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Stackable, Instructionally-embedded, Portable Science Assessments Project

The Stackable, Instructionally-embedded, Portable Science (SIPS) Assessments Project is an educational initiative focused on developing a comprehensive system of science assessments that are versatile, seamlessly integrated into instruction, and can be easily used across different educational settings. These assessments should enhance the teaching and learning of science subjects, ultimately leading to improved student outcomes for science education.

SIPS Assessments were developed through a consortium of six states (Nebraska, Alabama, Arkansas, Montana, New York, Wyoming), and several organizations (edCount, Learning Science Research Institute at the University of Illinois-Chicago, SRI International, Center of Assessment, Creative Measurement Solutions, Garrett Consulting) under a competitive U.S. Department of Education grant for state assessments awarded in October 2020. As a state partner, staff from the New York State Education Department’s (NYSED) Office of State Assessment and Office of Standards and Instruction ensured that the three-year project (2020-2023) was implemented in accordance with New York’s needs. New York teachers made up 91% of the volunteers who piloted the project in classrooms, with a total of 43 NYS teachers participating in the pilot from September 2022 – June 2023. 

With the completion of the three-year project, the SIPS resources are now available for use. There are four units for Grades 5 and 8, comprised of a unit map (i.e., instructional framework). Each unit map is accompanied by curriculum, instruction and assessment resources designed to support high-quality, three-dimensional science teaching and learning along a year-long instructional pathway.  

The SIPS assessments are designed to be integrated into science instruction and complement and support the learning process by providing opportunities for formative and summative assessment throughout the four units. The SIPS assessments do not replace the required Investigations for Elementary-level Science (ELS) and Intermediate-level Science (ILS) from the Office of State Assessment.

Additionally, the New York State Education Department does not endorse individual vendors, products or services. Therefore, this reference herein to the SIPS Assessment Project does not constitute or imply the endorsement, recommendation or approval of the New York State Education Department.

Questions regarding SIPS may be directed to NYSED’s Office of Standards and Instruction at