There is no doubt that science—and, therefore, science education—is central to the lives of all Americans. Never before has our world been so complex and science knowledge so critical to making sense of it all. When comprehending current events, choosing and using technology, or making informed decisions about one’s healthcare, science understanding is key. Science is also at the heart of the United States’ ability to continue to innovate, lead, and create the jobs of the future. All students—whether they become technicians in a hospital, workers in a high tech manufacturing facility, or Ph.D. researchers—must have a solid K–12 science education.
For students in Peoria Public Schools, science instruction is shifting to ensure that all students are provided with the essential skills and knowledge for success in the 21st century. It will give them access to a wealth of knowledge and information which will contribute to an overall understanding of how and why things work like they do. Students will be able to use this knowledge and information to understand new concepts, make well-informed decisions and pursue new interests.
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are our new state standards. They provide consistent science education through all grades, with an emphasis on engineering and technology. They are designed to get students thinking like scientists, and they place new emphasis on engineering starting at the elementary level.
The NGSS are aligned to the Common Core State Standards. When students are learning about science, they are also enhancing their skills in reading, writing and math.