WALTHAM, MA | April 4, 2014
What would it take to colonize another world? What can cause Earth’s climate to change? Will another large earthquake happen in California? A new full-year science curriculum, EDC Earth Science, enables students to explore these and other questions and seek answers grounded in authentic data. The curriculum was developed with support from the National Science Foundation and is fully aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.
“We designed EDC Earth Science around the belief that students are capable of rigorous and in-depth explorations in science when they’re given enough support, structure, and motivation for learning,” said lead author Ruth Krumhansl. “In this course, students are absorbed in active, inquiry-oriented learning and are challenged by provocative investigations and questions.”
Each chapter of EDC Earth Science offers activities that address a set of concepts and practices centered on a specific challenge. The challenges focus on real, relevant, and often complex problems that scientific analysis can help resolve. In Chapter 11, for example, students are challenged to consider whether development should occur on the flanks of a volcano, such as Mount Rainier. To gather the information needed, students explore the nature of subduction zones and their relationship to plate tectonics and study basic volcanology. They also analyze authentic scientific monitoring data.
In addition to introducing students to real-world issues, EDC Earth Science stresses:
- In-depth understanding of content based on recommendations in national and state frameworks
- Developmentally appropriate treatments of earth science concepts that build on previous learning and prepare students for more advanced courses
- Development of the reading, writing, analysis, and communication skills students need to become science-literate citizens
- The use of historical, newsworthy, and fictionalized stories to draw students into the content
- Tackling problems and challenges in science using critical thinking and problem solving to reach decisions grounded in knowledge and logic
EDC Earth Science is published by LAB-AIDS and will be available for classroom use this fall. It comes with a teacher’s guide, complete with lesson plans. View a sample activity: Looking for Patterns in Professionally Collected Data Sets.
EDC will present workshops featuring activities from the curriculum at the National Science Teachers Association meeting April 3–7. A meet-the-author reception will be held April 4.
Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) is a global nonprofit organization that creates learning opportunities for people around the world, empowering them to pursue healthier, more productive lives. EDC manages 250 projects in 30 countries. Visit www.edc.org.