Welcome to science at Los Coches Creek Middle School. My goal is to have your child continue to develop a basic foundation of the sciences to help them understand what is going on around them in the universe.
I want them to understand that what they do in life does have a global impact on our planet. Science-and therefore science education-is central to the lives of all citizens of our planet. A high-quality science education means that students will develop an in-depth understanding of content and develop key skills-communication, collaboration, inquiry, problem solving, and flexibility- that will serve them throughout their educational and professional lives.
They need to understand that our society and our planet are constantly evolving and that science and engineering have a great impact on their regular daily living. By having this basic understanding, my students can make better choices for themselves and our planet. For some of my students, I hope this class will inspire them to pursue a career in the field of science.
California is in the middle of a 3 to 4 year implementation of the "Next Generation Science Standards" that sets forth what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. The goal for developing the NGSS was to create a set of research-based, up to date K-12 science standards with three dimensions-crosscutting concepts, science and engineering practices, and disciplinary core ideas- that form each standard or performance expectation. Each dimension works with the other two to help students build a cohesive understanding of science over time.
The three dimensions of the new NGSS are:
1. Crosscutting Concepts: these help students explore the connections across the four domains of science, including Physical Science, Life Science, Earth and Space Science, and Engineering Design. When these concepts, such as "cause and effect", are made explicit for students, they can help students develop a coherent and scientifically-based view of the world around them.
2. Science and Engineering Practices: these describe what scientists do to investigate the natural world and what engineers do to design and build systems. The practices better explain and extend what is meant by "inquiry" in science and the range of cognitive, social, and physical practices it requires. Students engage in practices to build, deepen, and apply their knowledge of core ideas and crosscutting concepts
3. Disciplinary Core Ideas: these have a broad importance within or across multiple science or engineering disciplines. These core ideas build on each other as students progress through grade levels and are grouped into the following four domains: Physical Science, Life Science, Earth and Space Science, and Engineering.
Our school district is currently implementing this change now so parents will see some changes over the next few years. Along with the new standards, changes will also include what is taught at which grade level compared to previous years. Examples are cell biology going from 7th grade to 6th, chemistry going from 8th to 7th. We are moving forward towards completing the transitioning to the "Next Generation Science Standards". The plan our district has created calls for this transition to be completed by the end of the 2018-2019 school year.