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Standards

The goals for school science that underlie the National Science Education Standards (1996 National Academy of Sciences National Research Council, ISBN 0-309-05326-9) are:

“To educate students who are able to experience the richness and excitement of knowing about and understanding the natural world;

To use appropriate scientific processes and principles in making personal decisions;

To engage intelligently in public discourse and debate about matters of scientific and technological concern; and

To increase their economic productivity through the use of the knowledge, understanding, and skills of the scientifically literate person in their careers.”

 The modules described above are designed to meet these goals.  The SGRA provides an exciting environment for students to explore the world around them using the scientific method.  The students will observe for themselves natural processes from which they can engage in intelligent discussion.  The scientific literacy of the students participating in SGRA will be enhanced as the students’ technological skills developed and their deductive thought processes are sharpened.

 Standards for content, teaching, professional development, assessment, program, and system describe the conditions necessary to achieve the goals.  The development of the National Science Education Standards is based on the principles that science is for all students, learning science is an active process, school science reflects the intellectual and cultural traditions that characterize the practice of contemporary science, and improving science education is part of systemic education reform. 

 All of the SGRA curriculum modules address content, teaching, professional development, and program standards. 

 

Content Standards

The sections of Table 6.10, Content Standards, Grades 9-12 from the National Science Education Standards that pertain to physical sciences is reproduced below.  Review of the modules shows that the Unifying Concepts and Processes, Science as an Inquiry, and Science and Technology are completely met, considering the close tie between the technology using the 4.6-m radio telescope and remote astronomical observations made with that telescope.  In Physical Science, we address structure of atoms, structure and properties of matter (as a gas), conservation of energy and increase in disorder, and interactions of energy and matter.  In Earth and Space Science, we address energy in the Earth system in the “Waves and Energy” module.

 TABLE 6.10.  SECTIONS OF CONTENT STANDARDS, GRADES 9-12

Unifying Concepts And Processes

Science As Inquiry

Physical Science

Earth and Space Science

Science and Technology

Systems, order, and Organization

Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry

Structure of atoms

Energy in the Earth System

Abilities of technological design

Evidence, models, and explanation

Understandings about scientific inquiry

Structure and Properties of matter

Geochemical cycles

Understandings about science and technology

Change, constancy, and measurement

 

Chemical reactions

Origin and evolution of the earth system

 

Evolution and equilibrium

 

Motions and forces

Origin and evolution of the universe

 

Form and function

 

Conservation of energy and increase in disorder

 

 

 

 

Interactions of energy and matter

 

 

Teaching Standards

The six areas of teaching standards (National Science Education Standards 1996) are the planning of inquiry-based science programs, actions taken to guide and facilitate student learning, assessments made of teaching and student learning, development of environments that enable students to learn science, creation of communities of science learners, and planning and development of the school science program.  Teachers using SGRA have already taken the steps to meet each of these areas.  They are developing an exciting environment that enables students to learn science, and developing a new and unique lesson plan for their school science program. 

 Professional Development

Through its training workshop, SGRA provides teachers the opportunity to develop a practical understanding and ability and technological proficiency.  The workshops allow for professional growth and development clearly connected to their school science program.  So, teachers gain the knowledge, understanding, and ability to implement the curriculum modules presented by SGRA. 

Program Standards

Six areas of program standards (National Science Education Standards 1996) are: consistency of the science program with the other standards and across grade levels; inclusion of all content standards in a variety of curricula that are developmentally appropriate, interesting, relevant to student's lives, organized around inquiry, and connected with other school subjects; coordination of the science program with mathematics education; provision of appropriate and sufficient resources to all students; provision of equitable opportunities for all students to learn the standards; development of communities that encourage, support, and sustain teachers.

The program standards relate to opportunities for students to learn and opportunities for teachers to teach science.  The mission of SGRA is to provide the opportunity for all students to learn, which is consistent with the Program Standards.  In the “Mapping and Graphing” module, the study is coordinated with mathematics education. 

In summary, SGRA addresses many of the National Science Education Standards by means of a dynamic and exciting program of learning.  Teachers and students are given the opportunity to develop a lifelong interest and understanding of the basics of scientific inquiry.