New Science Curriculum Approved
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Students conduct science experiments

 

 The Board of Education has recently approved new science curriculum to be implemented grades K-12 for the 2018-2019 school year.

  Through the work of more than 50 teachers over the course of about 18 months, the elementary science curriculum was written to meet the Missouri Learning Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. Materials selection was a major component of the process and the committee settled on My Sci through Washington University, St. Louis. Teachers from Hawthorn and St. Peters who piloted the program in their classrooms shared sample lessons with the Board, along with stories of student and staff enthusiasm for the new lessons.

  “With these materials, they’re doing science,” Mrs. Jen Waters, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, told the Board in March. ”They aren’t just hearing about it or watching other people do it. They are the scientists.”

  Through the same process, almost 90 teachers were joined by administrators and Instructional Advisory Committee chairs in writing and rewriting 22 classes for grades 6-12.

  “We are really changing how science is being taught,” Secondary Science Curriculum Coordinator Anne Green told the Board in April. “It used to be 80 percent memorization and 20 percent lab. Now it’s more like 50-50. We have vertically aligned the K-12 program to be more hands-on and engaging.”

Teachers conduct experiment in training   Green said teachers are excited to bring 3D Teaching to their classrooms. 3D Teaching, she says, uses three components at once when teaching science. Disciplinary Core Ideas are science content. Crosscutting Concepts link all of the sciences together, such as cause and effect, stability and change, or energy and matter. Science and Engineering Practices are the processes students use to do science, such as asking questions and defining problems or constructing explanations and designing solutions.

  Board members were excited to get a glimpse of the new middle school online textbook and learn about the high school classes being added. AP Environmental crosscuts concepts from earth, life and physical science as well as chemistry.

  AP Physics (Calculus) is also being added. Currently the district offers AP Physics (Algebra).

     Board members thanked the Instructional Advisory Committee for their work and shared their excitement about the new, hands-on curriculum.

  “That’s how I have always learned best,” Board Member Craig Moore said after the elementary curriculum was approved. “So it’s really exciting to see that science curriculum going to our schools.”

  In closing her presentation, Green shared that the new curriculum also creates science pathways to help students and parents select the right courses to meet their goals. The three pathways will be:

  1. High school graduation

  2. ACT/College prepratory

  3. Advanced Science