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The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is developing an innovative science assessment for grades 5 and 8 that uses a new type of performance task for students. Students engage with meaningful problems through interactive computer simulations to conduct investigations, create and explore models, and solve science or engineering challenges. In Spring of 2021, DESE piloted the assessment with a small cohort of 18 schools with roughly 2300 students in Grades 5 and 8. Three performance tasks were piloted per grade. DESE is publishing one of the pilot performance tasks per grade as a sample task. Access to the sample tasks from the 2021 innovative science assessment pilot, as well as a practice Demonstration Task per grade, are below.

Innovative Science Assessment 2021 Pilot Sample Tasks

Please select a grade level to view released items.

  • The test platforms have a default login of 'Guest', however, users can choose to enter a name when they begin. This information is not captured or maintained in the system.


Innovative Science Pilot Demonstration Tasks

Access resources for educators to prepare students for testing.



Text-to-Speech Guide

This quick reference guide will help familiarize students with the use of the Text-to-Speech accommodation.