Did you know that the Burlingame School District, along with the rest of the state, is beginning to move to California’s Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)? This school year has been the first of a three year rollout for NGSS introduction into BSD Elementary and Middle Schools. At the elementary level the district has formed a Science Committee under the direction of Doron Markus, the County Science Coordinator. Doron is working with our staff to create a three to five year plan for rolling out the science instructional strategies, standards and content for the Next Generation Science Standards. The District has also identified a need for a STEM Director to assist with its ongoing integration and BCE hopes to assist in funding this next school year (2016-17).
With a qualified STEM Director there will be a streamlined rollout including Professional Development for teachers, synergizing Science with Math and Technology and augmenting these subjects (eg. helping to implement Coding as a subject in our Technology curriculum). Sounds exciting doesn’t it?
So what does the State Board of Education hope to achieve with these new Science Standards? Maggie MacIsaac, Burlingame School District Superintendent has the following to say about the new science standards: “The new science standards are a shift for students and teachers. The focus of implementation are the eight science and engineering practices. Students are not only responsible for knowing ideas; they are also responsible for engaging in practices that use the ideas in authentic ways. The goal of the new science standards is to enable students to use and show the scientific practices in more and more sophisticated ways.” This video is 3 of 4 that introduces elementary science educators to important strategies.
In short, we can look forward to a rounder education for our elementary and middle schoolers. Math and English will still be an important focus but will now interrelate with Science and Technology (the latter initiative is already in play with our District Technology Specialist Ashley Sullivan). The gaps will fill and hopefully the world will start to make even more sense to our kids!
The BSD, in conjunction with BCE, hopes to hire the STEM Director for the 2016-17 school year. The successful candidate will likely be a qualified educator with a Science and Engineering background. Funding a STEM Director is considered a “Stretch” goal for BCE at this stage. What can you do to help? Spread the word amongst your friends who are BSD parents and/or donate to BCE today.
Would you like to read more about STEM and synchronous subjects? Read this Washington Post Article: “Educators want to pair math and music in integrated teaching method”
To learn more about NGSS, visit California Department of Education’s NGSS FAQ section.