The Science, Technology & Engineering program in the Haverhill Public Schools offers students an opportunity to explore and understand the fundamental concepts of the natural world. The Massachusetts Science, Technology & Engineering (STE) Curriculum Framework provides the basis of the scope and sequence of the topics and skills students will study throughout their K-12 education in the Haverhill Public Schools.


Kevin Higginbottom
K-12 Curriculum Supervisor, Science & Technology



Haverhill High School offers two Project Lead The Way programs in Biomedical Science and Engineering.   Both programs are designated by the MA Dept. of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE) as Innovation Pathways. Course titles, by subject area, include:

Biomedical Science Pathway

  • Principles of Biomedical Science (Grade 9 course)
  • Human Body Systems (Grade 10 course)
  • Medical Interventions (Grade 11 course)

Engineering Pathway

  • Introduction to Engineering Design (Grade 9 course)
  • Principles of Engineering (Grade 10 course)
  • Digital Electronics (Grade 11 course)

Student enrollment in these Pathways are determined through an application process which occurs during December and January of each school year. More information is available at the Career Technical Education Program page at

PLTW Biomedical Science Information Brochure

PLTW Biomedical Science Course Descriptions

Sample HHS Student Schedules

Questions? Please contact:

Kevin Higginbottom, K-12 Curriculum Supervisor, Science & Technology

Grace McIntyre, Dean, HHS STEM Academy




The Haverhill Public Schools has adopted the STEMscopes science instructional resource for students in Kindergarten through Grade 8.  STEMscopes utilizes the 5E instructional model to engage students in the exploration of topics in life, physical, and Earth & space sciences, as well as technology & engineering.  Units of study are aligned to the the MA Science, Technology & Engineering (STE) Frameworks (2016).

The 5E model consists of five phases – Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate.   With this model, students are hooked into their learning through “Engaging” science demonstrations at the beginning of their units then proceed directly into “Exploration” activities (including lab investigations) to develop conceptual understanding of science topics.  Reading and vocabulary activities then take place after investigations during “Explain” lessons, which are then followed by “Elaboration” activities that extend student learning and connect to real-world applications. Finally, student understandings are assessed during the “Evaluate” phase. By moving hands-on activities to the start of units, we are creating a greater opportunity for more students (including students with disabilities and English language learners) to develop conceptual understanding of science topics.  After that understanding is established, students then engage in reading and vocabulary exercises to reinforce their learning.

The STE practices (such as carrying out investigations, developing and using models, analyzing & interpreting data, and constructing explanations) are incorporated throughout these units.  Explanation is emphasized in this program through the frequent use of Claim-Evidence-Reasoning writing exercises. This type of instruction and learning is new for students and teachers alike, and we expect student proficiency and teacher skill with facilitating this approach to increase significantly over the coming years.



Students take Science MCAS Exams in Grades 5 & 8, and must pass one course-specific Science MCAS Exam at the high school.  Individual schools within HPS establish testing schedules in accordance with MA Department of Education testing guidelines.  Questions about testing dates, accommodations for students, etc. should be directed to building administrators.

Both the 5th and 8th grade exams test material covered in multiple years. The content for 5th grade is taught in grades 3-5, and the content for 8th grade is taught in grades 6-8. This presents challenges for our elementary and middle school students since they need to remember three years of material for each exam.

In order for students to graduate from high school, they must pass a High School Science MCAS Exam. The exam is content-specific. At Haverhill High School, students take the Biology MCAS Exam in 9th grade as they complete their Biology course. Once students pass the exam, they do not need to take any additional Science MCAS exams.



In April 2016, the Massachusetts Board of Education approved new standards for Kindergarten through grade 12.  These standards continue the inclusion of Earth Science, Life Science, Physical Science, and Engineering themes as previous versions of the state standards.  What differs is the new emphasis on the STE Practices that include such skills as Asking Questions and Defining Problems, Analyze and Interpret Data, and Engaging in Argument from Evidence.  While these skills have long been important components of effective science instruction, they had not, until 2016, been included in learning standards in an explicit or systematic way.  All students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 will be learning these standards in the 2019-2020 school year and beyond.

Parents can access a PDF of the 2016 MA STE Frameworks through this link:



  • Tattersall Farm (Haverhill, MA) Explore the hiking trails and few wildlife in this beautiful site right here in Haverhill!
  • Parker River National Wildlife Refuge (Newbury, MA) Explore the trails and wildlife of this gem of the Merrimack Valley.  Located on Plum Island, it is only a 30 minute drive from Haverhill.  Get your kids outside and go exploring!!
  • Mass Audobon Joppa Flats Education Center (Newburyport, MA)
  • Den Rock Park (Lawrence, MA) – If you are looking for a local trail for a hike, try this one located on Route 114 on the Lawrence, North Andover Line.  Bring along any aspiring rock climbers!
  • Museum of Science (Boston/ Cambridge, MA) Whether you visit the exhibition halls, the planetarium, the IMAX theater, see the electricity show or live animal presentations, a trip to the Museum of Science never disappoints.
  • New England Aquarium (Boston, MA)