Support Engineering in Next Generation Science Standards
July 17, 2012
The Museum of Science's National Center for Technological Literacy® (NCTL®) urges you to support the inclusion and integration of engineering design skills and content in the final version of the K-12 Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The goal is to create high quality, college- and career-ready standards that will be available next year after another public review in fall of 2012.
Through a collaborative, state-led process managed by the Washington-based nonprofit Achieve, the new standards are meant to be rich in content (earth and space sciences, life sciences, physical sciences, and engineering, technology and applications of science) and practices (scientific inquiry and engineering design) to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education. The NGSS are to be guided by A Framework for K-12 Science Education developed by the National Research Council.
Adoption and implementation of new standards reinforces the need for the Engineering Education for Innovation Act (E2) Act introduced by Representative Paul Tonko (H.R.1951) and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Olympia Snowe (S.969). This bill will help provide the resources and teacher training to realize the potential of K-12 engineering.
NCTL curricula, like the framework, encourage the exploration of the interconnections among engineering, technology, science, and society:
--Engineering is Elementary® aligns engineering design challenges with elementary science in relevant, culturally diverse settings;
--Building Math incorporates algebraic thinking and engineering design challenges in exciting, survival-based applications;
--Engineering the Future® encourages students to apply physics concepts to hands-on engineering design challenges.
Yvonne Spicer, NCTL vice president for advocacy and educational partnerships, and Cary Sneider, former NCTL high school engineering curricula developer, served on the ETS design team. Since 2004, the NCTL has worked to integrate engineering design into its K-12 curricula, teacher professional development programs, various state standards and assessments, and in its Museum exhibits and programs.