Students will learn rigorous science content through active engagement in the Science and Engineering Practices.
It is an exciting time for science and science education. In this rapidly changing, high-technology world, students must be equipped with the content knowledge, and as importantly, the science practices and tools in order to be competitive in college and career.
WCPS is currently realigning the K-12 Science Curriculum to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which were adopted by the Maryland State Board of Education in 2013. More information on the NGSS may be found here: www.nextgenscience.org.
According to the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA):
The Next Generation Science Standards aim to eliminate the
practice of “teaching to the test.” Instead, they shift the focus from
merely memorizing scientific facts to actually doing science—so students
spend more time posing questions and discovering the answers for
Often, students can answer specific questions about
concepts they covered in class, but can't translate that knowledge in
applied situations. The standards avoid this disconnect by combining
knowledge with practice, teaching students to develop ideas and evaluate
them according to scientific principles.
NSTA has produced a Q&A for parents to help them the understand and anticipate the instructional changes their students should be experiencing in science class. It is accessible here.
Wicomico County's NGSS Implementation Plan
Summer 2014 - Curriculum Development for K, 3, 6
2014-15 School Year - Pilot implementation of K, 3, 6
Summer 2015 - Revise K, 3, 6; Curriculum Development for 1, 4, 7
2015-16 School Year - Fully implement K, 3, 6; Pilot Implementation of 1, 4, 7
- Revise 1, 4, 7; Curriculum Development for 2, 5, 8
2016-17 School Year - Fully implement K, 1, 3, 4, 6, 7; Pilot Implementation of 2, 5, 8
Summer 2017 - Revise 2, 5, 8
2017-18 - Full implementation of NGSS-aligned curricula in grades K-8
Ongoing: Review and revision of high school curricula pending guidance from MSDE.
The WCPS Science Office has been providing professional development to teachers in grades PK-12 on the Framework for Science Education and the NGSS since August, 2011. This has taken the form of county-wide professional days, school- and county-level Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), Summer Academies, and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Workshops.
Opportunities for Science Teachers in Summer 2017 include workshops involving NASA, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Salisbury University, and more. WCPS Science Teachers will spend time on base at NASA's Wallops Island Flight Facility, immersed in the Smith Island community of Tylerton, learning about aquaculture at the Horn Point Laboratory, searching for fossils at Calvert Cliffs and much, much more! Science teachers can contact Dr. Raygor for more information.
Supervisor of Science
Dr. Brian Raygor
Elementary Science Specialist - 3-5
Elementary Science Specialist - PK-2