NGPBL and CREATE are proud to announce that Interactions has received the very first NGSS Design Badge from Achieve.org in honor of its "E" rating as a high-quality example of curriculum designed for the next Generation Science Standards. Achieve distinguishes materials designed for the NGSS from other materials "aligned with" NGSS. "Aligned with" materials may be pre-existing materials that have been adapted to conform with some or all of the standards; "designed for" materials have been developed specifically to meet the NGSS. Interactions was developed collaboratively by the MSU CREATE for STEM Institute, the Concord Consortium, and the Learning Partnership USA.
What is the Next Generation Project Based Learning at CREATE for STEM?
The CREATE for STEM Institute’s Next Generation Project-Based Learning (NGPBL) is a teaching support system for all K-12 teachers who teach science. NGPBL provides a bridge from the current way science is taught and learned to the new vision of science teaching and learning embodied in the National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards. It provides teachers with research-based curriculum materials designed to address grade level-specific Performance Expectations, as well as the ongoing instructional support they need to make the instructional shifts necessary to enable students to experience the 3-dimensional learning that is at the core of NGSS.
The Next Generation Project-Based Learning initiative grows out of the significant research and development work that have been the focus of CREATE’s ongoing efforts to date. Researchers have developed and tested high-quality teacher and student classroom materials, innovative teaching strategies, and cutting-edge technology tools that enable even young students to learn and develop disciplinary core ideas, scientific and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts as described in the Framework and the standards. Through NGPBL, CREATE is developing professional learning communities to support teachers and districts to use and tailor these materials, strategies, and tools to transform their science programs in ways that allow their students to meet the Performance Expectations described in the NGSS.
NGPBL is based upon several foundational principles. First, NGSS requires new curriculum materials and teaching strategies that are designed specifically to meet NGSS performance expectations of a particular grade band. CREATE for STEM has spent the past 6 years developing and testing such materials at each grade band. Second, these new materials and the online tools they incorporate should be accessible to teachers and districts at no cost to them to use and adapt as they choose. This is why CREATE resources carry a Creative Commons license. Third, these resources require – and help – teachers to make important shifts in their pedagogical stances and practices, shifts that benefit from additional professional learning, including intensive orientation to the materials, followed by ongoing support and reflection through regular, structured, professional learning community opportunities and additional workshops during the school year. One-time workshops and resources without support rarely translate into meaningful change in instruction or student learning.
If I could teach only one value to live by, it would be this: Success will come and go, but integrity is forever. Integrity means doing the right thing at all times in all circumstances, whether or not anyone is watching.
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"This is the way I was taught to teach, that I used to teach—but somehow we got lost along the way. It feels good to get back!"
"I am a very seasoned teacher, and I have never experienced such a transformative way to excite my students about science."