Open-Source Science Materials Aligned to College & Career Standards
In 2017 philanthropists, state leaders, and curriculum writers formed OpenSciEd to get materials to teachers implementing the Next Generation Science Standards, which emphasize hands-on projects and integrate several scientific disciplines. This past summer, OpenSciEd released its first set of materials, in the form of freely downloadable PDFs and GoogleDocs, for grades 6, 7, and 8. The release includes the first of six instructional units for these grade levels. Each unit includes videos, slide decks, student handouts, and assessments, as well as instructions for hands-on activities. The first set of units covers thermal energy (grade 6), metabolic reactions (grade 7), and sound waves (grade 8). A key feature of OpenSciEd’s instructional model is that students’ questions about scientific phenomena guide the lesson and activities. The plan is to release more units every six months until a three-year middle school curriculum is available by the winter of 2022. The consortium working on OpenSciEd includes developers from BSCS Science Learning, a nonprofit organization that creates curriculum materials and conducts research; Boston College; Northwestern University; TheUniversity of Texas at Austin; and Digital Promise, a nonprofit organization authorized by Congress to promote innovation in education.
SageModeler is an intuitive modeling tool being developed at TheConcord Consortium and the CREATE for STEM Institute at Michigan State University for middle school and high school students to build their own models and validate their model design using real-world data.
Operation Outbreak is an innovative platform for STEM education on infectious diseases and outbreak preparedness created by Sarasota Military Academy Prep School and the Sabeti Lab at TheBroad Institute of Harvard and MIT. The platform integrates an academic unit covering relevant science and humanities subjects with a culminating “outbreak simulation” experiential learning activity.
Into the Outdoors (ITO) creates pathways to environmental awareness and outdoor lifestyles to empower the next generation to become sustainable stewards of Planet Earth. Part science lesson and part adventure, this streaming video series uncovers the stories behind sensible solutions to creating a better planet while the youth hosts have some fun along the way.