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In order to ensure our current K-12 students are scientifically-literate, global citizens who are prepared for college or career success, Iowa adopted new Science Standards that reflect what students in grades K-12 should know and be able to do as a result of instruction. The new science standards reflect our state’s emphasis on giving all students the real-world knowledge and skills needed to be ready for success in college and in the workforce, regardless of the career paths they choose. These real-world connections will involve students engaging with scientific phenomena and design solutions to problems. In addition, the standards focus on deeper understanding of content and build coherently from kindergarten through grade 12 and the standards provide clear opportunities for clear connection to literacy and mathematics.

Recognizing science is not just a body of knowledge that reflects current understanding of the world; it is also a set of practices used to establish, extend, and refine that knowledge, Iowa’s Science Standards are written as three-dimensional performance expectations that include three-equally important, distinct dimensions to learning science – science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas. Science and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts are used to teach core ideas all year. This is often referred to as three-dimensional (or 3D) learning.

Key Points:

  • The Iowa Science Standards are grade-level specific K-8 and grade band 9-12.
  • Educators will need to use both the Iowa Science Standards and their clarification statements, assessment boundaries, and foundational boxes to make curricular and instructional decisions. Educators can locate these supporting materials at the Next Generation Science Standards website or the NGSS@NSTA website.
  • Educators have the flexibility to arrange the standards in any order within a grade level to suit the needs of students and science programs.
  • All standards are intended for all students so districts need to consider how this expectation might impact high school scope and sequence.
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