, and I love the [Exemplars] task on breathing because the student gets to investigate the real-life situation instead of just watching!!

    V. Barker, Science Teacher, TN

    I think that these tasks provide higher-level thinking skills and require students to take a look at the reasoning behind their answers.

    M. Shepherd, Elementary School Teacher, MI

    I am determined to improve in math. The years I used Exemplars with fidelity my scores jumped tremendously; teachers actually assessed and enjoyed the art of teaching and students were always self assessing.

    Nyree Dixon, Principal, NY