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.
Back to school may look a little different this year, but one thing hasn’t changed: teachers are still finding innovative ways to improve student learning and they need funding in order to execute their ideas. To help you fund your classroom dreams this year, we’ve compiled a list of funding opportunities for the classroom:
The PBS/NOVAweb seriesThe Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers provides humanizing snapshots of scientists who are shaping our world. Students will learn about cutting-edge science and engineering, the amazing people who do that work, and the activities they engage in when their lab coats come off.
The US Departmentof Education has launched CTE Mission: CubeSat, a national challenge to inspire high school students to build technical skills for careers in space and beyond. Students from across the country are invited to design and build prototypes of CubeSats (cube satellites), or satellites that aid in space research, bringing space missions out of the clouds and into the classroom.