Great Minds, creator of Eureka Math® and Wit & Wisdom™, is proud to introduce an exemplary new elementary science program: PhD Science™. Based on the new science standards and created by our team of teacher–writers and experts, this innovative curriculum inspires students to wonder about the world and empowers them to make sense of it. 


How did the Grand Canyon's features form? This is the driving question in Grade 4, Module 1 of PhD Science where students study the formation of the Grand Canyon's features—the anchor phenomenon for the module. Through this pilot opportunity, teachers and students will explore The Changing Earth and focus on Lessons 7–10 to answer the question: What do Earth's rock layers reveal? While the pilot explores lessons in our Grade 4 module, the pilot opportunity is open to classrooms for grades 3-5 for educators interested in learning more about the PhD Science curriculum design.

Students investigate the Grand Canyon to understand earth's rock layers.

Students model a landscape in a stream bed in Lesson 7 and use it to investigate how weathered rocks, or sediments, move from one place to another to develop an understanding of erosion in Lesson 8. In Lesson 9, students plan and conduct an investigation to study rate of erosion. In Lesson 10, students apply their new knowledge to the anchor phenomenon to explain how weathering and erosion could have formed some of the Grand Canyon.


Teachers and students can continue exploring this anchor phenomenon with Lessons 11–16. In Lessons 11 through 16, students apply their knowledge in new contexts, building on their current understanding of the Module Driving Question: How did the Grand Canyon’s features form? Lesson 11 introduces students to the engineering design process through the story of the Wright brothers. Students learn that great engineers strive to improve the human condition through this iterative process. In Lessons 12–15, students design a structure to protect a home from erosion and build a prototype. In Lesson 16, student groups present their prototypes to the class and summarize their design process, including their struggles and successes.  


Lesson sets consist of 45-minute lessons grouped by specific phenomena. This structure provides lesson-level pacing suggestions, allowing flexibility for students to wonder about and explore the world around them and analyze their findings to arrive at conceptual understandings. All lesson sets have a Prepare section, which includes the following information: 

  • Introduction—a brief narrative to introduce the lesson set and its three-dimensional integration  
  • Phenomenon Question—a question that guides learning throughout the lesson set  
  • Learning Goals—stated learning outcomes for each lesson (to guide teachers, not to post for students)  
  • Standards Addressed—a summary of the focus performance expectation(s), science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts addressed by the lesson set  
  • Materials—a list of materials needed for each lesson, including any necessary preparation (optional materials and substitutions are listed where applicable)  


Each 45-minute lesson is organized into these sections:

  • Launch—the lesson opening  
  • Learn—the heart of the lesson, during which students develop new knowledge  
  • Land—the lesson closing  
  • Optional Homework—suggestions for applying and extending science learning in students’ homes and communities  
Additionally, each lesson contains embedded instructional supports (e.g., checks for understanding, supports for English language development, safety notes) and sidebar notes with additional information for teachers (e.g., support for diverse learners, extensions, content area connections, links between grade levels, spotlights on aspects of three-dimensional learning or environmental principles).


Required Kickoff Webinar: Visit the registration page to see options to attend a live session or view a recording of our last session. 
We're here to help! Join us for Office Hours: Wednesday, April 24, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern & Thursday, May 2, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern
Wrap-up Webinar: Wednesday, May 15, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern