Next Generation Science Standards

Shifting from Hawaii Content Standards to NGSS

Hi, I'm currently a pre-service teacher in Hawaii and recently, we are shifting from using Hawaii Content & Performance Standards (HCPS) to using the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) where engineering standards are needed to be met by the students.

I'm student teaching in a 6th-grade general education classroom right now and my mentor teacher had just implemented a STEM lesson on building bridges just to get the students to meet those engineering standards. It's like she's throwing in this lesson just to meet those NGSS standards and we'll never revisit this lesson ever again. What are your thoughts on this shift where students have to meet new NGSS standards and how can I, as a pre-service teacher, address this with my mentor teacher so that the students are able to use what they've learned during that activity? And how can I incorporate more STEM-related activities in the classroom?

Christina Tran
Christina Tran
260 Activity Points

Hi, Christina -- 

I might suggest seeking opportunities for students to pair the ETS standards with the content they need to learn. Approach it with your mentor in a way that is open and flexible. For instance, you might say something like, "I know we're starting a new unit on forces and motion soon, what are some ways we might add in the engineering pieces to what we've got planned?" Notice the plural (ways) and the tentative (might). This opens up the conversation and makes it more likely you get the collaboration you want and not defensiveness from your host. 

Be patient with your host. Use open language. Offer solutions and volunteer to "be brave" and try something new. It's hard to change your practice. Best of luck. 


Tyler Britt
Tyler Britt
495 Activity Points

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