Tipp BOE hears science curriculum update

By Cecilia Fox - Miami Valley Today

TIPP CITY — The district’s science teachers updated the board on their process for establishing a new science curriculum.

The board voted Monday night to adopt the science curriculum standards. They will vote on the purchase of new curriculum materials at a future meeting.

Assistant Superintendent Galen Gingerich said the process for selecting a new curriculum began last spring. The state made changes to its standards in 2018 that will be rolled out in 2020.

He noted that the new curriculum will come in under budget at about $16 per student.

The state’s goals for science education include helping students get excited and motivated to learn about the natural and physical world; understand and use science-related concepts and facts; observe, explore and make sense of the natural and physical world; and participate in scientific activities and learn to use scientific language and tools.

Guidelines include using 21st century skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, media and technological literacy, and place an emphasis on technological design and engineering.

Eighth grade science teacher Abbi Hohenstein said the middle school is proud of its high science test scores, its participation in the Women in STEMM event at Edison State Community College and in science fair, its use of virtual reality goggles to offer more immersive experiences, and the addition of several science electives like design thinking.

Going forward, Hohenstein said the middle school wants to offer kids a rigorous and “authentic science experience.” She said the materials chosen for the middle school have a STEM component and an online component.

Third grade science teacher Heather Bledsoe said the elementary science teachers wanted to make sure that the new curriculum includes opportunities for innovation and is STEM-infused. She said the elementary would like to adopt a scientific newsletter for students, as well as a program that offers interactive, online activities.

Some of the district’s goals for adopting new curriculum include aligning the district with the state’s new standards, enhancing students’ scientific vocabulary, an emphasis on STEM principles, increasing depth of knowledge and standardized test preparation.

By Cecilia Fox

Miami Valley Today

Reach Cecilia Fox at cfox@aimmediamidwest.com.

Reach Cecilia Fox at cfox@aimmediamidwest.com.