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Katherine Eastin - Burlington Notre Dame Schools

Katherine EastinThe Iowa Core science standards were created for students in an effort to provide every student in Iowa with the best education possible. I support the science standards because they provide me with direction in my teaching and allow for collaboration and discussion with my peers. By providing teachers with direction, the standards help to set boundaries on curriculum allowing teachers to dive deep into topics and create curriculum that challenges students to truly understand scientific phenomena and strengthen critical thinking skills. This Iowa Core science standards allow for collaboration between educational leaders and teachers to create this challenging curriculum.
The new science standards are unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. They don’t put as much emphasis on content facts that teachers need to deliver to students in a classroom, but instead focus on what students should be able to do with the content they have learned.
The standards focus on student application of science content and skills versus the rote memorization of content facts. The standards are written to focus on teaching students how to be scientists and do science versus separating out the skills and content from the standards. By teaching students in a manner that makes them feel like a “real” scientist, we will be able to foster a sense of curiosity, increase creativity, boost confidence, and strengthen critical thinking skills.

The science standards don’t dictate curriculum but instead state what a student should be able to do after instruction. The standards are written to incorporate science skills, content, and overarching connections into every standard. This means that the standards are looking at all aspects of science and what it means to do science as a real-life scientist and teaching our youth how to utilize and build their skills, content, and abilities to make connections.

Even if some students decide that science is not their interest or if they decide to continue their education in a different field of study, the skills learned through a science program aligned to this new Iowa Core science standards will improve their chances at success in the future.