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Science Lessons Changing For K-12

Evening Edition

Aired 4/15/13 on KPBS Midday Edition.

Guests

John Spiegel, Science Coordinator, San Diego County Office of Education

Nancy Taylor, Executive Director, San Diego Science Alliance

Transcript

For the first time in 15 years, education leaders are transforming the way science is taught in the classroom. The proposed Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), unveiled last week, aim to prepare K-12 students to be better decision makers about scientific and technical issues and to apply science to their daily lives.

The standards are designed to delve deeper into fewer concepts, identify climate change as a core concept and include engineering practices.

"The standards will mirror what is actually happening in science right now, where the fields of science naturally intersect with engineering and technology," said Nancy Taylor, executive director of the San Diego Science Alliance.

Taylor got to review the standards during her time as science coordinator at the San Diego County Office of Education.

NGSS were developed by a coalition of science experts, educators and 26 states, including California throughout the last two years.

“In the next decade, the number of jobs requiring highly technical skills is expected to outpace other occupations,” said state California Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. “These Next Generation Science Standards will help students achieve real-world practical skills so they can help maintain California’s economic and technological leadership in the world.”

A series of public hearings will be held throughout the state before the California State Board of Education approves the standards in November.

Taylor said she expects NGSS to be implemented 18 months after they're approved.

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