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What Research Tells Us About Teaching Science

Research shows that teachers are the most important factors in the quality of a student’s STEM education.

However, elementary teachers tend to lack the content and pedagogical background in science they need to teach engaging, high-quality lessons.

This means elementary teachers may avoid teaching science, or only teach the topics with which they are most comfortable or simply rely on “activities that work” (i.e., that run smoothly and yield expected results) rather than engaging in meaningful, coherent, inquiry-oriented science teaching.

In fact, science is one of the first things to be sacrificed in a typical elementary school day because teachers are so busy with the other subjects that they never find the extra time that it takes to teach—or even prepare to teach—science.


StarrMatica’s Virtual Science Coach solves these issues by focusing on the two factors that have the greatest impact on the quality of a teacher’s science instruction: 

science content knowledge and questioning.

StarrMatica Virtual Science Coach is an innovative online library of “bite-sized” engaging resources designed to help busy elementary teachers improve their science instruction.

By engaging with a series of animated videos, application challenges, literature, audio files, and lesson planning resources that each require 20 minutes or less, teachers are able to fit their professional development into their hectic schedules.

Next Generation Science Standards Coach

Teachers master three-dimensional instruction by diving into the standards structure, the crosscutting concepts, the science and engineering practices, and 5Es lesson planning.

Questioning Coach

Teachers deepen their ability to ask productive questions and engage students in academically productive discourse.

Performance Expectations Coach

Teachers build science content knowledge for each standard with interesting literature and podcasts.  Teachers also benefit from lesson planning guides that share high-quality STEM resources including lesson ideas, literature, phenomena, questions to ask, assessments, trans-curricular integrations, and career connections.

BONUS:  Expert Mentorship and Community Collaboration 

Virtual Science Coach members are invited to join our private Facebook community where they can engage with teacher mentors who can help them to apply the concepts they are learning to their specific curriculums and students.

And while the Virtual Science Coach can be used independently, teachers are also encouraged to attend our monthly “STEM Collaboration” webinars where they can learn from content experts and have the opportunity to practice their newly learned Virtual Science Coach skills.  Topics include:

Is that science or is it a craft?
Questioning Boot Camp
Choosing “Wonder – full” Phenomena
Literacy Strategies for Your Science Classroom
Transdisciplinary Truths
Physical Science Brain Boost
Life Science Brain Boost
Earth and Space Science Brain Boost
Connecting to STEM Careers in Your Community
How to Spot STEM Imposters


Teacher 1

“My professional learning experience with the StarrMatica Virtual Coaching platform has been incredible. I’ve never participated in professional learning regarding the Next Generation Science Standards that focuses so intently on pedagogy and truly breaking down the performance expectations and dimensions of scientific learning that are so critical to student and teacher success. I gained access to immediate strategies that will improve the rigor of my 5E lesson planning and improve the academic discourse taking place between my students in our Science Lab.

The self-guided approach to professional development was also a breath of fresh air for this teacher who is always pressed for time! StarrMatica is a excellent resource that will provide teachers with deeper understanding of the NGSS standards as well as engage teachers in high yield teaching strategies that will bring about student success in a multitude of avenues.”

Abbie Guskey, K-5 STEM Lab Instructor, Kentucky

Teacher 1

“I love the platform.  I currently use a science curriculum that is at least 15 years old.  This was current, colorful, vibrant and made learning fun.  I think it is user friendly and awesome.”

Fifth Grade Teacher, Iowa

Teacher 1

“The StarrMatica Virtual Science Coach has helped me to approach my teaching of the science standards differently. By approaching the standards and looking at how questioning can enhance your student learning by going deeper has made more conversations during our lessons. I really liked being able to print and laminate the Quick Reference Cards that accompanied the 5 E’s and the Crosscutting Concepts. I feel that this program is a valuable tool that school districts can use to enhance faculty understanding of the NGSS. “


Julie Miner, Fifth Grade Teacher, Illinois

Teacher 1

“I loved having everything right at my fingertips. I didn’t have to go to a million different places to find everything I needed.”  

Fifth Grade Teacher, Iowa

Teacher 1

“SVSC makes meeting the standards so much more attainable and sensible.  When I first read the standards, I remember thinking, “Wow, this is really powerful!  If I only had the time to build lessons that could effectively meet these standards!” 

Thanks to the SVSC platform — it is possible!”  

Fourth Grade Teacher, Iowa

Teacher 1

“This program was an amazing resource!  It not only helped me to enhance and supplement my current science class but also provided additional engaging lessons to help me be a better teacher.”

Jaime Jaques, K-5 Teacher, Utah

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