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Discoveries News

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Coming Soon to a Classroom Near You

In 2013, the California State Board of Education adopted Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for its K-12 public schools to help improve test scores. Set to be fully implemented in school by 2018, teachers are expected to teach students content and process driven methodologies instead of memorization of facts. NGSS incorporates three dimensions: Science and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas. Science and Engineering Practices describe the behaviors scientists engage in when they investigate and theorize. Crosscutting Concepts link applications across all domains of science (life science, physical science, earth and space science), such as patterns, cause and effect, and stability and change. Disciplinary Core Ideas focus on the most important aspects of science. These standards give educators the flexibility to design classroom learning experiences that stimulate students’ interests in science and prepares them for college, careers, and citizenship. If the nation is to compete and lead in the global economy and students are to be able to pursue expanding employment opportunities in science-related fields, all students must have a solid K–12 science education that prepares them for college and careers. At Discovery Cube, we strive to be a premiere resource for schools and teachers in implementing and teaching NGSS through our exhibits and programs. We aim to constantly provide a connection between what is being taught and learned, why it matters, and how it can be applied. Each of our exhibits are aligned with multiple standards and for various grade levels. Our new interactive field trip demonstrations are aligned with NGSS to better emphasize science concepts and linkages. Guided field trips to our science centers emphasize the science and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts that are applicable for each exhibit and demonstration. To help with field trip preparation, teachers are provided with support to facilitate a grade-specific visitation aligned with standards for each of our exhibits. Together with schools, teachers and YOU, we will help to successfully implement and teach NGSS!

Dive into Hands-On Learning!

Our new “Dive into Citizen Science” education program located at Discovery Cube’s Ocean Quest, is a combined experience of field studies and on-the-ocean boat trips, where students and teachers will be immersed into marine science concepts and tactics, while learning a variety of skills such as teamwork, critical thinking, problem solving, and analysis. Utilizing Ocean Quest’s education vessel, Dylan Ayres, students and teachers will help gather real data in the field, which includes: plankton sampling, water quality testing, and notable behaviors of people using the Newport Bay. The project will span 36 months and is expected to impact over 40 teachers, 1,200 students and the community at large. This program received two transformational gifts of $550,000 from the Hoag Foundation and $165,000 from an anonymous donor to go towards the development and implementation of this unique program.