Carolina’s programs Smithsonian Science for the Classroom™, STCMS™, and Building Blocks of Science™ 3D selected as school science materials to engage students and teach new 2020 state standards
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, Nov. 16, 2020 – Carolina announced that three of its science programs are among the rigorous list of new science materials just adopted by the Oklahoma State Textbook Committee for the state’s elementary and middle school science curriculum. Carolina’s award-winning Smithsonian Science for the Classroom™, Smithsonian Science and Technology Concepts™ for Middle School (STCMS™), and Building Blocks of ScienceTM 3D were chosen for adoption to help teachers address new state science standards. Introduced in February, the 2020 Oklahoma Academic Standards for Science, K-12, are the state’s new three-dimensional performance expectations representing the things students should know, understand, and be able to do to be proficient in science and engineering. New school materials were reviewed in depth and selected for adoption to engage students and help educators to teach these latest standards.
Oklahoma science classes are about to get a surge of new resources to support their own student-driven, hands-on, and phenomena-based vision of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Science materials from 27 publishers were reviewed for adoption by the Oklahoma State Textbook Committee, comprised of parents, teachers, and community members who were appointed by the Governor. The Committee reviews all instructional materials in light of the state content standards. Materials are adopted by the Committee on a rotating basis every six years. Schools do not have to buy state-adopted resources, but 80 percent of their budget must go toward adopted products.
“Carolina is incredibly proud that Oklahoma’s Textbook Committee selected our science curricula to help its teachers transition to the state’s rigorous new three-dimensional standards,” said Jim Parrish, President and CEO at Carolina Biological Supply Company. “During this difficult year for elementary and middle school teachers, we also have added many online resources for teachers to support remote science instruction. Smithsonian Science for the Classroom, STCMS, and Building Blocks of Science 3D were all designed to meet every facet of NGSS and they align well with Oklahoma’s 2020 standards, which are built upon the same concepts.”
The new 2020 Oklahoma Academic Standards for Science (OAS-Science) were adopted in 2020. Schools can begin implementing the new standards during the 2020-2021 school year. Publishers provided the State Textbook Committee with samples of their materials and correlations to the Oklahoma Academic Standards. The State Textbook Committee reviewed these instructional materials and voted in November to approve them for the state-adopted list. Schools will have a few years to transition and implement the standards, since state assessments for grade 5, grade 8 and high school will not be aligned to the 2020 science standards until 2022-2023.
As a next step to help schools learn about the newly adopted science products now available to them, there is usually a “textbook caravan” event in the spring that local textbook committee members may attend around the state to see Carolina’s and the other publishers’ presentations of their materials. It is expected to be virtual this time and details will be announced later. These caravans are sponsored each year by the Oklahoma Educational Publisher’s Association. With the review process for science instructional materials to help teachers completed, schools can easily choose resources they need to implement the standards.
“It is exciting for students and teachers in Oklahoma schools that they will be able to implement our curriculum that was created by the best scientific minds at the Smithsonian Science Education Center to bring the high-interest wonder of real science investigations to the classroom,” said Dr. Carol O’Donnell, Director, at Smithsonian Science Education Center. “The Smithsonian recently met the challenge of developing science programs for NGSS for grades K-8 education with both our Smithsonian Science for the Classroom and STCMS curricula programs, and our research grounding their development. We ask students to plan and conduct investigations, look for patterns in data they collect, and arrive at an understanding of the content based on their own evidence the way a real scientist or engineer would.”
Science is a way of knowing, a process of using observations and investigations to gain knowledge and understanding of the physical and natural worlds. The K-12 Oklahoma Academic Standards for Science place an emphasis on students being active learners. They showcase that it is not enough for students to read about science; they must do science. Students must engage in planning and carrying out investigations, making observations, asking questions, analyzing data, constructing explanations, engaging in argument from evidence, and obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information to gain the science knowledge and skills to be college, career, and citizen ready upon graduation from high school. Phenomena-rich investigations and meaningful engineering design challenges put the experience in students’ hands. Smithsonian Science for the Classroom, Smithsonian Science and Technology Concepts Middle School (STCMS) and Building Blocks of Science 3D and make science engaging as students work in groups to drive their own investigations of science phenomena and learn through hands-on physical experiments and digital simulations.
Carolina updated all three science programs this summer to support essential remote instruction in schools this fall with adapted @HOME lesson plans and demonstration videos, as well as a variety of live and online on-demand professional development called Get Ready! Professional Learning. Whether educators are teaching students from their classrooms or at home, they can maintain a high-quality science program, engage students online in three-dimensional learning, and continue to support English language arts and math. These @HOME resources are online for educators at: Smithsonian Science for the Classroom , STCMS and BBS 3D.
Smithsonian Science for the Classroom and STCMS (K-8)
Setting the standard in 3D learning and 3D assessment, the Smithsonian Science for the Classroom curriculum provides cohesive storylines, superior teacher support, and research-supported instructional design that is backed by proven results with point-of-use support. Smithsonian Science for the Classroom is a high-quality core science and engineering curriculum program specifically developed to meet the NGSS. This elementary curriculum is designed to engage, inspire, and connect grades K to 5 students firsthand to the world around them. Smithsonian Science for the Classroom helps teachers to integrate science, technology, engineering, and math through engaging and hands-on lessons. The seriesincludes print and digital components, as well as hands-on materials.
With instruction that goes beyond meeting the NGSS, Smithsonian developed STCMS and partnered with Carolina to publish and distribute it to schools. STCMS steps up to the challenge of meeting the full intent of the standards: 1. Three-dimensional learning; 2. Coherent learning progressions; 3. Students making sense of phenomena and designing solutions; 4. Science content aligned with English language arts and mathematics; and 5. All standards, all students. The program is in use at schools throughout the country and teachers have reported a positive impact on their classes.
The Smithsonian also demonstrated through a five-year study funded by a U.S. Department of Education Investing in Innovation grant (U396B100097), that its curriculum issuccessful in improving students’ performance in science, math, and language arts.
Building Blocks of Science 3D (K-5)
Carolina’s Building Blocks of Science 3D hands-on unit kits are for students in grades K to 5. This complete, phenomena-based program integrates engineering into every grade and includes everything teachers need for their entire class for every lesson with hands-on materials, print, and digital simulations and components. The program is a core curriculum that combines interactive investigations, literacy components, and digital resources to teach students science content and investigative skills. The program’s 99 digital simulations give a straightforward and quick way for teachers to assess student understanding. The custom-created simulations are directly tied to the phenomena in the units.
Students investigate real-world science phenomena. They need to be able to explain phenomena. They are given opportunities to understand and explain. Providing explanations shows teachers their level of understanding.
Leaders in the Field
Both the Smithsonian Science Education Center and Carolina programs support teachers with everything they need to teach all students. Clear directions for each activity help teachers who are teaching new topics to quickly get started. Guiding questions are provided to help move through investigations. Tips, different ways to teach, addressing misconceptions, and differentiation strategies are also provided.
For information about any of Carolina’s three science programs that were just adopted in Oklahoma, visit Carolina at www.buildingblocksofscience.com, https://www.smithsonianstc.com/smithsonian-science-for-the-classroom-172N7-41295L.html, or https://www.smithsonianstc.com/stcms-172N7-41395L.html, or call (800) 334-5551, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Julie Gates for Carolina Biological Supply Company
562-429-5972 or email@example.com