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Volunteer to Pilot NGSS Test

test with pencilThe American Association for the Advancement of Science, one of the groups that helped develop the Next Generation Science Standards is seeking science teachers to field-test multiple-choice items for a 45-minute assessment on energy in March, April, or May of 2015.

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Wizardly Wands

sparklersIn this activity, high school juniors and seniors learn such core chemistry concepts as reaction rates and thermodynamics by making and demonstrating their own Harry Potter-style “magic wands” (sparklers). The lab, which also can serve as a fun Advanced Placement course review, concludes with a class duel between wands of two different chemical compositions.

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TeachEngineering Aligns with NGSS

TeachEngineering logoTeachEngineering, a searchable online library of 1,352 teacher-tested activities and lessons developed for use in STEM classrooms, just got a makeover. Improvements include aligning lessons with Common Core math and Next Generation science standards, and “Sprinkles” – abbreviated versions of popular activities designed for use in after-school programs.

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Video STEM Lessons from MIT

projectorMIT BLOSSOMS, a blended-learning consortium for high school STEM educators, houses a video library with more than 100 free science, engineering, and math lessons taught by experts in the field – and searchable by national and state standards, grade level, and content.

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PBS Tools for Next Gen Science Instruction

PBS Design Squad Nate Ball ascendsTo help teachers implement the engineering design components in the Next Generation Science Standards, public broadcaster WGBH and Engineering is Elementary have created a free, online media library drawn from Design Squad, NOVA ScienceNow, and other PBS series.

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Asteroid Impact!

asteroid impactIn this first of eight activities, students in grades 6 – 8 learn about the engineering design process and earth science by beginning to design an underground cavern that can shelter people for one year after an asteroid strike makes Earth uninhabitable.

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First States Approve New Science Standards

girls doing engineering in classroomOn May 24, Rhode Island became the first state to approve the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Kentucky’s state board of education followed on June 5. Both are among the 26 states that helped develop the new academic standards, which include engineering design as a stand-alone strand.

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Next Generation Science Standards, Finally

science classroomThree years, two drafts, and many comments later, the much-anticipated final set of Next Generation Science Standards was released on April 9. They emphasize cross-cutting concepts and “storylines” such as energy or Earth’s systems over specific content, and include engineering design and practices. If adopted by states, many of which helped develop the common standards, the NGSS could mark a sea change in the way science is taught across disciplines and grades.

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Draft Science Standards Released

pourThe second – and final – draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) was released for public comment on January 8 for a three-week review period. Developed from the National Research Council’s Framework for K–12 Science Education, these cross-disciplinary new standards set “performance expectations” for students, and integrate engineering and design into the traditional core science subjects. The goal: Have students learn by doing science, not just observing or reading about it.

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