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PACE Academy Science Resources

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  • Phenomenal Science


  • OpenSciEd
PACE Academy utilizes the Michigan State Science Standards to guide our Science instruction.  Please see the explanation of the Michigan State Science Standards below taken from:
Michigan State Science Standards
K-12 Science Education, which set forth guidance for science standards development based on the research on how students learn best. This extensive body of research suggests students need to be engaged in doing science by engaging the same practices used by scientists and engineers. Furthermore, students should engage in science and engineering practices in the context of core ideas that become ever more sophisticated as students move through school. Students also need to see the connections of these disciplinary-based core ideas to the bigger science concepts that cross disciplinary lines. The proposed Michigan standards are built on this research-based framework. The framework was used in the development of the Next Generation Science Standards, for which Michigan was a lead partner. The Michigan Science Standards are derived from this effort, utilizing the student performance expectations and their relevant coding (for reference purposes). These standards are intended to guide local curricular design, leaving room for parents, teachers, and schools to surround the standards with local decisions about curriculum and instruction. Similarly, because these standards are performance expectations, they will be used to guide state assessment development.
Organization and Structure of the Performance Expectations
Michigan’s science standards are organized by grade level K-5, and then by grade span in middle school and high school. The K-5 grade level organization reflects the developmental nature of learning for elementary students in a manner that attends to the important learning progressions toward basic foundational understandings. By the time students reach traditional middle school grades (6-8), they can begin to build on this foundation to develop more sophisticated understandings of science concepts within and across disciplines. This structure also allows schools to design local courses and pathways that make sense for their students and available instructional resources.
Michigan’s prior standards for science were organized by grade level through 7th grade. Because these standards are not a revision, but were newly designed in their entirety, it was decided that the use of the grade level designations in the traditional middle grades (6-8) would be overly inhibiting to apply universally to all schools in Michigan. Such decisions do not specifically restrict local school districts from collaborating at a local or regional level to standardize instruction at these levels. Therefore, it is recommended that each school, district, or region utilize assessment oriented grade bands (K-2, 3-5, 6- 8, 9-12) to organize curriculum and instruction around the standards. MDE will provide guidance on appropriate strategies or organization for such efforts to be applied locally in each school district or public school academy.
Within each grade level/span the performance expectations are organized around topics. While each topical cluster of performance expectations addresses the topic, the wording of each performance expectation reflects the three-dimensions of science learning outlined in A Framework for K-12 Science Education: cross-cutting concepts, disciplinary core ideas, and science and engineering practices.
Cross Cutting Concepts (CCC)
The seven Crosscutting Concepts outlined by the Framework for K-12 Science Education are the overarching and enduring understandings that provide an organizational framework under which students can connect the core ideas from the various disciplines into a “cumulative, coherent, and usable understanding of science and engineering”. These crosscutting concepts are…
1. Patterns
2. Cause and Effect
3. Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
4. Systems and System Models
5. Energy and Matter in Systems
6. Structure and Function
7. Stability and Change of Systems
Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI)
The crosscutting concepts cross disciplines. However within each discipline are core ideas that are developed across grade spans, increasing in sophistication and depth of understanding. Each performance expectation (PE) is coded to a DCI. A list of DCIs and their codes can be found on the MDE website and in the MDE Guidance Documents.
Science and Engineering Practices
In addition to the Crosscutting Concepts and Disciplinary Core Ideas, the National Research Council has outlined 8 practices for K-12 science classrooms that describe ways students should be engaged in the classroom as a reflection of the practices of actual scientists and engineers. When students “do” science, the learning of the content becomes more meaningful. Lessons should be carefully designed so that students have opportunities to not only learn the essential science content, but to practice being a scientist or engineer. These opportunities set the stage for students to transition to college or directly into STEM careers.
Listed below are the Science and Engineering Practices from the Framework:
1. Asking questions and defining problems
2. Developing and using models
3. Planning and carrying out investigations
4. Analyzing and interpreting data
5. Using mathematics and computational thinking
6. Constructing explanations and designing solutions
7. Engaging in argument from evidence
8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information