The FOSS K–8 program was developed at the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley, under four separate National Science Foundation grants (1988  1991, 1996, 2004 ). The program was originally developed and trial tested in urban and suburban San Francisco Bay Area school districts and field-tested and implemented nationally in ten sites. Twenty-six modules were developed for K-6, and nine courses for middle school. The FOSS K-6 program went through a major revision in 2000 and was then adopted in Texas. The program went through a minor revision in 2005. A new, California specific, edition was developed for the California science adoption (K-5) in 2007. The latest elementary edition (Third Edition) consists of 20 modules that reflect the conceptual framework put forth in the document being used to develop the next generation science standards, A Framework for K-12 Science Education (National Research Council, 2011). FOSS is currently published by Delta Education, a division of School Specialty, Inc.
The FOSS program was developed in an atmosphere of urgent need for systemic reform of science education and represents the best interpretation of what a contemporary science program should provide for elementary students. FOSS provides a general exposure to many aspects of the natural world in ways that are cognitively appropriate for children and in an environment that encourages creative and complex thinking in a dynamic social structure.