Washington State LASER Lauds Next Generation Science Standards

Skateboarding cats, Newton's laws and the scientific imaginations of eighth-graders took center stage earlier this month when Gov. Jay Inslee and state superintendent Randy Dorn announced Washington State's adoption of the "Next Generation Science Standards" at Inslee's middle school alma mater, in the Highline School District. Read all about it in this Seattle Times article.

The new standards and the frameworks on which they are based align well with Pacific Science Center's philosophy regarding science education. They build a clear progression of skills from kindergarten through grade 12, and focus on the interconnected nature of science as it is practiced and experienced in the real world. The new standards seek "to illustrate how knowledge and practice must be intertwined" with a focus on real-life scenarios and hands-on experimentation that will make science engaging and relevant to kids.

Pacific Science Center is proud of our contribution to the development of these national science standards. Through Washington State LASER, a statewide program we co-lead with Battelle, we helped facilitate nearly 60 sessions with diverse groups of stakeholders from the education, business and scientific communities in which we collected public feedback on an early draft of the standards. Over 1,200 stakeholders were involved in the review process, including high school students; the only the state in the country to do so.

As for the eighth-grade experiment with skateboarding cats:

Which (stunt cat made from weights) do you think made it down the ramp fastest? The 4-pound kitten, 15-pounder or 30-pound tabby?