ESCOLAR free online science curriculum program for middle school NGSS

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What is Project ESCOLAR?

Project ESCOLAR (Etext Supports for Collaborative Online Learning and Academic Reading) is an online platform for teaching science to 6th- to 8th-grade students, designed at the Center for Advanced Technology in Education at the University of Oregon. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (2013-2018). Partners include Georgia Southern University and the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study group. See About Us for more.


Who is the project for?

The project is for all middle school students learning science, with a special focus on students with learning disabilities.


What is the purpose of the project?

This project aims to increase opportunities for all students—especially those with learning disabilities—to become 21st-century innovators, to excel within the general curriculum, and to be prepared to succeed in college and in careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. See the Mission Statement.


What does the project offer students?

Students learn with Collaborative Online Learning (COL) units in their regular science classrooms. The units last 12-20 weeks, and offer students a range of multimodal media to engage them in science learning. Special features include text embedded with eText Supports, games, interactives, glossaries, quizzes, videos, and group exercises. In each science unit, students work together on projects that are relevant to their everyday lives, and discuss what they are learning on an online forum with their teacher and other students. Participating students have free access to BrainPOP, an online educational resource to learn science and other subjects.


How does Project ESCOLAR help middle school students?

Project ESCOLAR is refining and testing COL science units that were shown in a previous project (COPELLS Project, National Science Foundation) to bolster science knowledge for general education and English Language Learner students. The present project is designed to help all students learn science, but especially students with learning disabilities, with revised lessons and professional development materials, a newly designed website, and online supports known to help students with learning disabilities. A randomized controlled trial from fall 2014 to spring 2017 will test the effectiveness of the COL units in middle schools. Results will be reported on the Research section of this website.

How can researchers use this website?

Researchers are encouraged to review reports about the research behind the COL units, to read updates posted throughout the course of this project, and to download publications. For more information, seeResearch.


How can teachers use this website?

The website offers teachers a variety of resources to help them integrate the COL units in their classroom. These include instructional and reading comprehension strategies, lesson plans that emphasize important concepts and key vocabulary, and tutorials that familiarize teachers with the units. To access these resources, click on Resources for Parents & Teachersin the top menu.


How can parents/guardians use this website?

The website is designed to help parents/guardians be involved in their child’s learning. A webpage just for parents/guardians explains the project and website features, offers tips for engaging with and assisting their children, and shows how to log on in order to see what their child is learning and to monitor progress. For more, see Resources for Parents and Teachers.


How can students use this website?

The website gives students direct access to science lessons within the COL unit they are studying. All lessons for each unit are housed within the student link. Students may log on to the site at any time.


How can I find out more about participating in the project?

For details, and to learn how to take part in Project ESCOLAR, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What are the system requirements for using the COL units?

There are not any specific system requirements. The Project ESCOLAR website opens in any browser (chrome, safari, firefox), and it is also compatible with iPads.


How can I reset my password?

You need to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Whom can I contact if I have technical issues?

For technical assistance, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Getting Started

To get started with Project ESCOLAR, please explore our website. You can click “About Us” to find information about our team and view our news blog, “Curriculum” to access our science units, “Research” to learn about our research and publications, and “Resources” to view teacher and parent/guardian resources

If you would like login access to our free science units, please contact Fatima Terrazas Arellanes (email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; telephone: 541-346-3798). We will set up free accounts for you and your students and provide support as you begin teaching.

Contact Us

Please contact Project ESCOLAR if you would like to get involved. We also welcome any comments, feedback, or questions.

Center for Equity Promotion
170 Lokey Education Building
1215 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403

[Map It]

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: (541) 346-3798

You can also fill out the following form and we will get back to you!


Want to be part of the Project ESCOLAR team? Please see the employment opportunities listed on this page for all current openings. If we do not currently have a position that fits with your qualifications, please send a short bio with your resume to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will keep that information on file.


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