New High School Science Reviews: Kiddom’s OpenStax Biology, Chemistry, and Physics

OpenStax powered by Kiddom provides comprehensive science programs for Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. The materials are available in digital format through the Kiddom platform or in print. The Biology material intends to support “biology courses for science majors” through an evolutionary lens while highlighting careers in biology. Chemistry intends to support students in learning the core concepts of chemistry and how those concepts apply to the world. Physics focuses on physical concepts, quantitative examples and skills, and interesting applications.

OpenStax Biology, Chemistry, and Physics organize student learning in units (Biology and Physics) or chapters (Chemistry) that focus on science topics that are common to the discipline. Each Biology unit includes multiple chapters. In the Chemistry and Physics materials, each chapter includes multiple sections. Across the three disciplines, chapters or sections include an introductory image that represents a scientific phenomenon. However, phenomena are not consistently embedded throughout each chapter and are not the focus of the content.

Chapters or sections are formatted consistently. In a typical Biology chapter, students read, answer a variety of questions, and take an assessment.  In Chemistry, students read and solve problems based on the specific chemistry topic. In Physics, read information about the content, watch a variety of simulations or videos about the topic, participate in a lab, and answer questions about the content of the section. Learning List’s reviewers noticed that across the disciplines, opportunities for students to design experiments and solutions to problems, and to ask questions, are limited.

All of the materials are text-dense and require students to be able to read effectively and extensively. In Biology, quality images and graphics support students in understanding the content. Physics includes a variety of resources that help students understand and find relevance in the content. Across the three disciplines, the materials include links to resources on outside sites, including multiple YouTube videos. The external links potentially provide access to all videos on YouTube and all comments on the videos.

As suggested above, the materials vary in significant ways across the three high school science disciplines. Read Learning List’s Editorial Reviews and Spec Sheets to identify important differences.  

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*Content in this section is adapted from Kiddom

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