New science standards encourage learning through inquiry and experiment

California school districts have adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and several are implementing them this school year, like the Los Altos school district in central California. The area’s local newspaper reported on the district’s implementation of the standards, which encourages students to learn through engineering and technology.

The new standards not only update the curriculum to reflect current science knowledge and technology, but integrate core ideas like engineering and technology into every lesson:

“I think the concept of NGSS is to really have the kids actively engaged in discovering and inquiring about science,” said Sandra McGonagle, Los Altos School District assistant superintendent. “The standards are now more about what kids will be able to do as opposed to what they will know.

“I love that it’s based on kids experiencing science and really thinking like a scientist or like an engineer,” she said. “That has been kind of an afterthought. We have kids writing about their thinking and trying to explain really complex ideas.

“They are a different set of standards, but they promote the idea that kids are thinking in complex ways and are able to communicate that thinking,” she said.

New Hampshire is working to replace the old science standards with the new science standards.

Read the full article here.

UPDATE: A reader who found this post while the site was under construction pointed out that the original version of this post was in error.  The post originally said, “New Hampshire is working to replace the old science standards with the new NGSS standards,” whereas the State has started the process of reviewing its 9 year old standards but has not determined what standards will replace them.