The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are a new set of science standards for Kindergarten through high school. The NGSS were designed with the idea that students should have a science education that they can use in their lives. It should empower students to be able to make sense of the world around them. And it should give students the critical thinking, problem solving, and data analysis and interpretation skills they can use in any career, and that will help them make decisions that affect themselves, their families, and their communities.
In order to accomplish this, the NGSS call for science learning in which students do not just memorize a set of science facts, but rather engage in figuring out how and why things happen. PS 527 recently adopted a new science curriculum which includes units that support students in meeting the NGSS. Amplify Science is used in many New York City schools, and focuses on hands-on inquiry-based learning and the scientific learning processes.
Each unit in Amplify’s science curriculum investigates one question that builds foundational knowledge about a topic. In every lesson, the curriculum highlights a science and engineering question. Students are provided time to interact with other students and to reflect on their learning. Classroom teachers also provide opportunities for students to visit Central Park, Botanical Gardens, and the Museum of Natural History, which allows students to explore, discover, and acquire new knowledge.
As more and more experts predict the jobs of the future coming from the science field, it is vitally important that we lay the groundwork for future learning and exploration in the early years.
In the 2014-2015 school year, PS 527 opened a dedicated Science Lab for our students. Students have a separate Science teacher and Science times built into the schedule. Students engage in experiments, hands-on activities, and learn about the scientific world around them!