Science Branch

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Science Branch prioritizes coherence, collaboration, and communication to lead Maryland’s local school systems and other stakeholders in achieving high quality, three-dimensional science teaching, learning, and assessment across science disciplines and in all grade levels to develop scientifically and environmentally literate graduates.

All Maryland students will become scientifically and environmentally literate individuals who are skilled, reflective, and empowered to make informed decisions that benefit themselves, their families, and their local and global communities within an increasingly complex and continually changing world.

Maryland Science Standards

Science instruction in Maryland schools aims for all students to successfully achieve the ambitious vision of Maryland’s Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The standards include rigorous performance expectations for each level of school and seamlessly incorporate the practices of science with the content of science. For more information on Maryland’s Science Standards, please contact the Science Coordinator or follow this link:

Maryland Environmental Literacy Standards

Environmental Literacy instruction in Maryland schools aims to equip all students with the knowledge and understanding to make decisions and to take actions that create and maintain an optimal relationship between themselves and the environment with an emphasis on the preservation and protection of the unique natural resources of Maryland including the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed. For more information on Environmental Literacy in Maryland, please contact the Environmental Literacy Specialist or navigate to Maryland’s Environmental Literacy Program page.

Assessment Program for Science

The Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (MISA) is administered to all students in fifth grade, eighth grade, and high school life science. Specific information about the MISA is found on the MISA website.

Safety in the Science Laboratory

Hands-on experiences are integral to student learning in science. The Maryland Science Safety manual provides guidance to school systems to implement safer science practice in science laboratories. Currently, MSDE is facilitating collaborative review and redesign of the Maryland Science Safety manual to enhance the user experience. An updated version is planned for release in the 2024 school year. 

Annual Science Survey

In accordance with MD. Education Code Ann. § 7-203 (2021), MSDE will annually survey a statewide, representative sample of public schools and public school teachers to measure instructional time dedicated to science in the elementary schools; the availability and use of instructional resources and teaching technology in science classrooms; the availability and use of appropriate professional development for science teachers; and the number of secondary school science classes taught by teachers who are certified in the subject of instruction. MSDE is required to compile and publish the results of the survey on the MSDE website. Linked below are reports from the most recent five years. For earlier reports, please contact the Science Coordinator.

Local Education Agency Science Supervisor Contact Information

For information on science instructional programming within a local education agency (LEA), please contact the LEA’s Science Supervisor


Zachary Carey
Director of Science, Office of Teaching and Learning

Office: (410) 767-0348

Jeremy Haack
Coordinator of Secondary Science, Office of Teaching and Learning

Office: (410) 767-4663

Jenn Brown-Whale
Coordinator of Elementary Science, Office of Teaching and Learning

Office: (410) 767-0332

Payton Hesse
Environmental Literacy Specialist, Office of Teaching and Learning

Office: (410) 767-0323