Academic Extension offers teachers online K-12 science help

Science students

For K-12 teachers struggling with the new science standards, help is now available.

This month, UO Academic Extension launched a curriculum designed to help K-12 science teachers align their lesson plans to meet the vision of the Next Generation Science Standards, or NGSS. In collaboration with Bryan Rebar, associate director for the UO center for STEM Careers through Outreach, Research, and Education, or STEMCORE, UO Real Solutions for Next Generation Science Teaching provides teachers with direction, support and examples to help make the transition to the student-centered standards.

The new standards are based on a Framework for K-12 Science Education, developed by an 18-member panel of individuals from a variety of disciplines widely recognized as experts in their respective fields, along with input from content advisory teams and the public. The framework identifies key scientific practices, concepts and ideas all students should learn by the time they complete high school.

The framework and standards present a vision of science teaching in which students engage in authentic science and engineering practices; in other words, to do the things that scientists and engineers do. The standards focus on experiential problem-solving and practical application of science for everyday life.

That is a radical departure from teacher-centered and directed instruction, where students follow prescriptive steps to find a predetermined result. It is designed to bring greater coherence to the science education students receive across grades K-12, integrating it with math and English language activities in ways that scientists actually work. UO Real Solutions for New Generation Science Teaching provides educators with resources, tools and guidance to start shifting their lessons to realize this new vision of science instruction.

UO Real Solutions for Science Teaching is a suite of online modules that allow teachers to learn at their own pace. It is composed of four content modules and two supporting modules that provide lessons, readings, videos and learning activities, plus a wide range of resources and options for interaction with peers

For more information and to view a video about the program, visit the Real Solutions website at http://realsolutions.uoregon.edu/ngss/.