BOSTON, Mass. – The Museum of Science, Boston has released a series of videos to help K -12 educators understand and implement new academic standards. Created by Engineering is Elementary® (EiE®), the award-winning curriculum project of the Museum's National Center for Technological Literacy® (NCTL®), the “EiE Video Snippets” illuminate the science and engineering practices specified in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), showing what these practices look like when young children try them in real classrooms.
For each of the eight NGSS practices, the collection features a set of up to four short (1 - 2 minute) videos; some show elementary students engaging in a practice, such as planning an investigation, analyzing data, or making an argument based on the evidence; others show teachers using instructional strategies that guide students in the practices. All of the videos can be streamed on the project website, eie.org.
“Enthusiastic, prepared teachers are key to sparking student interest in STEM," says Museum president and director Ioannis Miaoulis. “Seeing the practices of real teachers and children in actual classrooms is a powerful way to learn. That's why we are so pleased to add these Video Snippets to our toolbox of teacher resources."
“We work with thousands of educators each year, and they tell us it can be challenging to translate what’s written in the standards to what students should be doing and learning in the classroom,” says EiE director and Museum vice president Christine Cunningham. “Our Video Snippets were designed to meet that need.”
To date, 15 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the new standards; other states have revised their science standards based on NGSS. But the framework of NGSS, while innovative, is also complicated.
It specifies that science teaching should address not just the eight science and engineering practices, but also so-called “cross-cutting concepts” that unify different fields of science and engineering, as well as “disciplinary core ideas” for both science and engineering. Identifying lessons and teaching strategies that meet these standards can be especially daunting in the elementary grades, where instruction traditionally has focused on reading and math, not science or engineering.
“These short videos are perfect for many uses,” says Elizabeth Parry, coordinator of K-16 STEM Partnership Development at North Carolina State University’s College of Engineering. “I can see them being used in teacher professional development, to show evidence of the outcomes from engineering education; as powerful examples for administrators who must balance competing needs when funding initiatives, to show how engineering develops both academic proficiency and important life skills such as persistence and collaboration; and for parents whose children attend schools that are contemplating integrating engineering into the curriculum, to show the value of engineering as a teaching and learning tool. Pretty potent punch for such brief video snippets!”
To create the videos, the EiE project sent a team of videographers to classrooms around the country, identifying elementary teachers who were skilled in the instructional strategies that best support early learning in science and engineering. “These videos were not scripted—everything you see is candid,” says Cunningham. “It’s tempting to assume that the NGSS practices are too difficult for very young children, but we see over and over that young students can and do embrace these practices as they work on age-appropriate engineering design challenges.”
About the Museum of Science, Boston
One of the world's largest science centers and Boston's most attended cultural institution, the Museum introduces nearly 1.4 million visitors a year to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) via dynamic programs and hundreds of interactive exhibits. Founded in 1830, the Museum is the nation's first science center with a comprehensive strategy and infrastructure to foster technological literacy in museums and schools nationwide.
In 2015, its NCTL received the National Science Board's Public Service Award. NCTL curricula have reached 9.6 million students and 105,000 teachers. The Museum's 10,000-square-foot Hall of Human Life draws on the latest discoveries in the life sciences to engage visitors in their own biology and health. Other highlights include The Science Behind Pixar (through Jan 10, 2016), the Thomson Theater of Electricity, Charles Hayden Planetarium, Mugar Omni Theater, Gordon Current Science & Technology Center, Butterfly Garden and 4-D Theater. Reaching over 20,000 teens a year worldwide via the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, the Museum also leads a 10-year, $41 million National Science Foundation-funded Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network of science museums. Visit http://www.mos.org. Follow the Museum of Science on Twitter at @MuseumOfScience or Facebook at www.facebook.com/museumofscience.
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