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Science Education


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 programs for each schol 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

K-12 Curriculum Frameworks for Science (doc) Word document

K-12 Curriculum Frameworks for Science (pdf) Acrobat Reader

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.

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.
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.

Grade Level Expectations

Grade Span Expectations

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.
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 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.
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 applicatoins are open for submission for a limited window early in the calendar year. The Camps run from late June through late July 20. Applicants must commit to attend the entire camp.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 Teacher's 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.

Through a collaborative, state-led process managed by Achieve, new K–12 science standards are being developed that will be 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 will be based on the Framework for K–12 Science Education developed by the National Research Council.

Requests for Proposals from the NH Department of Education.
Various other resources for science and math teaching.

This offers suggested guidance on developing a policy allowing student choice when lessons involve working with or dissecting animals.

   

Contact
Stan Freeda
(603) 271-5132
Stanley.Freeda@doe.nh.gov

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New Hampshire Department of Education
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Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711