Office of Science

Consistent with the commitment to excellence in education, the Office of Science is dedicated to the advancement of Scientific and Mathematical literacy for all students.We provide all of our students with:

  • A rigorous learning environment that uses data to assess designed curriculum that is aligned to state and national standards with accompanying assessment, active engagement through inquiry-based learning and highly qualified teachers.
  • A relevant learning environment utilizing integrated technology to enhance the delivery of content and student understanding in a rich in real-world context.
  • An engaging learning environment that fosters and nurtures symbiotic relationships between students, staff, families, and community partners, as well as, connecting the classroom experiences to everyday events and career options.


Curriculum Overview

Grades K-12 Curriculum

Michigan has become an Next Generation Science Standards State and has adopted the new Michigan Science Standards. With the transition to the new standards, the Office of Science will be reviewing all curricular materials and will be focused on providing new, aligned materials and training. Teachers are encouraged to utilize technology, science equipment, and provide hands-on experiences as they teach science. Middle school and high schools may also offer a DAPCEP (Detroit Pre-College Engineering) class if they have a qualified DAPCEP teacher on staff. Science electives available in the district include: Forensics, Robotics, and Environmental Science. Additionally, schools may offer a variety of Advanced Placement (AP) courses which allow students to receive college credit if they pass the AP Exam with a qualifying score.

Student Science requirements

According to the graduation requirements for the state of Michigan, students must complete the following courses in high school:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry OR Physics
  • 1 other Science course

In order to have a more robust college application, it is the recommendation of the Office of Science that high school students go beyond the minimum graduation requirement and take four years of Science, which should include at least 1 Advanced Placement course.  This can possibly give an advantage when applying to colleges, or to the workforce.

With the current focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), it is strongly recommended that students participate in an after school or weekend science enrichment programs such as DAPCEP (Detroit Pre College Engineering Program), Robotics, Environmental Science Club, or the Science and Engineering Fair of Metro Detroit.


Enrichment Opportunities

The Office of Science is proud to support and/or sponsor the following programs:

  • Science and Engineering Fair
  • After-School STEAM Programs
  • Destination Imagination
  • Girls Who Code
  • Black Girls Who Code
  • National Math & Science Initiative (NMSI)
  • Project SEED
  • Robotics
  • SEEK Camp
  • SWAY
  • Thinkabit Labs
  • Garden Club
  • Green Teams
  • You Be the Chemist
  • Green Schools
  • Future City Competition
  • Recycling
  • A World in Motion
  • U of M Architectural Prep Program
  • Green Living
  • Cranbrook
  • Leslie Science Center

Science and Engineering Fair

This city-wide competition at Cobo Hall allows middle and high school students to demonstrate understanding of their experiment.  The science fair is open to 6th through 12th-grade students with 12-22 different categories. The science fair competition reinforces a scientific method in completing a project; students create an initial hypothesis, develop an experiment to prove or disprove the hypothesis, formulate conclusions about their findings, and create a presentation of their findings.  The science fair is an important factor to motivate the students toward science. It contributes to students’’ social developments, increases the skills of the presentation and increases the interest in being scientist and engineer.


DAPCEP thrives on connecting metropolitan-Detroit youth to exciting educational opportunities in STEM – science, technology, engineering, and math!  On Saturdays during the fall and spring, and in camp-format over the summer, we place youth on university campuses to learn everything from renewable energy engineering to computer programming to the mathematics of music.  They welcome all students who are in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12th to explore the world of STEM. To deliver exciting, rigorous, and inspiring programs.  DAPCEP has been changing lives through STEM since 1976.  Their alumni have gone on to become professional engineers, doctors, entrepreneurs, computer scientists, and more, and hope that you, too, will join the DAPCEP family!

Thinkabit Labs

We are inspiring a new generation of engineers and inventors that will invent the unimagined.  Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab provides students with a hands-on engineering experience, while helping them discover their unique talents and explore different types of engineering career paths, such as software, hardware and systems engineering, as well as non-engineering careers, such as marketing, human resources and intellectual property law, that support technology companies.


The mission of robotics in DPS is to inspire young people to become science and technology leaders by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build mathematics, science, engineering and technology skills. Participation in robotics will inspire innovation and foster real-world life characteristics including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. Most DPS high schools have active robotics teams with many of the middle schools coming on-board. The school teams work throughout the school year designing and building their robot to pre-set specifications culminating with the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics regional, state and national competitions.

Project SEED

Project SEED instruction combines a non-lecture, questioning method with techniques designed to encourage constant verbal and nonverbal feedback, promote student participation, and improve focus. The Project SEED method makes the class the arbiters of knowledge giving them a sense of ownership of the material.

U of M Architectural Prep Program

Detroit Public Schools has partnered with the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning to offer eleventh grade students an opportunity to study and learn about architecture. The Michigan Architecture Prep Program is a one semester offering that has been customized for high school students. The participants are students from the following high schools: Cass Technical, Detroit School of Arts, Renaissance, and Western. The teachers are Fellows of U of M Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. The main requirement for participation is a genuine interest in any aspect of the architectural field. Students study architectural design, create blueprints, and design scale models. The courses consist of Applied Geometry and Visual Arts and are geared towards college and career readiness opposed to industry or vocational trades. Therefore, emphasis is placed on project-based learning that requires knowledge in constructing, drawing, and producing two- and three-dimensional models.

Parent and Student Resources

  • Preschool: Simply Science Handbook
  • Science Content

Parent Activity guides (Grades 1-7) are also available by request from the Detroit Mathematics and Science Center. Please call (313) 873-4519 to make your request.


Current Happenings

The Office of Science has partnered with Michigan State’s CREATE for STEM Institute to provide training and support to all K- 12 Teachers as we transition to the new Michigan Science Standards.  CREATE for STEM’s mission is to improve the teaching and learning of science and mathematics through innovation and research.  Dr. Joe Krajcik is the director of CREATE for STEM Institute and served as head of the Physical Science Design Team to develop the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  He and his team have worked with teachers in DPSCD since 1996 and continue to support some of elementary teachers with literacy focused, project-based learning initiatives.

Science Content Resources

Photo of students with race car

Science Fair

Students presenting at a science fair

Exploring Careers in ScienceStudent in the forest surveying

Family Field Trips

Girl exploring a gardenLocal destinations that will spark interest and provide opportunity for your student to learn more about Science.