The Scientific and Engineering Practices as outlined in A Framework for K-12 Science Education, provide the basis for students to gain a deeper understanding science content through the use of hands-on science investigations and engineering design activities. Often investigations remain as engaging activities without adding depth to the students’ understanding of the science core ideas. Research-based instructional strategies utilized in STEM programs require a more rigorous approach to describing the scientific ideas that underlie the activity.
The question becomes:
As teachers begin to address the Science Core Disciplinary Ideas through the lens of STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics), how and why should the Scientific and Engineering Design Practices be integrated into investigations?
Using the Framework for K-12 Science Education can be the basis for this depth of understanding by:
· Providing research-based science core disciplinary ideas
· Connecting the ideas with Cross-cutting concepts
· Utilizing scientific and engineering practices and
· Providing guidance in the assessment of the depth of knowledge gained by students and a measure of achievement in understanding the core disciplinary ideas in science.