The FOSS K–8 program was developed at The Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley, under four separate National Science Foundation grants (1988 1991, 1996, 2004). The program was originally developed and trial tested in urban and suburban San Francisco Bay Area school districts and field-tested and implemented nationally in ten sites. Twenty-six modules were developed for K-6, and nine courses for middle school. The FOSS K-6 program went through a major revision in 2000 and was then adopted in Texas. The program went through a minor revision in 2005. A California-specific edition (K-5) was adopted in 2007.
FOSS® Pathways™ Edition is the new core science curriculum that allows PreK–5 students to act as scientists and engineers, using hands-on experiences to figure out and explore the world around them. Pathways incorporates phenomena in a way that not only meets standards, but empowers students to:
- Act as scientists and engineers using hands-on experiences to figure out and explore the world around them
- Explore phenomena that are local and relevant to them
- Solve real world problems using three-dimensional learning practices
- Experience the thrill of discovery, motivating them as they develop scientific literacy through firsthand active investigation
FOSS Next Generation Edition ©2018 consists of modules and courses developed to meet the requirements of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The FOSS Next Generation edition makes explicit to teachers and students the connections to science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, disciplinary core ideas, and Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Math.
FOSS is currently published by Delta Education, a division of School Specialty, Inc.
The FOSS program was developed in an atmosphere of urgent need for systemic reform of science education and represents the best interpretation of what a contemporary science program should provide for elementary students. FOSS provides a general exposure to many aspects of the natural world in ways that are cognitively appropriate for children and in an environment that encourages creative and complex thinking in a dynamic social structure.