The impact of integrating Next Generation Science Standards and environmental literacy curriculum
Hill, Joyce Margaret
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Next Generation Science Standards provide a framework to develop students' understandings of science ideas, using scientific practices to make sense of natural phenomena. The environment offers a meaningful context to develop these important ideas. However, there are few resources that effectively integrate both the science and environmental standards. This study was part of an ongoing initiative to develop lesson sequences that could be used K-12, created by teacher leaders and informal science educators. The research question focused on the impact of integrating curriculum on students' science understandings and attitudes about nature and environmental stewardship. During Spring 2021 the lessons were taught as part of a pilot. For this study, students participated in a pre and post survey. A sample of student work as well as student interviews were part of the data collected. Results indicated that the lessons supported students' science understandings and affected their attitude towards caring for the environment. Local environments can provide meaningful contexts for important science ideas and bring science alive for students. Increasingly, the environment and human activity will be an important issue to understand better.