Curriculum

Student Ideas about the Small Particle Model of Matter

What ideas do students have about small particles of matter? The Two Cups of Liquid task is intended to elicit preservice teachers’ CKT related to students’ ideas about the small particle model (SPM) for matter. The first part of the task asks preservice teachers to articulate their own understanding about why two cups containing different volumes of liquid might have the same mass, while the second examines how elementary students might respond.

Author/Presenter: 
CKT Science Project Team
Year: 
2020
Short Description: 

What ideas do students have about small particles of matter? The Two Cups of Liquid task is intended to elicit preservice teachers’ CKT related to students’ ideas about the small particle model (SPM) for matter.

Scientific Modeling and the Structure of Matter

What does it mean to help students develop a small particle model of matter? The Mystery Bubble task is intended to elicit preservice teachers’ CKT related to students’ ideas about the small particle model (SPM) for matter, particularly the idea of empty space between the particles. The task presents a phenomenon in which combining ethanol and water results in a mixture that occupies less space than the combined volume of each.

Author/Presenter: 
CKT Science Project Team
Year: 
2020
Short Description: 

What does it mean to help students develop a small particle model of matter? The Mystery Bubble task is intended to elicit preservice teachers’ CKT related to students’ ideas about the small particle model (SPM) for matter, particularly the idea of empty space between the particles.

Scientific Explanations of Changes in Matter

What is a scientific explanation and how can we support students in explaining changes in matter? The Fizzy Antacid task is intended to elicit and develop preservice teachers’ CKT related to students’ scientific explanations of changes in matter. The first part of the task asks preservice teachers to develop their own explanations and engage in scientific argumentation, while considering how elementary students might explain the Fizzy Antacid phenomenon.

Author/Presenter: 
CKT Science Project Team
Year: 
2020
Short Description: 

What is a scientific explanation and how can we support students in explaining changes in matter? The Fizzy Antacid task is intended to elicit and develop preservice teachers’ CKT related to students’ scientific explanations of changes in matter.

Investigating Conservation of Matter

What investigations can help students best understand conservation of matter? The Investigating Matter tasks are intended to elicit preservice teachers’ CKT related to the conservation of matter. The open-ended task asks preservice teachers to identify an investigation that would provide students with evidence to support this idea, while the multiple-choice version, Selecting Investigation of Matter, provides them several alternatives to consider.

Author/Presenter: 
CKT Science Project Team
Year: 
2020
Short Description: 

What investigations can help students best understand conservation of matter? The Investigating Matter tasks are intended to elicit preservice teachers’ CKT related to the conservation of matter.

Instructional Goals and Big Ideas for Teaching about Materials

How can we align activities with instructional goals to support student understanding of matter and materials? The Building a Tower Task is intended to elicit preservice teachers’ CKT about descriptions and appropriate uses of materials based on their properties.

Author/Presenter: 
CKT Science Project Team
Year: 
2020
Short Description: 

How can we align activities with instructional goals to support student understanding of matter and materials? The Building a Tower Task is intended to elicit preservice teachers’ CKT about descriptions and appropriate uses of materials based on their properties.

Asking Questions about Matter

What kinds of questions should guide investigations of matter? The Questions to Investigate task is intended to elicit preservice teachers’ CKT related to asking questions to frame investigations of changes in matter. The task presents a variety of student-posed questions for preservice teachers to evaluate in terms of their quality and appropriateness. The CKT tasks are intended as a complement to your existing instructional activities in order to elicit and probe preservice teachers’ CKT.

Author/Presenter: 
CKT Science Project Team
Year: 
2020
Short Description: 

What kinds of questions should guide investigations of matter? The Questions to Investigate task is intended to elicit preservice teachers’ content knowledge for teaching (CKT) related to asking questions to frame investigations of changes in matter.

Transforming Engineering Education for Middle Schools (TEEMS) Curriculum

Transforming Engineering Education for Middle Schools (TEEMS) is a free engineering curriculum for grade 6-8 learners. TEEMS is based on theories of learning that encourage the use of story to promote engagement. The curriculum includes two 2-week engineering units on (1) the engineering design process and (2) materials and tools and six 1-4 day lessons that connect engineering to NGSS science topics of waves, matter and its interactions, body systems, Earth’s systems, Earth’s place in the universe, and evolution.

Author/Presenter: 
TEEMS Project Team
Year: 
2020
Short Description: 

Transforming Engineering Education for Middle Schools (TEEMS) is a free engineering curriculum for grade 6-8 learners. TEEMS is based on theories of learning that encourage the use of story to promote engagement.

Evolution: DNA and the Unity of Life

"Evolution: DNA and the Unity of Life" is an eight-week, comprehensive curriculum unit that sharply illuminates the underlying role of genetics in evolution by maintaining a conceptual connection to DNA and heredity throughout. Through paper-based and interactive multimedia lessons, the unit aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) by engaging students in questioning, using models, identifying patterns, analyzing skill-level appropriate data from published scientific studies, and constructing evidence-based arguments. The unit’s lessons are organized into five modules.

Author/Presenter: 
Genetic Science Learning Center
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2020
Short Description: 

"Evolution: DNA and the Unity of Life" is an eight-week, comprehensive curriculum unit that sharply illuminates the underlying role of genetics in evolution by maintaining a conceptual connection to DNA and heredity throughout.

Developing Transmedia Engineering Curricula Using Cognitive Tools to Impact Learning and the Development of STEM Identity

This paper examines the use of Imaginative Education (IE) to create an NGSS-aligned middle school engineering curriculum that supports transfer and the development of STEM identity. In IE, cognitive tools—such as developmentally appropriate narratives, mysteries and fantasies—are used to design learning environments that both engage learners and help them organize knowledge productively. We have combined IE with transmedia storytelling to develop two multi-week engineering units and six shorter engineering lessons.

Author/Presenter: 
Glenn W. Ellis
Jeremiah Pina
Rebecca Mazur
Al Rudnitsky
Beth McGinnis-Cavanaugh
Isabel Huff
Sonia Ellis
Crystal M. Ford
Kate Lytton
Kaia Claire Cormier
Year: 
2020
Short Description: 

This paper examines the use of Imaginative Education (IE) to create an NGSS-aligned middle school engineering curriculum that supports transfer and the development of STEM identity.

Resource(s): 

Development and Pilot Testing of a Three-Dimensional, Phenomenon-based Unit that Integrates Evolution and Heredity

To realize the promise of the Next Generation Science Standards, educators require new three-dimensional, phenomenon-based curriculum materials. We describe and report on pilot test results from such a resource—Evolution: DNA and the Unity of Life. Designed for the Next Generation Science Standards, this freely available unit was developed for introductory high school biology students. It builds coherent understanding of evolution over the course of seven to 8 weeks.

Author/Presenter: 
Sheila A. Homburger
Dina Drits‑Esser
Molly Malone
Kevin Pompei
Kagan Breitenbach
Ryan D. Perkins
Pete C. Anderson
Nicola C. Barber
Amy J. Hawkins
Sam Katz
Max Kelly
Harmony Starr
Kristin M. Bass
Jo Ellen Roseman
Joseph Hardcastle
George DeBoer
Louisa A. Stark
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2019
Short Description: 

Describes development and pilot testing of a 3-dimensional, phenomenon-based unit that integrates evolution and heredity. The 8-week unit is designed for introductory-level high school biology courses. Results from a national pilot test with 944 grade nine and ten students in 16 teachers' classrooms show statistically significant gains with large effect sizes from pretest to posttest in students' conceptual understanding of evolution and heredity. Students also gained sill in identifying claims, evidence and reasoning in scientific arguments.

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