Sea Star Wasting Syndrome: An Authentic Problem for Students

KCTS 9 in Seattle has an excellent overview of the sea star wasting syndrome that is currently destroying the sea star populations on the west coast of the United States. While the content is sad and disturbing, this case provides a very real and engaging problem for K-12 students to wrestle with.

The KCTS 9 post provides:

- A rich piece of complex informational text for students to read and understand. (Would be perfect for a close reading Common Core ELA lesson).

- Two short video clips that supplement the text and tell the story of the problem and how scientists are zooming in on the cause of the wasting syndrome.

How We Might Use This as Teachers:

  • Connect to science and engineering practices in NGSS
  • Highlight how scientists use evidence to construct claims
  • Draw attention to how authentic science and engineering works vs “The Scientific Method”
  • Highlight the connections between field studies and controlled experiments (How do both ways of “doing science” inform the work?)
  • Create an SBAC-like performance task with a piece of informational text, video, and a writing prompt
  • Engage students in Problem (or project) Based Learning where they learn about the ocean ecosystem and how to solve this (and related) problems

How might you use this information in your classroom?

Click HERE for the entire post.

NSTA Resource: NGSS Parent Guide

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 1.47.04 PMNSTA has released a resource for helping parents and the rest of the school community to understand the Next Generation Science Standards.

You can view the web-based version HERE or download a pdf HERE.

 

Recorded Webinar on NGSS Assessment Design

Click HERE to access the July 15, 2014 NASBE webinar titled: Designing and Aligning Assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards. This webinar will give you a sense of what an upcoming assessment system of the NGSS may be like. The webinar is also a useful introduction to the FREE report-  Developing Assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards.

Enjoy.

Science for All is 5 Years Old

A belated happy birthday to the Science for All blog. I wrote my first post on July 10, 2009. Since then there have been over 800 posts on a variety of K-12 science education resources. I apologize that there have been fewer posts the last 2 years than in the past. I hope to renew my engagement in sharing resources in year 6 of the blog. With the ongoing implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards I think there will be a lot to share in the 2014-15 school year. I hope you keep following and reading and finding things that are of interest and use.

Cheers,

Kirk @science_4_all

Report- STEM Integration in K-12 Education

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 4.56.07 PMThe National Academies Press recently released a new report titled- STEM Integration in K-12 Education:Status, Prospectus, and an Agenda for Research. Like all of the publications from the National Academies, this is FREE to download as a pdf. Click HERE to access the download or read FREE in your browser.

Below is the description of the report from the Academies site:

STEM Integration in K-12 Education examines current efforts to connect the STEM disciplines in K-12 education. This report identifies and characterizes existing approaches to integrated STEM education, both in formal and after- and out-of-school settings. The report reviews the evidence for the impact of integrated approaches on various student outcomes, and it proposes a set of priority research questions to advance the understanding of integrated STEM education. STEM Integration in K-12 Education proposes a framework to provide a common perspective and vocabulary for researchers, practitioners, and others to identify, discuss, and investigate specific integrated STEM initiatives within the K-12 education system of the United States.

Looks like another good report to add to our toolbox of understanding integrated STEM education and to provide some specific frameworks and tools for implementing.

NGSS: State Science Education Standards Comparison Tool

As we are waiting patiently for several Next Generation Science Standards resources (Sample Classroom Assessment Tasks, Evidence Statements, etc) to be posted on the NGSS site- we recently received the State Science Education Standards Comparison Tool. I haven’t spent more than a few minutes with this, but it seems to help the field very thoughtfully compare existing state science standards to the NGSS. I’m interested to hear what others think of this and how they plan to use the tool… especially in states that have already adopted the NGSS.

Engineer Girl

Screen Shot 2014-06-29 at 8.45.24 PMIt’s been over four years since I first posted about Engineer Girl on this site… and I think it’s time for a reminder of this excellent resource.

Engineer Girl is a site sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering with the goal of promoting and encouraging young women to learn about engineering as a career. With the introduction of the Next Generation Science Standards and a clear focus on K-12 engineering instruction- Engineer Girl may provide some useful resources to K-12 teachers. Here are some of what’s available:

  • Multiple stories of women describing their work in engineering fields
  • Several interviews with female engineers
  • Descriptions and videos of what engineers do
  • Ideas for how to get involved in engineering