Next Generation Science Standards is the new science curriculum being taught at Joel Barlow High School (Easton, CT).

NGSS is a multi-state effort to create new education standards that are challenging to students.

With NGSS, the students, rather than the teachers, are the ones who are actively discovering.

At the Region 9 Board of Education meeting on Nov. 16, J.T. Schemm, STEM department chairman, presented the advantages of NGSS.

“In the classroom, we are looking for students to be the discoverers for the first time,” he said. “Good teachers don’t tell you what you are going to see, the students tell them what they will see.”

According to Board of Education Chairman Melinda Irwin, a major component of NGSS is three-dimensional learning, “which shifts the focus of the science classroom to environments where students use disciplinary core ideas, crosscutting concepts with the scientific practices to explore, examine and explain how and why phenomena occur and to design solutions to problems,” she said.

Science classes in Region 9 are becoming more hands-on, as teachers strive to prepare students for the science, technology, engineering and mathematics needed for jobs in the future.

“There really is a big push for STEM education across the board, because the jobs of tomorrow and today require a really solid foundation,” Schemm said.

He explained that NGSS is a way of looking at science differently from how teachers and school administrators of past decades viewed science.

“Learning science by doing science is the big issue here,” Schemm said. “It’s asking students, What do you know? What do you observe?”

Click here to read the full story in the Easton Courier (November 23, 2017)

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