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Key Considerations for Common Science & Tech/ Eng Standards. MassTEC October, 2012. Agenda. Vision for revised STE standards Anticipated shifts in revised STE standards A key consideration for MA ( if time) STE-related policies. Vision for Revised STE Standards. A 3-Stage Process.

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Key considerations for common science tech eng standards

Key Considerations for Common Science &Tech/EngStandards


October, 2012


  • Vision for revised STE standards

  • Anticipated shifts in revised STE standards

  • A key consideration for MA

  • (if time) STE-related policies

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Vision for revised ste standards

Vision for Revised STE Standards

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

A 3 stage process
A 3-Stage Process

MA Adoption


The overarching goal of our framework for K-12 science education is to ensure that by the end of 12th grade, all students have some appreciation of the beauty and wonder of science; possess sufficient knowledge of science and engineering to engage in public discussions on related issues; are careful consumers of scientific and technological information related to their everyday lives; are able to continue to learn about science outside school; and have the skills to enter careers of their choice, including (but not limited to) careers in science, engineering, and technology. (NRC, p.1)

Guiding principles
Guiding principles

Several guiding principles, drawn from what is known about the nature of learning science, underlie both the structure and the content of the framework:

  • Children are born investigators

  • Focus on core ideas and practices

  • Understanding develops over time

A 3 stage process option 2
A 3-Stage Process – option 2

MA Adoption

MA STE Review Panel (State Revision Process)

Anticipated shifts in revised ste standards

Anticipated Shifts in Revised STE Standards

Characteristics of any revised ste standards state and or ngss
Characteristics of any revised STE standards (state and/or NGSS)

  • Attention to progressions of learning

  • Integration of practices (inquiry & design skills) with content

  • Inclusion of Engineering

  • Career and college readiness perspective

  • Links to Mathematics & Literacy (ELA) standards

Design and inquiry
Design and Inquiry

“Both design and scientific inquiry are reasoning processes used to solve problems…engineers and scientists use similar cognitive tools, such as brainstorming, reasoning by analogy, mental models, and visual representations. And both require testing and evaluation of the product—the engineering design or the scientific hypothesis.” (NRC, 2009)

Inclusion of engineering
Inclusion of Engineering

“Exponential advances in knowledge, instrumentation, communication, and computational capabilities have created mind-boggling possibilities, and students are cutting across traditional disciplinary boundaries in unprecedented ways. Indeed, the distinction between science and engineering in some domains has been blurred to extinction”

(Charles Vest, former MIT President, 2006)

Key considerations for common science tech eng standards

Thinking Analytically: Common Practices

Practices of science and engineering very similar, with slight differences in purpose and product

Adapted from A Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2011)

Integration of practices content
Integration of Practices & Content

  • Current MA 2001/2006 STE standards:

    • Strong conceptual (content) focus

    • Inquiry skills are separate

    • Design process presented as content

  • Upcoming revised STE standards:

    • Integration of science and engineering practices with content to promote analytical thinking and learning in context

  • Note change from inquiry to practices!

    • Practices includes both inquiry and design skills

    • Focuses on just skills students are to learn, not instruction

Integration of practices content1
Integration of Practices & Content

  • Verbs in standards will reflect STE practices

    • For example, predicting, investigating, designing, or modeling

  • Practices will be strategically integrated with content

    • Careful attention given to how a practice contributes to conceptual understanding and vice versa

  • Framework will include full list of STE practices and emphasize that students should continue to engage in full inquiry and design processes when appropriate

Treatment of engineering
Treatment of Engineering?

  • State revision assumes same structure as current MA 2001/2006 Framework

    • Equivalent strand for Tech/Eng

    • Equivalent Tech/Eng high school course

  • NRC Framework and NGSS treats engineering as “applications of science”

    • Engineering design the focus

    • Integrates engineering core ideas into traditional sciences

Tech eng content
Tech/Eng “content”

MA making the case for engineering as a discipline, with both practices and content

  • Principles of engineering design

    • Understanding constraints & criteria, optimization, qualities of effective solutions

  • Materials, tools and manufacturing

    • Understanding material properties and principles behind manipulation of those in manufacturing

  • Technological systems

    • Understanding systems are composed of interacting parts, subsystems and inputs/outputs

  • Energy and power technologies

    • Understanding principles of thermal & electrical interactions and fluid dynamics

Tech eng content1
Tech/Eng content?

  • Interdependence of Science, Engineering and Technology

    • Engineering advances have led to important discoveries in virtually every field of science and scientific discoveries have led to the development of entire industries and engineering systems. Science and technology drive each other forward.

    • Science and engineering complement each other in the cycle known as research and development (R&D). Many R&D projects may includes scientists, engineers, and others with wide ranges of expertise.

Tech eng content2
Tech/Eng content?

  • Influence of Engineering, Technology and Science on Society and the Natural World

    • All human activity draws on natural resources and has both short and long-term consequences, positive as well as negative, for the health of the people and the natural environment.

    • Modern civilization depends on major technological systems, such as agriculture, health, water, energy, transportation, manufacturing, construction and communications.

Please provide input
Please Provide Input!

  • For more information on NGSS:

  • Next public draft will be late November

  • Please provide feedback on broad considerations and issues as well as specific performance expectations

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Stay involved
Stay Involved!

  • Public drafts of Next Generation Science Standards (May, 2012; ~ Nov, 2012)

  • Final version of NGSS (~ March 2013)

  • Discussions of viability of NGSS for MA: consideration of pros and cons (~ early 2013)

  • Public comment draft of revised standards for Board of Education (~ spring or fall 2013)

  • Final STE standards adopted (~ fall 2013)

  • Dissemination & implementation (~ 2013-2015)

  • MCAS Assessment Development Committees (every year)

Ste state assessment
STE State Assessment

  • No change in MCAS structure anticipated at this time

    • Continue to test at grades 5 & 8, end-of-course at high school

  • Once revised STE standards adopted, will take 2-3 years to revise MCAS

  • Looking into performance assessments formats and options (through RTTT grant)

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Admissions to state higher ed
Admissions to State Higher Ed

  • ESE MassCore: “3 units lab-based science”

    • Which does include any technology/engineering course taken for science credit


  • DHE Admissions Requirements: “3 sciences (including 2 with laboratory work)”

    • Working with DHE to be explicit about recognizing technology/engineering courses as science


Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

School district accountability
School & District Accountability

  • NCLB Flexibility Waiver in effect next school year (and for the next 3 years)

  • Changes how school & district calculations will be made; redefines some subgroups

  • Includes science in addition to ELA and Math

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

John and abigail adams scholarship
John and Abigail Adams Scholarship

  • Current: score Advanced on the ELA or Math test and Proficient or higher on the second test; AND have combined scores from both tests that places the student in the top 25% of students in the graduating class in their district

  • Beginning with the class of 2016: Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) will be added to the Adams Scholarship eligibility criteria

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Educator evaluation
Educator Evaluation

  • Phasing in revised educator evaluation system

  • 5-step evaluation cycle

  • Multiple sources of evidence needed

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education