Science

Overview

Science education in Vermont is currently centered on the new Science Grade Expectations, which are anchored to the Vermont Framework of Standards & Learning Opportunities. (See NOTE) The domains of science addressed by these documents include Inquiry, Physical Science, Life Science the Human Body and Earth/Space Science. Assessment of student understanding of these domains is accomplished through statewide assessment, as well a continuation of ongoing local and classroom assessments. Professional development through the Vermont Professional Development Network in Science guide teachers to establish connections between the Science Grade Expectations and these assessment strategies.


Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

UPDATE: Next Generation Science Standards

The Next Generation Science Standards were approved by the Vermont State Board of Education in June 2013. These standards are now considered to be the foundation of all Vermont science instruction. School programs will gradually incorporate these standards into curricula and instruction. School year 2013-2014 is considered to be an Awareness time, wherein teachers will begin to become familiar with these new standards and will blend portions of these standards into their existing instruction. Professional development and instructional resources will be available through the Agency of Education and other sources.

If you have questions regarding NGSS, please contact Kathy Renfrew or Gail Hall.

Next Generation Science Standards Leadership Conversations

A series of Next Generation Science Standards Leadership Conversations will be offered at various school sites during October – December 2013. The focus of these discussions will be to provide NGSS Awareness for school leadership personnel and particularly to answer leadership questions about NGSS implementation planning in schools.

Registration:

October 3 (Thursday)
Manchester Elementary and Middle School
Manchester Center, VT
  November 19 (Tuesday)
Hartland Elementary School
Hartland, VT
October 15 (Tuesday)
St. Johnsbury Elementary School
St. Johnsbury, VT
  December 3 (Tuesday)
Colchester High School
Colchester, VT
October 30(Wednesday)
Lake Region High School
Orleans, VT
  December 10 (Tuesday)
Otter Valley High School
Brandon, VT
November 5 (Tuesday)
Leland and Gray
Townshend, VT
  December 18 (Wednesday)
The Barre Tech Center
Barre, VT
November 7 (Thursday)
Vergennes High School
Vergennes, VT
   

Links

For planning purposes, also note that the NECAP Science test administration for grades 4, 8, and 11 will be May 5-22, 2014.

Emerging Science on Vermont Public Television (VPT)

The VT-AOE, Vermont educators, and VPT partnered to develop classroom resources that will help Vermont educators foster their students' interest in science.

Science Conference Scheduled for April 4, 2013

The Vermont Science Teachers' Association will hold its annual conference, "Science Innovations for the Next Generation" on April 4, 2013, at the Lake Morey Inn in Fairlee, VT. A variety of Vermont educators will share examples of science instruction and innovative planning that will support transition to the upcoming Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Keynote speaker will be Dr. Stephen Pruitt, who is leading the national development of the NGSS. Conference registration can be completed online.

SBHS team "First Class" wins Innovation Merit Award at the Real World Design Challenge National Competition
"First Class" the 2013 state winner of the Real World Design Challenge received a national merit award for innovation at this year's national competition in Washington, D.C. The award was presented to the team that produced the most thought provoking and innovative solution to this year's design challenge. This year's challenge was to design a small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS), which included one or more fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and to develop a business plan in support of commercial applications based on a mission scenario.

Student team members, Ronak Bhagat, Noah Bugbee, Neel Desai, Matt Gilmartin, Raihan Kabir, Vishnu Premsankar and Forrest Scharmer competed against state winners to address real challenges that confront our nation's industry. This real world approach to learning allows students to experience a direct link between their efforts and the workplace.

2013 NECAP Science Test Webinar

This one hour NECAP Science Webinar features staff from Measured Progress (the testing contractor) presenting detailed information about the administration of the NECAP Science Assessment. This is a good opportunity for test coordinators and teachers who will be administrating this assessment in grades four, eight and eleven to review the assessment. For teachers in grades 4 and 8, there will be directions in presenting the inquiry tasks, and what they might need to prepare for the tasks before hand. Missed the webinar? Watch the NECAP Science Webinar.

NECAP Assessment Results

The NECAP reading, writing, mathematics and science tests measure students' academic knowledge and skills relative to Grade Expectations which were developed by teams of teachers from Vermont, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. View the most recent data reports.

NECAP Resources

Use this link for information and links to practices tests, released test items, manuals and workshop materials for reading, writing, mathematics and science, as well as other resources such as tip sheets, hundreds tables, multiplication charts, scoring guides, alignment charts, target documents, test taking strategies, unifying themes, etc.

NECAP Science Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

As a result of educators' questions during the Fall 2008 Science Network meeting regarding NECAP Science concerns, this FAQ was created. This information may be helpful in your discussions with educators and community members about NECAP Science.

Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) Grant Program

The goals of the MSP are: 1) to increase the academic achievement of students in mathematics and science by enhancing the content knowledge and teaching skills of classroom teachers; 2) to build statewide capacity for professional development of K-12 staff by establishing networks of highly skilled teacher leaders in mathematics and science; and 3) to develop partnerships among K-12 educators, STEM faculty, and higher education personnel. Funds from the MSP are currently being used to support high quality professional development programs in Vermont. Three-year MSP projects funded for 2009-2010 include:

Surveys of Enacted Curriculum(SEC) Facilitator Toolkit

The SEC are practical, efficient tools for obtaining classroom data about math, science or literacy teaching. Online surveys completed by teachers produce visual maps of instruction that can be compared to the Vermont Grade Expectations. The surveys can also provide instructional data to investigate in relation to NECAP results. The following materials are provided to help facilitators develop understanding of the Survey content, levels of cognitive complexity, and data analysis:

Questions?

Gail Hall at gail.hall@state.vt.us or (802) 479-1284

Page Last Updated on April 23, 2014