New Science Education Framework To Include Engineering
October 07, 2011
The Museum of Science commends the National Academies Board on Science Education for including engineering design as a key practice, concept, and discipline in its July 19, 2011, report, A Framework for K-12 Science Education. We urge all relevant parties to embrace this important initiative.
The new framework outlines expectations for K-12 students across three dimensions: scientific and engineering practices; cross-cutting concepts that unify science and engineering through their common application; and core ideas in: 1) physical sciences; 2) life sciences; 3) earth and space sciences; and 4) engineering, technology, and the applications of science (ETS). As a result of this initiative, students will be better prepared to pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The framework is the first step in the development of new standards for K-12 science education and subsequent revisions to curriculum, instruction, assessment, and professional development for formal and informal educators. Yvonne Spicer of the Museum's National Center for Technological Literacy® (NCTL®) served on the ETS design team with NCTL consultant Cary Sneider. The framework encourages the exploration of the interconnections among engineering, technology, science, and society, a theme throughout NCTL curricula. Engineering is Elementary® aligns engineering design challenges with elementary science topics in relevant, culturally diverse settings. Building Math incorporates algebraic thinking and engineering design challenges in exciting, survival-based applications. Engineering the Future® introduces students to real engineers and encourages them to apply physics concepts to hands-on design challenges.
Since 2004, the NCTL has worked to integrate engineering design into K-12 curricula, teacher professional development programs, state standards and assessments, and museum exhibits and programs nationwide.
We hope you will join us in making K-12 engineering education a reality.