Washington State High School Teachers and OpenSciEd: on the cutting edge of NGSS instruction and materials

Following our state’s three year participation in helping develop the nationally recognized Middle School OpenSciEd materials, Washington State high school science teachers are stepping up to aid development of OpenSciEd’s open educational resource instructional materials for grades 9-12.

Regional Science Coordinators have recruited 35 teachers as field test teachers to try out and provide critical development feedback on this new suite of instructional materials. And even more! They have recruited six teachers to be trained as facilitators! So we have Washington State teachers being trained at a national level with cutting edge training methods who in-turn train our state’s field test teachers to use the materials with their students!

One very exciting development is that the teachers and their facilitators have self-organized into PLC’s to continue supporting each other beyond the initial use training and they are sharing what they learn with each other and with their regional science coordinators.

Here is a very exciting PARENT email that one of our field test teachers received after just one week of engaging students in the field test:

“Thanks for spending time making the Open House video. My daughter keeps talking about sea level rise and what would happen to our neighborhood if Greenland melted. Now that I see the units I believe her that she’s not mixing this up with her Environmental Science class. 😊 I remember Chemistry (in both high school and college) as being some abstract thing that didn’t apply to me – the only fun memory I have is of burning a Cheeto to determine it’s calorie count, and since my body does not actually use combustion I didn’t see how that related to me, even if it was fun. I can’t wait to learn second hand about all the topics you have planned for Chemistry this year!

Elsa has had very positive things to say about you and your class already. I appreciate that you’ve made that connection in such a short time. Have a great year and thanks for teaching!”

– Katy (Elsa’s mom)

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