Embedding Inquiry and Engaging Learners

Joseph Balsiger, Bellingham High School

As we shift into our new set of NGSS standards for teaching science there are many teachers that are nervous of the "3 dimensional approach" as called for within the language of the NGSS. I have been teaching Environmental Science classes, AP and General, for 12 years. I don't think that NGSS style teaching is drastically different than effective science teaching as set out by the AAAS, project 2061 standards, or the NSES standards, with the exception of the explicit focus on the 3 dimensions. I believe that having central phenomena that students can explore to practice the engineering practices and apply the cross cutting concepts is very important. I am eager to acquire new ideas and curriculum that is relevant and in-line with the NGSS. I also look forward to making connections with other professionals and hope to walk away with new lessons that my students can embrace to learn science at a new level.

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