With the adoption of the Washington State Science Learning Standards (Next Generation Science Standards) in 2013, Washington began a four-year transition to implement these standards and develop a statewide assessment. As the final phase of the transition begins to unfold in the 2016-2017 school year and the Next Generation Science Assessment (NGSA) becomes operation in the spring of 2018, districts are in need of new course maps for high school.

Achieve, an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit education reform organization that helped develop the standards, continues to provide guidance for implementation. One of the key resources are the Course Bundles that identify which performance expectation could be grouped together to form units of instruction. The Course Bundle for year one of high school is comprised of 27-performance expectation divided among 6 four-week long units.

At this time, there have been few, if any, publishers that have created curriculum to align to the new standards. Knowing that the class of 2021 (next year’s freshman) will be assessed on the new standards, there has been a request from many of our districts to assist in the development of units of around the Achieve Course Bundles.

In order to accomplish this important work, as well as share it as an Open Education Resource (OER) so all of our districts can benefit, we are seeking interested and passionate teachers who are willing to work on one unit between December 2016 and July 2017 and present that unit in August 2017. These educators and their districts must be willing to commit to this intensive process. Additionally, educators should be deeply familiar with the Washington State Science Learning Standards (Next Generation Science Standards) as well as researched-based instructional practices and technology. Time will be spent on learning the educational resources available from NASA in order to incorporate NASA data, missions, and lessons into each unit.

The ideal candidate should possess the following skills, abilities, and understandings:

  • Ability to work collaboratively as a team
  • Committed to the process (attend each day fully, work between meetings, share work openly)
  • Conceptual understanding to be able to develop units that address the following guiding questions (for more detail, click the “LINK” after each question):
    • How do objects such as moons and satellites orbit the sun and/or planets such as the Earth? [LINK]
    • How do substances combine or react to make new substances? [LINK]
    • What is energy? How can one predict an object’s continued motion, changes in motion, or stability? [LINK]
    • How do substances combine or change (react) to make new substances and how can we use that understanding to solve a problem?  [LINK]
    • How is energy transferred between objects? [LINK]
    • How are waves used to transfer energy and information? [LINK]

Calendar of events:

All meetings will be held from 8:00-3:00 with a one hour lunch.

Day 1 January 19, 2017
Day 2 February 22, 2017
Day 3 March 14, 2017
Day 4 May 3rd, 2017
Day 5 May 24th, 2017
August Institute: Training Teachers

Week of Aug. 7-9, 2017


Educators will be provided substitute reimbursement, a $200 stipend between meeting to accomplish lesson specific tasks as well $200 per day at the summer institute, and for those educators located 50 miles or more away from NCESD, travel will be reimbursed at the current per diem rates (lodging will be arranged through NCESD). Lunch will be provided at each of the convenings during the school year.

This project is made possible by NASA SMD Education award # NNX16AB86A to the Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pipeline.