Ideas and inspiration from NSTA’s October K-12 journals

The Four Strands of Science Learning and the Next Generation Science Standards from Science Scope is an informative article for teachers of any grade level.

Science Scope – Earth Science Activities

According to the editor, “Today’s students will become adults tasked with making decisions about environmental issues that will require a solid understanding of the Earth sciences.” And the Earth sciences are so interesting, too! If I were designing curriculum, Earth science would be the capstone course, integrating concepts from physics, chemistry, and the life sciences.

Articles that describe lessons include a helpful sidebar documenting the big idea, essential pre-knowledge, time, and cost.

For more on the content that provides a context for these projects and strategies see the SciLinks topics Clouds, Earthquakes, Eclipses, Layers of the Earth, Minerals and Rocks, Moon Phases, Natural Hazards and Disasters, Stratigraphy, Water Cycle.

The Science Teacher – Adding Art to STEM

The featured articles in this issue focus on the overlap and integration of science and the arts (STEAM, as some call it). As the editor notes, “…science and the arts both spring from the same deep well of human creativity and imagination.”

  • The Art-Science Connection has examples of the artwork create by students to communicate the results of their research and demonstrate their learning.
  • The National Park Service turns 100 this year. Science and Art in the National Parks traces the history of the arts in the Parks and has suggestions for using them as inspiration for art and writing activities and a context for the sciences, such as geology. (Is it time to bring back the Federal Art Project from the 1930s?)
  • Getting an A in STEM shows how chemistry and art can “cross-pollinate” using the concepts of chromotography, molecular structure, the Periodic Table,
  • Sculpting the Barnyard Gene Pool illustrates how creativity doesn’t have to involve music or drawing. The interdisciplinary project focuses on engineering challenges and genetics. Likewise, designing investigations, as described in Measuring Metabolism, involves creativity and problem-solving.
  • It may not be in the same arts league as dancing, but as Focus on Physics: Skateboard Physics shows, sports use physics creatively.
  • Career of the Month: Acoustical Consultant describes how to use physics to create spaces for the performing arts.

For more on the content that provides a context for these projects and strategies see the SciLinks topics Acoustics, Cell Division, Chromatography, DNA, Genetics, Heredity, Homeostasis,  Microscopes, Molecular Shapes, Periodic Table, Photosynthesis, U. S. National Parks.


Science and Children – Natural Hazards

The featured articles this month describe how to tap into children’s interest in these phenomena, including the causes and how to protect ourselves. The lessons described in the articles include connections with the NGSS.

For more on the content that provides a context for these projects and strategies see the SciLinks topics Adaptations, Earthquakes, Ecosystems, Erosion, Food Webs, Forecasting the Weather, Habitats, Hurricanes, Natural DisastersStorms, Tornadoes, Water Cycle, Watersheds, Weather.


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