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Scientific Inquiry Local Performance Assessment


Scientific Inquiry Local Performance Assessments are required to be administered for students in grades 3 through 8 and at least once in high school (OAR 581-22-0615).

Scientific Inquiry Local Performance Assessments are a useful instrument where students are asked to engage in a unique activity aligned to the Oregon Science Standards (NGSS) and current instruction. These assessment tasks provide a powerful way to measure progress toward three dimensional standards.

  • Districts may choose one of the official scoring guides (science inquiry or science engineering).
    • A common scoring instrument must be adopted by the district if other than the official state scoring guide.
  • Both engineering and inquiry are components of the Oregon State Science Standards (NGSS) and appear throughout the Science and Engineering Processes.
    • The term “practices” is used instead of “inquiry” to emphasize “that engaging in scientific investigation requires not only skill but also knowledge that is specific to each practice.” (Appendix F)

  • While the ODE official scoring guides only partially address the richness of the Oregon Science Standards, they can still serve as valuable local assessment tools to help evaluate the student skills found in the science and engineering practices.

Scientific Inquiry Local Performance Assessments support student learning when they are integrated systematically into the district curriculum and are also part of classroom instruction (that is, the normal, ongoing evaluation and grading process). For example, when they are used to help summarize a unit of study or extend the concept presented, work samples can be a natural part of classroom practices and be offered many times during the school year.

Scientific Inquiry Local Performance Assessment Resources

To support students, teachers, administrators, and parents, ODE has provided additional links to local performance assessment resources aligned to the Oregon Science Standards (NGSS).

The Oregon Scoring Guides webpage contains content area scoring guides aligned to different grade bands and the different assessed skill areas (i.e., scientific inquiry and science engineering design). Includes State Scoring Guides and Student Language versions in Spanish and English.

The accordions below provide additional links for useful resources (e.g. sample prompts, student feedback forms, and resources for scoring scientific inquiry performance assessments).

Scientific Inquiry Posters and Templates

ODE provides numerous templates and graphic organizers to support educators in the development of high-quality Scientific Inquiry Local Performance Assessment activities. These resources can be used in the classroom to support students as they engage in scientific activities.

Scientific Inquiry Scored Student Work

The following examples of student work were scored by teachers and are representative of student work that demonstrate the following achievement levels for the 2009 Oregon Content Standards. These scientific inquiry papers can be used for teacher training to model the process of Scientific Inquiry scoring.

NOTE: ODE is in the process of reviewing current scoring guides to align to the current Oregon Science Standards (NGSS)

These examples of scored student work were scored to the Scientific Inquiry Scoring Guide and align to the 2009 Oregon Science Content Standards. If you would like to submit updated student work examples to share with Oregon educators that are aligned to the Oregon Science Standards (NGSS), please use the following forms.

For more information about Scientific Inquiry Local Performance Assessments, please contact Mariela Salas Bao.