GENERAL NOTESWhile the content focus of this course is consistent with the Earth/Space Science course, students will explore these concepts in greater depth. In general, the academic pace and rigor will be greatly increased for honors level course work. Laboratory investigations that include the use of scientific inquiry, research, measurement, problem solving, laboratory apparatus and technologies, experimental procedures, and safety procedures are an integral part of this course. The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) recommends that at the high school level, all students should be in the science lab or field, collecting data every week. School laboratory investigations (labs) are defined by the National Research Council (NRC) as an experience in the laboratory, classroom, or the field that provides students with opportunities to interact directly with natural phenomena or with data collected by others using tools, materials, data collection techniques, and models (NRC, 2006, p. 3). Laboratory investigations in the high school classroom should help all students develop a growing understanding of the complexity and ambiguity of empirical work, as well as the skills to calibrate and troubleshoot equipment used to make observations. Learners should understand measurement error; and have the skills to aggregate, interpret, and present the resulting data (National Research Council, 2006, p.77; NSTA, 2007).
Teaching from a range of complex text is optimized when teachers in all subject areas implement the following strategies on a routine basis:
- Ensuring wide reading from complex text that varies in length.
- Making close reading and rereading of texts central to lessons.
- Emphasizing text-specific complex questions, and cognitively complex tasks, reinforce focus on the text and cultivate independence.
- Emphasizing students supporting answers based upon evidence from the text.
- Providing extensive research and writing opportunities (claims and evidence).
Science and Engineering Practices (NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education, 2010)
- Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering).
- Developing and using models.
- Planning and carrying out investigations.
- Analyzing and interpreting data.
- Using mathematics, information and computer technology, and computational thinking.
- Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering).
- Engaging in argument from evidence.
- Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information.