Maine State Learning Standards
Science and technology provide people with the knowledge and tools to understand and address many of the challenges. Students must be provided with opportunities to access, understand, and evaluate current information and tools related to science and technology if they are to be ready to live in a 21st century global society.
The study of science and technology includes both processes and bodies of knowledge. Scientific processes are the ways scientists investigate and communicate about the natural world. The scientific body of knowledge includes concepts, principles, facts, laws, and theories about the way the world around us works. Technology includes the technological design process and the body of knowledge related to the study of tools and the effect of technology on society.
Science and technology merge in the pursuit of knowledge and solutions to problems that require the application of scientific understanding and product design. Solving technological problems demands scientific knowledge while modern technologies make it possible to discover new scientific knowledge. In a world shaped by science and technology, it is important for students to learn how science and technology connect with the demands of society and the knowledge of all content areas. It is equally important that students are provided with learning experiences that integrate tools, knowledge, and processes of science and technology.
The Science and Technology Standards outline the essential understandings of these disciplines. Standard A describes four themes that serve as a broad scaffold for understanding and organizing student understanding of the content and processes of science and technology. Standard B describes the processes of scientific inquiry and technological design. As a complement to the expectations of inquiry and design outlined in Standard B, Standard C describes the enterprises of science and technology and the connection to society. Standards D and E have performance indicators that encompass the subject matter conventionally referred to as life, physical, and earth and space science. It is essential that classroom instruction integrate the processes and ideas of Standards A, B, and C with the knowledge of Standards D and E, rather than teach them separately. Instruction should support students in asking questions and making inquiries to help them, understand and solve problems that require the integration of knowledge and processes in authentic contexts.
Unifying Themes - The proposed revised standards begin with a focus on four themes of science and technology: systems, models,and constancy and change, and scale. These themes provide teachers and students with a scaffold on which to organize the details of the standards. National standards documents identify these themes as critical knowledge for students in the 21st century.
The Skills of Scientific Inquiry and Technological Design Process- The Science and Technology Standards define both the student skills of scientific inquiry and the student skills of technological design. The inclusion of scientific inquiry, the development of a coherent section on technological design and the inclusion of a standard on scientific and technological enterprise highlight the importance of developing student understanding of the unique characteristics of and relationships between science and technology. The scientific and technological enterprise standard outlines key understandings about the relationships among science, technology and society and underscores the role of citizens in the decision-making process related to science and technology.
Resources from the Maine Department of Education. http://www.maine.gov