Ratified late last year, the new Michigan Science Standards represent a shift not just in content, but the way science education is approached, but in the science classroom and out! Cross-cutting concepts, disciplinary core ideas, and science practice standards are all part of a new “three dimensional” approach to a more holistic approach to science education. Instead of separating domains as is traditionally done, why not blend physics and biology? What about teaching chemistry and biology jointly, so students can gain a much deeper understanding of how biological systems depend upon chemical reactions, and how chemicals (both man-made and naturally occurring) affect ecosystems.

The new science standards are being rolled out over the next few years, to give schools time to adjust, adapt, and prepare teachers for a much more integrated style of learning across content areas and disciplines. Jen Arnswald, President Elect of the Michigan Science Teacher’s Association, and Seth Furrow, a science teacher steeped in the modeling movement, led us through an exploration of what the new science standards mean for educators, students, and schools in Michigan.

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