Science Programs in K-12 Schools
Science programs in each school should prepare both technologically and environmentally literate students, through planned learning strategies and opportunities that provide students with knowledge and experience of accepted science practices, integrated with cross cutting science concepts and core disciplinary principles. Effective science programs provide a comprehensive, sequentially designed, K-12 Science Education curriculum designed to meet the minimum standards for College and Career Ready Students and that provides for continued growth in all content areas.
What is Science?
The following information should be of help to teachers, parents, and students. One of the greatest problems in science education centers on this lack of understanding by the general public.
Science teachers teach about science concepts in their classrooms, but rarely do they take time to help students understand what science is and what it is not. The New Hampshire Framework for Science Literacy contains information about what science is and it is intended that teachers will take time to repeatedly help students understand the nature of science. The business of science is to develop theories based on natural explanations about how the natural world works.
Students need to realize how the scientific processes are used to acquire new knowledge. The best way for them to do this is to spend time using scientific inquiry, experimentation, discussing data, drawing inferences based on data, and writing conclusions based on evidence. These processes should be practiced in every science course at every science level. It is also desirable that students be aware of past scientific works that formed the basis for the development of present theories, and the fact that scientific theories are built on the sequential work of many scientists over time.
Science Education programs in K-12 schools provide for the ongoing, authentic assessment of student learning outcomes through multiple formative and summative assessment instruments that align with the state and district content and performance standards.
|Curriculum and Assessment||Description and Details|
|Science Education Programs||Science programs for each school are defined in the Minimum Standards for School Approval, Ed 306.45. A science program shall be provided for each K-12 student. These programs must prepare both technologically and environmentally literate students, by including planned learning strategies and opportunities for students in a coherently developed K-12 science program.|
|Curriculum Frameworks||The NH Curriculum Frameworks for Science Literacy are currently the NH College and Career Ready Standards for Science. Science should not be approached as a collection of isolated abilities and bits of information, but as a rich fabric of mutually supported ideas and skills that must develop overtime. From primary school to high school what students learn should build on what they learned before, makes sense in terms of what else they are learning, and prepare them for what they will learn next. This framework looks at how kids perceive and interact with the world.|
|Next Generation Science Standards||Through a collaborative, state-led process managed by Achieve, new K–12 science standards have been developed that are rich in content and practice, arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education. The NGSS is based on the Framework for K–12 Science Education developed by the National Research Council.|
(Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instructional Products)
|The Rubric provides criteria by which to measure the alignment and overall quality of lessons and units with respect to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The purpose of the Rubric is to (1) provide constructive criterion-based feedback to developers; (2) review existing instructional materials to determine what revisions are needed; and (3) identify exemplars/models for teachers’ use within and across states. The power of the rubric is in the feedback it provides curriculum developers and in the productive conversations educators can have while evaluating materials.
|NH Environmental Literacy Plan||Environmental literacy requires an understanding of the natural world and the capacity to interpret environmental systems. An environmentally literate citizen can make informed decisions about the environment based on scientific, aesthetic and ethical considerations while bearing in mind the interconnectedness of the social, cultural, economic and political systems.|
|Mathematics and Science Partnership Grants||Title II, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (2002) authorizes a Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) competitive grant program. The program is intended to encourage institutions of higher education, local school districts, elementary schools, and secondary schools to participate in professional development activities that increase the subject matter knowledge and teaching skills of mathematics and science teachers. Professional development activities must be sustained, intensive, classroom focused, and aligned with state, local standards, and mathematics and science curricula.|
|Science Assessment||The New Hampshire Department of Education, Rhode Island Department of Education, and Vermont Department of Education have developed common assessment targets and test specifications for Science as part of the New England Common Assessment Program.|
|K-12 Model Science Competencies||The NH Nationally Aligned Science competencies can function as conceptual drivers in the science disciplines of Life Science, Physical Science, and the Earth and Space Science. Educators, in recent presentations of these competencies, have found them to be very valuable for use in mapping science curriculum topics across grade levels in the K-12 continuum including at the course levels in high school curriculum. These competencies can also guide educators in creating local competencies that are concept or topic specific within a grade or course level and that are validated with the NH Competency Validation Tool.|
|Science Safety||The Council of State Science Supervisors (CSSS) has published guides with support from the American Chemical Society, the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse for Mathematics and Science Education, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, DuPont Corporation, Intel Corporation, American Chemical Society, and the National Institutes of Health. You may print and distribute these materials to teachers and other educators. The resources are meant to inform teachers and administrators regarding safe professional practices. They are not meant to supercede and school, local, state, or federal laws or codes. The NH Minimum Standards for Educational Buildings and Spaces are given in Ed 321.|
|Governor's Task Force on Science Technology Engineering and Math in NH||Governor Maggie Hassan created the Governor’s Task Force on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education in order to help students develop the skills and critical thinking needed for success in the innovation economy.|
|National Youth Science Camp||The National Youth Science Camp is a residential science education program for young scientists the summer after they graduate from high school. Students from around the country are challenged academically in exciting lectures and hands-on studies, and have voluntary opportunities to participate in an outdoor adventure program, gain a new and deep appreciation for the great outdoors, and establish friendships that last a lifetime. This program is offered on an award basis, and is presented at no cost to the participants. Applications for the camp are open to high school seniors who must graduate by June 30 and be ready to begin camp in late June. Interested students should review the requirements and expectations for successful submission. Online applications are open for submission for a limited window early in the calendar year. The Camps run from mid-June through July 10. Applicants must commit to attend the entire camp.|
|New Hampshire Real World Design Challenge Teacher Training and Coordination||The Real World Design Challenge (RWDC) is an annual competition that provides high school students, grades 9-12, the opportunity to work on real world engineering challenges in a team environment. Each year, student teams will be asked to address a challenge that confronts our nation's leading industries. Students will utilize professional engineering software to develop their solutions and will also generate presentations that convincingly demonstrate the value of their solutions. The RWDC provides students with opportunities to apply the lessons of the classroom to the technical problems that are being faced in the workplace.|
|Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching||The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is the highest recognition that kindergarten through 12th-grade mathematics or science teachers may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. Awardees are recognized for their contribution to teaching and learning and their ability to help students make progress in mathematics and science. In addition to honoring individual achievement, the goal of the award program is to exemplify the highest standards of mathematics and science teaching.|
|Resources and Organizations||Details and Descriptions|
|AcademyScope: Free Resources from the National Academies of Science||
AcademyScope is a visualization of all of the reports that are available on the National Academies Press website, allowing you to browse through the reports of the National Academies by topic area and seeing relationships between titles. Check out resources on the biology, history, the future trends of infectious disease--and the Education section, which contains resources for K–12 teachers.
