As a fan of Page Keeley’s formative assessment probes for uncovering student ideas in science, I often create my own versions of probes to use with teachers, pre-service teachers, and K-12 students. I’m currently working on a probe about technology titled- Is it Technology? This is a Justified List flavor of probe and it is intended to uncover preconceptions about what things are considered technology. I have used the definition and thinking about technology and engineering in the Next Generation Science Standards as a foundation for the probe.
Click link to the right to download the is it technology FA probe
This formative assessment probe is very drafty and I’m looking for some individuals who might provide some feedback on the draft. Key targets for feedback:
- The existing choices (What might be removed? modified? What might be added?)
- The Facilitation Guide (What could be more clear?)
- The explanation section (How do you feel about the Explanation provided? Suggestions for improvement)
- Try it out on some students/teachers- How did leaners define technology? What items did they struggle with?
- Other feedback…
Thanks for considering and for helping me to be able to keep offering FREE tools and resources on Science for All
Below is a short video clip from Achieve that “makes the case” for and provides an overview of the Next Generation Science Standards. This could be useful to add to your resources if you are planning professional development or a meeting on awareness of the NGSS. Click HERE if you cannot see the embedded clip below.
Concord Consortium has a variety of excellent online interactives and simulations for K-12 science education. Concord Consortium also has a dashboard for using the Three Dimensions of the Next Generation Science Standards (Practices of Science and Engineering, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas) to select interactives. I highly recommend checking out the dashboard and the resources. Click HERE to get started with interacting with the Three Dimensions of the NGSS. Engaging with the dashboard is not only a helpful way of finding resources but also helps to illustrate how the dimensions of the NGSS might work together in instructional tools.
You will also find a cool printable “NGSS Fortune Teller” as a way to use a different form of technology to interact with these ideas.
Our friends at Pacific Education Institute have created yet another wonderful FREE resource for science educators. Technology for Field Investigations provides an overview for using technology to observe the natural environment, a variety of web tools, mobile units (apps and software), and much more. Click HERE to download the guide.
As we continue to understand and implement Field Investigations in WA State and as we move toward the Practices of Science and Engineering in the NGSS- this guide helps us to move beyond “the scientific method” and to build stewardship and systems thinking in our K-12 students.
This guide is a perfect companion to many of the other FREE guides from PEI such as the Field Investigation Guide, Fostering Outdoor Observation Skills, and Schoolyard Biodiversity Investigation Educator Guide. Enjoy and pass it on.
National Environmental Education Foundation just released an educator toolkit titled: Using Technology to Connect Students and the Environment. This will be a perfect set of resources to get prepared for Environmental Education Week April 14-20, 2013. Check out the eeweek.org site for lots of other resources for getting kids outside to do some science.
Click HERE to download the toolkit.
Click HERE if you cannot see the embedded video overview below.
My copy of Design, Make, Play: Growing the Next Generation of STEM Innovators by Margaret Honey and David E. Kanter just arrived today. I’ve given it a good skim and started to read the first few chapters. So far, my impression is that any leader, curriculum director, teacher, professional development provider, policymaker, etc looking to better understand the design process (think engineering) will find this to be a useful read. This is not a book of activities or design challenges but a compilation of chapters and case studies from experts in STEM education. There is a chapter by Dale Dougherty discussing Make Magazine and the Maker Faire movement. Then Phil Bell and Helen Quinn (of Framework for K-12 Science Education fame) contribute a chapter on how designing, making, and playing relate to the upcoming Next Generation Science Standards.
Click there link HERE to preview a copy of Design, Make, Play on Google Books.
One aspect of the book I’m very interested in is the focus on designing, making, and playing versus a focus on “engineering”. Nothing against engineering per se, but engineering may conjure a very specific role/image/career path for many of us. Whereas the idea of designing, making, and playing seems applicable to all learners.
Let me know if you pick up a copy and want to do a “virtual book study” or just share some learnings. Enjoy.
Paul Andersen (2011 Montana Teacher of the Year) has created a series of short videos where he describes the 8 Practices of Science and Engineering from the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards. I have only skimmed the videos but they seem like they could be a good source of professional development as we move toward implement new science standards. Click HERE to see Paul’s page of videos. You will see that he also has clips describing the Crosscutting Concepts.
See Paul’s video overview of the Next Generation Science Standards embedded below:
Doug Haller posted a piece on SmartBlog on Education titled Early Childhood STEM: Less Talk More Action. The post is well written and makes some important points about the overwhelming focus on literacy and mathematics in K-5 education… a focus that tends to marginalize the importance of science (not to mention social studies, health, and the arts.) Check out the post HERE.
STEM-IT is a math science partnership project in Washington state involving ESD 123, ESD 189, and multiple partners. A requirement of the grant is to provide developed resources online. The STEM-IT site currently contains resources for K-5 STEM education that connect STEM literacy, science standards, English/Language Arts standards, and Design Challenges with some common elementary science instructional materials.
The site contains tools for providing professional development on the STEM-IT resources.
The Design Challenges include:
Design Process Graphic 2011 Link to Design Process Graphic
Saving Gaveo City from Flash Flooding Link to STEM It 2012 Land and Water Design Challenge
Electric Circuits STEM Enhancement Link to Electric Circuits STEM Enhancement
Ecosystems STEM Design Challenge Link to Ecosystems STEM Design Challenge
Vandalism at _________Elementary Link to Rocks and Minerals STEM Enhancement
Another great set of STEM materials to add to your bookmarks.
Washington STEM recently updated their website and have added a Resource Hub where you can find a variety of STEM education resources on: advocacy, community engagement, professional development, and instruction. Resources are organized in a variety of categories such as:
- Practitioner Tools
- STEM Education Research
- Spread the Word… and more
You can also sort resources in the Research Hub by date and category.. lots of good stuff here. I look forward to seeing even more of the tools from funded partners featured here.
This is definitely worth adding to your “STEM Resources bookmarks”.