VAST Center Support for Local Districts

The Grant Wood AEA Van Allen Science Teaching Center (VAST) is committed to providing:

  • Opportunities to learn in a hands-on, minds-on oriented classroom using research-based, comprehensive curriculum for ALL students.
  • The structure to experience science with the integration of reading, writing and mathematics.
Districts and educators receive assistance with:
book with an apple on top


Curriculum that embraces best practice and is aligned with local district standards and benchmarks, the Iowa Core Science Standards, and the Next Generation Science Standards.

Literacy links, writing to learn and informational text opportunities are embedded in the units

Alignment to the K-8 Iowa Core

Regional Framework

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Iowa Core Science

FOSS 3rd Edition
FOSS NG Edition


See the Toolkits below for additional unit specific resources.

bubbling test tube


Research-based high quality instructional materials that are continuously updated to current versions.

Classroom materials for every student to experience hands-on, minds-on science learning opportunities.

Grade-to-grade learning progressions that build on each other to offer every student the opportunity to learn the key concepts that lead to science literacy.

linked dna


Classroom summative and formative assessments are included in the curriculum units.

graduate standing next to chart

Professional Development

Access to high quality professional development classes that are directly relevant to teachers’ classroom science teaching responsibility and targets new teachers

Access to GWAEA science consultant support for assistance in implementation

Technical materials assistance from the VAST Center staff

- Iowa Core Module 1 (AEA Learning Online)

Additional Resources

Accessible Digital Formats of FOSS Materials

Mission and Vision of the VAST Center

Nuts and Bolts - VAST Center Teacher Information

Iowa Governor's STEM Council Scale-Up Grant

- Engineering is Elementary
EiE - IA Standards Alignment

A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts and Core Ideas (2013)

Upcoming Opportunities in Science Education


GWAEA Media Center Resources

Animals Two by Two
- Pictures
- Vocabulary

- Arrows for Food Webs

Insects and Plants
- Teaching Tips
- Silkworm Video 1
- Silkworm Video 2

Living Systems
- Introductory Card Set

Pebbles, Sand and Silt
- Illustrated Word Wall Cards, 3rd Edition

Plants and Animals
- Plants/Seed Match Cards

Structures of Life
- Classroom Teacher Planning Guide
- Student Notebook
- Glossary Full Sheets
- Glossary Half Sheets
- Virtual Owl Pellet

Water and Climate
- Big Ideas
- Vocabulary