AU hosts Next Generation Science Standards workshop for area school district teachers

NGSS workshop participants work in groups to gain a better understanding of the practices and learn how to implement them in their own classrooms.

On Friday, January 25, Aurora University hosted Understanding and Implementing Next Generation Science Standards, a workshop for area elementary, middle and high school teachers. The workshop was designed by experts in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and facilitated by educators that have undergone training in implementation of these standards. NGSS is an initiative led by the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Achieve that focuses on developing K–12 science standards across all disciplines and grades with the goal of providing all students an internationally-benchmarked science education.

Approximately 60 local educators and community partners attended the workshop, where they were introduced to the Science and Engineering Practices of the proposed NGSS. Strong focus was placed on the new standards to give educators a better understanding of the practices and train teachers on how to implement them in their own classrooms.

Monica Boehle, Instructional Coach at St. Charles Community Unity School District 303, was in attendance for the workshop. “My job is to help people change their instruction to positively impact student learning,” Boehle said. “I’m looking to help guide teachers in their thinking about implementation. Since this is all new, the workshop is helping me put in perspective where it is coming from so that I can think about how to best present it to my teachers.”

Throughout the workshop, participants worked in groups to explore possible avenues to implement the practices into their classrooms, and collaborated to understand the vertical alignment and sequencing of the science curriculum.

“The workshop was a great success,” said Saib Othman, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “It is another example of Aurora University’s commitment to provide quality training in STEM education for teachers and administrators in the partnering schools as well as university faculty and educators from the community partners.”