Friday, August 7, 2015

Science and Engineering Practices

Science and Engineering Practices: These are part of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This post explains what they are and how we can interpret them in relation to STEM.

Last week, I met with the New Hampshire STEM Innovation Network. The governor of our state declared 2015 The Year of STEM, and so this group of New Hampshire teachers was formed. 

I must say, I feel very lucky to be part of this innovative group. It consists of 13 elementary through high school teachers who are interested in bring STEM experiences into our classroom.

 We spent 2 days discussing the value of STEM and how it relates to education in the 21st century. My head was spinning by the end of the first day. By the end of the second day, my mind was mush! (But in a good way!)

I feel a number of blog posts coming from these discussions, but I first of all, I wanted to share the Science and Engineering Practices.

After a few years with Common Core, I'm sure you'll remember the Standards of Mathematics Practices.  See HERE to jump start your memory. If you recall, these practices apply to all grade levels, and all math learning. 

The Science and Engineering Practices are straight from the Next Generation Science Standards. The whole appendix dedicated to these practices can be found HERE. As with the math practices, these Science and Engineering Practices apply to all grade levels. Here they are:
Science and Engineering Practices from the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

HERE's a nice article I found that discusses each of these practices from the science and engineering point of view, for the different levels from Kindergarten to Grade Twelve. 

As I discussed these practices with my STEM Innovation Network, we came to the same conclusion: 

These aren't just Science and Engineering Skills, 
they are LIFE Skills!

These are the skills we should be teaching our students.

Even if it's not on the test!

These practices can be embedded in many activities across the curriculum, can't they? 

As a second grade teacher, our priorities are building the foundation: teaching the important skills of reading, writing and math. (As they say: K-2 Learn to Read, Grades 3 and up, Read to Learn!)

Science and Engineering aren't a priority yet, but it's a strong area of interest for the kids! These practices are something we should be sharing regularly when we can fit them into our day.

How do you embed these Science and Engineering Practices into your school day?  

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