Nearly a year after a new national recommendation for science instruction was released, teachers are looking for guidance on integrating these standards into their classroom curriculum.
The Next Generation Science Standards introduce a new framework for integrating science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) instruction into the classroom. California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Nevada, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington have adopted the standards – and more states are expected to follow.
David Trant, a science and technology teacher at Lincoln Brooks Middle School in Lincoln, Mass., will attend the National Science Teachers Association national conference in April to learn how the standards could impact his teaching. Trant is one of five teachers Raytheon is sending to the conference.
“I’m rather anxious about these new standards,” said Trant. “I’m relieved to have the opportunity to explore them, and to think about how I’ll approach this shift in our curriculum.”
As part of its MathMovesU® program, Raytheon is sponsoring Trant and four other teachers from Arizona, California, Texas and Virginia to attend the conference, where the NGSS will be explored, among many other topics.
"We have an ongoing commitment to support educators as they integrate STEM into their classrooms," said Pamela Erickson, Raytheon's vice president of Corporate Affairs. "Working from a common educational platform, teachers continue to demonstrate individual creativity to guide students on the progressive path of STEM learning to inspire innovation."
Raytheon has also partnered with Boston’s WGBH and PBS LearningMedia™ to build a new collection of media-rich resources for K-12 educators to deepen their knowledge of the standards. The collection – "Teaching NGSS Engineering Design Through Media" – is available on PBS LearningMedia and features more than 40 multi-media resources including the Engineering is Elementary® curriculum, Design Squad/Design Squad Nation, Fetch with Ruff Ruffman and Nova ScienceNow.
Making STEM “Real” for Students
For Trant, STEM comes to life through hands-on experiences in his classroom.
“Science and technology involve discovery and problem solving, and this is often loud, messy and unpredictable,” Trant said. “We get to have fun and laugh while exploring how our universe works.”
Like Trant, Kat Ramos is excited about learning how NGSS will impact her classroom. As an engineering instructor at the DaVinci schools in Los Angeles, Calif., she’s also interested in learning new ways to show her students the connection between science, math and engineering.
“It’s my goal to make STEM concepts real for students,” said Ramos. “I try to align my expectations with real-world expectations, where there are deadlines, quality is expected, and professionalism is valued.”
For Felecia Caruthers, attending the conference means learning how to expand the STEM practices they already use in the classrooms at Tuscarora High School in Leesburg, Va. Caruthers chairs the school’s Career and Technology Education department and the Business Partnership Advisory Board, which connects students to local businesses.
“We’ve developed an internship program that helps students use their STEM skills in real-life work experiences at local businesses,” said Caruthers. “I’m excited to attend the conference to learn how we can ignite a passion for STEM in even more of our students.”
Learn more about Raytheon’s support of teacher recognition and development, a key part of the MathMovesU program.