Sonoma County Office of Education

Blog: Exploring NGSS

Science SymbolThis blog focuses on the new science standards that were adopted for California’s K-12 public schools in 2013. It offers ideas and resources to support science instruction in relation to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and 21st century learning.

Author | Anna Babarinde | Email Anna | Blog Protocols (pdf)

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The World Begins Again
For many in Sonoma County, the last year post-fire has felt like a time of limbo. Similarly, people in the scientific community and engaged in science education in California have been living between stories. Anna Van Dordrecht encourages that in all of these cases we have the chance to engage with and shape the new world. Read More...

The Times Are a-Changin'... So What Will You Do?
The educational system and the world are always changing, and the present moment is no exception. In this blog, author Anna Van Dordrecht reflects on her mother's twenty-five year teaching career and retirement speech and invites readers to consider how they can invoke change in education and so shape how the world changes. Read More...

Looking Out, Looking In
NASA has a dual focus on discovery and understanding, on looking outward and inward. Anna Van Dordrecht shares her reflections on this from a recent experience at the NASA Armstrong facility witnessing the last stage of the ATom mission. She also suggests how this dual focus can be used as a model for supporting science educators and students. Read More...

Recognizing Unseen Possibilities: The Story of the STEAM Showcase
In this blog, Science Coordinator Anna Van Dordrecht shares the story of transitioning from a traditional county science fair to an interactive STEAM Showcase that encourages the integration of making, innovative technology, and creativity within STEAM-based projects. She also highlights how the Showcase promotes diversity in unity and invites both students and teachers to realize previously unseen possibilities. Read More...

The Hope of Science Past, Present, and Future
Science Coordinator Anna Van Dordrecht reflects on her experience at NASA Langley's Centennial Anniversary and their focus on the past, present, and future of NASA. She encourages science educators to use similar themes when approaching science instruction. Read More...

Education in a World Turned Upside Down
In the wake of these horrific fires, we are adjusting to a new reality and reexamining what’s important. Educators have an important role to play in defining what life looks like going forward. As students return to school, they are looking to teachers for how to respond in the face of such an overwhelming tragedy. And so every educator has a huge and important task ahead. How will you help shape the new reality? Read More...

No One is Alone

Cultivating Discovery, Creation, and Possibility
In his 2013 TED Talk, Sir Ken Robinson draws a parallel between a spring bloom in Death Valley and the potential in education: “Right beneath the surface are seeds of possibility waiting for the right conditions to come about in order to spring to life…(therefore) the real role of leadership is climate control- creating a climate of possibility.” Read More...

The Power of Science Education: An Earth Day Reflection
Jane Goodall, arguably one of the preeminent environmental scientists of our time, once said “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” This is the core message of Earth Day and is at the heart of what I hope students are taking away from their science education and school in general, along with the skill and wisdom to make such a decision. As we celebrate Earth Day this year, Goodall’s words are also a call to action for us as science educators. Read More...

Science-Minded Citizenship
Science is controversial right now. In the midst of media coverage that is now consistently tumultuous, scientific topics feature prominently. While this can feel like a big shift, controversy surrounding science is nothing new. Read More...

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