MSU Extension Science team plans NGSS friendly curriculum, lessons, workshops and activities

MSU Extension science team is planning NGSS friendly STEM focused curriculum, lessons and workshops.

Built into the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is a vision that includes science, engineering and inquiry based learning. This focus on engineering and design practices is one of the most significant differences in NGSS from previous science standards. NGSS identifies eight essential practices of science and engineering (NGSS, 2013):

  1. Asking questions and defining problems
  2. Developing/using models''
  3. Planning and carrying out investigations
  4. Analyzing and interpreting data
  5. Using mathematics and computational thinking
  6. Constructing explanations and designing solutions
  7. Engaging in argument from evidence
  8. Obtaining, evaluating and communicating information

This is paired with the following Guiding Principles:

  1. Students in K-12 should engage in all eight practices over each grade band.
  2. Practices grow in complexity and sophistication across the grades.
  3. Each practice may reflect science (answering questions) or engineering (solving problems).
  4. Practices represent what students are expected to do, and are not teaching methods or curriculum.
  5. The eight practices are not separate; they intentionally overlap and interconnect.
  6. Performance expectations focus on some but not all capabilities associated with a practice.
  7. Engagement in practices is language intensive and requires students to participate in classroom science discourse.

This framework is familiar to science educators from Michigan State University Extension. It coincides with the hands-on, experiential, inquiry based science learning that Extension has brought for more than 100 years. This summer more than 130 children, teens and adult learners had an opportunity to experience these principles first hand at Life of Lake Superior. Thousands of other youth participated in a variety of other 4-H positive youth development activities across Michigan and the country. The following links provide more information on additional Michigan 4-H programming:

The Michigan State University Extension - Children and Youth Institute is currently planning for the upcoming programming year. Extension Educators are working on STEM curriculum, lessons, workshops and activities that coincide with the NGSS. Many Extension offices across Michigan counties plan to work with their partners in traditional education to help bring science learning forward in Michigan.

If you are interested in helping to develop a program similar to Life of Lake Superior in your community, or would like to volunteer for others you read about, visit your local MSU Extension office.

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