With a curricular focus on the physical and earth sciences, the Leonardo project supports interactive scientific modeling in 4th and 5h grade classrooms. The Leonardo curricular units use an inquiry-based curricular framework where students make use of a combination of both virtual laboratory activities in the Leonardo software and physical laboratory activities using science kit materials.
The Leonardo software provides students with individual instruction for developing structured answers and utilizing virtual labs that complement the physical labs of popular science kits, such as FOSS. The initial curricular units available for the Leonardo project are:
The Leonardo curricular content was identified and developed by evaluating curricula using the following criteria:
- Activities that support the implementation of a rich inquiry cycle where students have the opportunity to consider focus questions for investigation around a science concept, make predictions about science phenomena, engage in observation and data collection of scientific phenomena, and reflect on their observations relative to the initial focus question, science concepts introduced to them, and their predictions.
- Activities that offer the potential for virtual lab implementation in the Leonardo software that provide learning experiences that are either not possible in the classrooms or are much more efficient with respect to classroom and teacher time.
- Core science concepts in electricity and magnetism that align with the current adopted scope and sequence for upper elementary science in alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards.