Book Cover PhD Science Grade 3 with Wave of Kanagawa


PhD Science® is a phenomenon-based K–5 curriculum in which students’ natural curiosity drives the learning, transforming the classroom into a place of exploration. The curriculum’s hands-on approach allows young scientists to dive into the real world and its wonders. Science is a dynamic and field of study. Here is a curriculum that proves it.

“I would just reiterate what a fantastic program PhD Science is. I think it goes beyond a curriculum—that it really is a program, a way to teach. It's just the best that I’ve seen anywhere.”


Doing Science

Through observation, questioning, modeling, investigation, and evidence-based argumentation, students build knowledge they can apply in the real world. They develop a lasting appreciation of science that extends beyond a single lesson. As lessons build on each other, students develop true science literacy. They begin to understand the science behind every day phenomena, and eventually apply that understanding in their own lives. For example, as students learn how a windmill turns energy into light, they begin to understand energy transfer and transformation. They can then apply the same new knowledge in their own lives to explain how a microwave can warm food. PhD Science sparks curiosity about natural phenomena at work in the world, not just in textbooks. With PhD Science, students don’t just read about science—they do science.

PhD Science in Sync

School will look different this year—and Great Minds teachers will be in sync with classroom teachers to ensure daily learning continues. Our teacher–writers and experts are meeting the challenge of the moment with a new science curriculum created to cover the same content as PhD Science, redesigned for knowledge building at home. Whether they’re out of school for a week or a month, with PhD Science in Sync the learning continues without missing a beat.

PhD Science in Sync
Open Educational Resource

Too often, science instruction in the earliest grades consists of disparate activities rather than the comprehensive, coherent instruction needed to build a strong foundation for science literacy. At Great Minds, we believe students should have access to coherent, knowledge-building instructional materials as soon as they begin elementary school. That’s why we’re offering Levels K–2 of PhD Science as a free PDF open educational resource in 2021.

Two young boys observe the action of water when poured down a tin foil chute.
Girl looks into a handcrafted pinhole lightbox.
Three Dimensional Model

PhD Science  is rooted in the Next Generation Science Standards and the principles outlined in A Framework for K–12 Education. The curriculum was created to help teachers address the pedagogical shift required to incorporate three-dimensional teaching and learning in science education. PhD Science wasn’t retrofitted to meet these new expectations. It was specifically written to support the standards. Students uncover Disciplinary Core Ideas by engaging in Science and Engineering Practices and using the lens of Crosscutting Concepts to make sense of phenomena.  

Pilot the Curriculum

Last year, PhD Science helped thousands of teachers around the country transition from lecturing about science to facilitating lessons where students drove the learning. Transform science learning in your K–5 classrooms by piloting PhD Science this year and get a unique opportunity to preview our K–2 curriculum which will be available as open education resource for the 2021–2022 school year.  

Curious About PhD Science?

Whether you’re just getting started with PhD Science or want to learn more, our online Resource Overview Sessions are a great way to explore the curriculum and online resources created to help ensure successful implementation.

PhD Science Curriculum Review Materials

Did you know that elephants can sense rainstorms from more than 100 miles away by using a variety of sensory receptors? This phenomenon explains the sense and response of organisms, one of the many concepts students learn in PhD Science®.


“It’s the leadership my children are showing. My quiet and under-the-radar kids are soaring with PhD Science. That’s what I love. I’m seeing that growth and that spark in their confidence.”

- Lora M., Buchanan, TN