The North Carolina Science Essential Standards maintain the respect for local control of each Local Education Authority (LEA) to design the specific curricular and instructional strategies that best deliver the content to their students. Nonetheless, engaging students in inquiry-based instruction is a critical way of developing conceptual understanding of the science content that is vital for success in the twenty-first century. The process of scientific inquiry, experimentation and technological design should not be taught nor tested in isolation of the core concepts drawn from physical science, earth science and life science. A seamless integration of science content, scientific inquiry, experimentation and technological design will reinforce in students the notion that "what" is known is inextricably tied to "how" it is known. A well-planned science curriculum provides opportunities for inquiry, experimentation and technological design. Teachers, when teaching science, should provide opportunities for students to engage in "hands-on/minds-on" activities which are exemplars of scientific inquiry, experimentation and technological design.