Improving the Supply of and Demand for High-Quality K-12 Science Instructional Materials
OpenSciEd seeks to ensure that any science teacher, anywhere, can access and download freely available, high-quality, locally adaptable full-course instructional materials.
OpenSciEd was launched to address the need among teachers and school districts for high-quality, open-source, full-course science instructional materials. Science literacy, and successful completion of high school science courses, is critical for students’ success in a growing STEM economy.
OpenSciEd supports the implementation of middle school science instructional units as a result of the adoption and implementation of the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards.
Middle School Instructional Materials Available
The first OpenSciEd units for grades 6-8 are available now, after extensive field testing in ten states–California, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Washington.
As a founding member of the OpenSciEd Developers Consortium, along with BSCS Science Learning, Northwestern University, Boston College, University of Colorado Boulder, and Digital Promise, the Dana Center supported OpenSciEd throughout development and field testing of these initial units. We will continue to support OpenSciEd as new units are developed.
Continued Support for OpenSciEd Teachers and Administrators
The OpenSciEd curriculum is aligned to current research. Each unit begins with an anchoring phenomenon and follows a logical science storyline. Each is structured to motivate students to think deeply, plan scientific investigations, and develop evidence-based explanations.
OpenSciEd curriculum also provides teachers pedagogical strategies to help students work as a community, build deep understanding of important science topics, engage in science and engineering practices, leverage crosscutting concepts to organize and extend learning, and make decisions regarding the path of their learning.
To support teachers and administrators in the OpenSciEd implementation, the Dana Center offers a range of services designed explicitly to support school systems in eliminating persistent achievement gaps and increasing access to rigorous and relevant learning for all. We flexibly adapt the design and enactment of innovations in collaboration with states and districts to tailor learning experiences that address the needs and context of each system. Learning experiences for OpenSciEd implementation and other NGSS-aligned science instruction include:
- Using anchoring phenomena to position students as sense-makers, questioners, and investigators of science concepts
- Providing opportunities for students to drive learning as they use the science and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts to explore and develop explanations for science core ideas
- Providing opportunities for students to engage with authentic science sources through speaking, reading, and writing
- Formatively assessing student understanding through iterative modeling and discourse
- Promoting effective professional learning communities using collaborative processes