The state of Illinois has a site called NGSS Curriculum Services where you will find a variety of links and supports for thinking and learning about NGSS. Illinois is apparently very close to adopting NGSS and I’m assuming this site will continue to provide a growing number of resources. Seems like a good resource to add to your NGSS bookmarks.
The National Science Teachers Association recently released their position paper on the Next Generation Science Standards. This short paper provides an overview of the conceptual shifts inherent in the NGSS plus includes some recommendations for districts and teachers as they move forward with implementation of the NGSS. Click HERE to access the position paper. This document could be useful for professional development sessions, strategic planning, or for professional learning communities of teachers.
Here is an interesting blog post Using Football Science to Tackle STEM Education by Ainissa Ramirez that incorporates football and science. Seems like a good opportunity for students to engage in science and engineering practices (Asking Questions and Engaging in Argument come to mind) while also learning about forces and living systems. Check out the video embedded below.
There is new information regarding some of the supports for the Next Generation Science Standards. Check out the complete posts on the NGSS site.
As the father of a three and a half year old girl, I am constantly immersed in the toys and media that are marketed to young girls. Even though I’m aware of the limiting and inequitable messages promoted by these products they still pervade my household. My daughter loves princesses and ponies.. so I love princesses and ponies. We play with these toys together and we both enjoy this type of play. So are princesses and ponies a bad thing? Should I stop this type of play?
Recently the following video (see below) from Goldiebox has gone viral. I think this is a powerful video that promotes more equitable products and opportunities for girls. But I hope that we don’t lose focus of the bigger problems. I don’t think that toys alone are the problem. I don’t think that a Barbie doll, a pony, or a barrage of pink and purple will “cause” a girl to avoid engineering (or other STEM fields). I think that our own expectations of girls as parents, teachers, friends, etc are a larger factor. The way that we talk (or don’t talk) with girls about everyday science, engineering, and solving problems is critical. We also need to move beyond “construction” as the only type of engineering. Not every girl (or every boy) wants to build stuff. And perhaps most importantly, I think we need to be better at finding and labeling the everyday engineering that girls might be doing in their own play and helping them to see how this relates to STEM fields.
So here is my attempt to label and call out some of the emerging engineering practices that my daughter might be engaging in.
- She loves to build with Legos and design “forts”. These are the “construction” types of engineering practices that she engages in.
- She creates new “technologies” with paper, glue, and markers.
- She uses tools for multiple purposes and repurposes tools to use in new ways.
- She identifies problems in fictional scenarios and authentic settings
- She develops solutions to authentic problems by collaborating with her imaginary, real, and toy friends.
- She optimizes habitats for the frogs and other critters she likes to capture and observe
- She engages with digital simulations (iPad apps) to design and optimize solutions to problems
- She communicates her solutions using words, pictures, song, and movement
I hope that I’m able to keep the problem-solver in her motivated and engaged. I hope that she will be able to play with princesses and ponies and also be a tenacious and creative problem-solver. I look forward to seeing what kinds of products Goldibox and others will develop to help me to do this.
While we recently adopted the Next Generation Science Standards here in Washington (the state), we will still be operating our science assessment system under our 2009 Science Learning Standards for the next few years. This seems to have caused much confusion for folks. I’ve talked to several district and building leaders who thought that the Science MSPs and Biology EOC were being eliminated after this year.. not the case.
OSPI has recently uploaded the latest science assessment resources HERE. You will find:
Grade 5 Science Update: 2014 - NEW
Grade 8 Science Update: 2014 - NEW
Biology EOC Update: 2014 - NEW
Lessons Learned from Scoring Student Work: 2013 - NEW
Zydeco (Science on the Go) is a project involving The University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History. Zydeco is an app that supports students and teachers in constructing evidence-based explanations during in and out of school science learning opportunities. The app is currently available for Apple products and can be used web-based through a browser.
Zydeco allows students to collect evidence through pictures and video and then to label and tag the information. Zydeco also provides an excellent framework for supporting students in making claims using their collected evidence.
This is an incredible app worthy of any science teachers time to check out.
Click HERE to visit the Zydeco site and learn more.