|Adapting Science for Kids||The project builds on 25 years of NSF-funded work by the “ASK” team as a K-6 professional development strategy in which we are using distance technologies to reach teachers whether located in rural, small-town or urban centers. So far ASK has produced more than 130 ASK lessons with more than 70 accompanying classroom videos which are specific to using inquiry science to "teach more than science." The ASK website allows teachers to share their lessons and ideas with other teachers, including teachers expert in "Adapting Science for Kids." ASK offers a free system for recording science lessons at-a-distance by a videographer who will record, edit, give feedback, and post the lesson for teachers who wish to share. Research has provided evidence on the impact of ASK communities of practice on school districts' programs, teachers and students in nine school districts. Teachers are invited to join by opening a free account.|
|Our Science NECAP Partners from Rhode Island and Vermont have collected some resources on Scoop.It for teachers looking for engaging digital resources.|
|ConnectED Initiative - Free Technology for Schools||President Obama's ConnectEd Imitative offers over $2 billion in commitments from leading technology companies to support the aims of the ConnectED initiative and advance student learning through technology. Visit the White House ConnectED Hub for details on these commitments and eligibility.|
|eMSS - Mathematics and Science Mentoring Program||Through Mathematics and Science Partnership funding, the NH DOE is pleased to announce the availability of electronic mentoring through the New Teacher Center and the University of California at Santa Cruz. This program is available for middle and high school mathematics and science teachers who are in their first through third year of teaching. NH has trained online mentors who have been participating in this program for the past few years.|
|North American Envirothon||The environmental education program consists of the annual North American Envirothon Competition in which winning teams from participating states and Canadian provinces compete for recognition and scholarships by demonstrating their knowledge of environmental science and natural resource management. The competition is centered on four universal testing categories (i.e., soils/land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, and wildlife) and a current environmental issue.|
|NH Science and Engineering Expo||The Exposition is intended to give Granite State students the opportunity to do science related activities, and to choose whether they do them as inquiring scientists, engineers, or technicians. Students then communicate their results through an appropriate combination of journals, posters, equipment, and interviews.|
|New Hampshire Science Teachers Association||The New Hampshire Science Teachers Association was organized to improve and coordinate science education at all levels of instruction; promote the advancement of education in any manner to assist such improvement and coordination of science teaching; increase scientific literacy and the application of science to everyday life; promote science as a vehicle of lifelong learning for all citizens; and assume a leadership role in advocating for science education and creating an understanding of the value of science|
|National Science Teachers Association||The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), founded in 1944 and headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, is the largest organization in the world committed to promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA's current membership of 55,000 includes science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in and committed to science education.|
|Request for Proposal||Requests for Proposals from the NH Department of Education.|
|Resources for Science and Mathematics||Various other resources for science and math teaching.|
|Sample Student Choice Policy||This offers suggested guidance on developing a policy allowing student choice when lessons involve working with or dissecting animals.|
|Biology Education Advancement Program (BioLEAP)||Developed by the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS), BioLEAP is a comprehensive resource for teachers and school districts looking to introduce dissection alternatives into their curricula, as well as for students who do not wish to take part in classroom dissection exercises. Here, you can find up-to-date information about innovative dissection alternatives, a student choice resource toolkit, a breakdown of cost savings associated with dissection alternatives and much, much more.|
|Academy of Applied Science||The Academy of Applied Science administers STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) programs where students apply scientific knowledge to life, research and inventions. Our programs spark creativity in young students, encourage the rising generation of teen mathematicians, scientists and engineers with recognition for their efforts, and provide scholarships and apprenticeships for high schoolers interested in pursuing careers in math, science and technology.|
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