Wyoming Junior High seventh-graders recently worked in groups and presented plans for living off the grid. With a limited budget and resources, they devised windmills, water wheels and generators – methods to keep the lights on without hooking up to an external energy source. Included in their presentations about the devices and how they work were concepts such as electrical force, hydroelectricity, energy transfer, potential energy and kinetic energy.

The students were completing a unit within the MiSTAR curriculum, which is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards, a set of teaching guidelines for kindergarten through 12th-graders outlined in “A Framework for K-12 Science Education.”

NGSS tasks students to redesign, rebuild and tweak projects as many times as it takes, and to explore open-ended questions. Wyoming Junior High started using the MiSTAR curriculum as a pilot program last school year.

The approach challenges students to think deeply, McSorley said. It’s taught sans textbook, relying on Chromebooks, notebooks and experimentation through hands-on projects. Vocabulary is taught by embedding it in discussion, but not as a list of definitions to memorize.

Click here to read the full story on the School News Network (November 13, 2018)

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