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For many science teachers the integration of technology and engineering into the science curriculum will mean a new way of teaching, new concepts and skills for their students to learn, and new assessments that will measure their students’ progress and their own capabilities as teachers. The source of this concern is a publication by the National Research Council of a new blueprint for science education standards, appropriately titled A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Core Ideas and Crosscutting Concepts (NRC 2012). The Framework is currently severing as the blueprint for Next Generation Science Standards, aimed at replacing the current patchwork of state science standards with a common core, as has already been done in mathematics and English language arts. Since these documents raise engineering ...

Project-Based Inquiry Science
Project-based inquiry science
Janet L. KolodnerBarbara ZahmRuta Demery

Figure 9.1 Students use a model to investigate topographic maps

Image courtesy of It's About Time.

Project-Based Inquiry Science (PBIS) is a research-informed, three-year, middle school science curriculum composed of 13 units. When used with fidelity, it provides opportunities for middle school students to apply big ideas in science, connect science to technology and engineering and the world around them, and become expert at many discipline-specific skills. PBIS can also help students appreciate the interconnectedness of the sciences and begin to develop the 21st-century skills that they will need to become productive members of the workforce and pursue higher education coursework. Like scientists and engineers, PBIS students work in collaborative groups to ask questions and define ...

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