The Science and Engineering Practices

Young-Discoverers-at-DCI-Recurring-Event-Image-science-beaker-kid-microscopeThe Environmental Education Community of Interest (EECOI) has been learning about the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The NGSS are based on the Framework for K-12 Science Education released in 2011. The Framework lays out Three Dimensions important for science teaching and learning:

  • Science and Engineering Practices
  • Disciplinary Core Ideas
  • Crosscutting Concepts

The Science and Engineering Practices (SEP) are an updated version of scientific inquiry that requires students to act like scientists and engineers as they learn about science concepts. There are eight science and engineering practices:

  1. Asking Questions and Defining Problems
  2. Developing and Using Models
  3. Planning and Conducting Investigations
  4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data
  5. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
  6. Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
  7. Engaging in Argument from Evidence
  8. Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

The Science and Engineering Practices provide an opportunity for students to push the boundaries of the “scientific method” and engage in thinking like a real scientist or engineer. The SEP also provide rigorous ways for students to understand the Puyallup Watershed and to identify problems that might need to be solved. The visions of the NGSS and the Puyallup Watershed Initiative align nicely and it is exciting to think about the tools, lessons, and learning experiences that will emerge in the coming years from the EECOI.

Next week we will learn about the 7 Crosscutting Concepts in the NGSS.

Check out the web if you are interested in learning more about the Science and Engineering Practices for a video showing teachers learning about the 8 Science and Engineering Practices, click this link.

(Kirk Robbins writes about classroom instruction here at Teachable Moments, with his column regularly appearing on Tuesdays. This week, it’s on Thursday.)

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