Curriculum» National Standards
River City and the National Science Standards
The National Science Education Standards list seven content standards for K-12 school science (National Research Council, 1996). River City maps to five of these standards.
- CONTENT STANDARD A: As a result of activities in grades 5-12, all students should develop:
- Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
- Understandings about scientific inquiry
- River City is an inquiry-based project;
- As an inquiry-based project, students gather data, hypothesize, use tools to test, analyze and make conclusions;
- Students are guided to learn the skills necessary to conduct scientific inquiry;
- Simultaneously, they engage in an authentic and personal inquiry investigation.
- CONTENT STANDARD C: As a result of their activities in grades 5-12, all students should develop understanding of:
- Structure and function in living systems (grades 5-8)
- Populations and ecosystems (grades 5-8)
- Diversity and adaptations of organisms (grades 5-8)
- Interdependence of organisms (grades 9-12)
- River City helps students understand disease and three forms of disease transmission;
- Students are guided to understanding the effect of disease on humans;Students investigate the niche of microorganisms;
- Students see the interactions between humans, microorganisms and the ecosystem they both inhabit;
- Students learn the role of microorganisms in causing disease.
- CONTENT STANDARD E: As a result of activities in grades 5-12, all students should develop:
- Abilities of technological design
- Understandings about science and technology
- Students are asked to design virtually an intervention that will potentially solve the River City epidemic;
- Students evaluate their intervention to see if it did indeed affect the spread of disease;
- Students learn that technological inventions such as microscopes drive scientific discoveries by expanding scientists' ability to make observations;
- Students investigate the intended and unintended consequences of a newly introduced technological invention.
- CONTENT STANDARD F: As a result of activities in grades 5-12, all students should develop understanding of Personal health
- Community Health (grades 9-12)
- Populations, resources, and environments (grades 5-8)
- Environmental quality (grades 9-12)
- Natural hazards
- Human-induced hazards (grades 9-12)
- Risks and benefits
- Science and technology in society
- Students explore three different diseases with varying health impact;
- Students discover that there are human-caused health hazards in the river;
- Students' investigations lead them to understand that the causes of these hazards stem from natural occurrences such as heavy rain, water stagnation as well as human impact;
- Through experimentation, students are able to test out their hypothesis of the cause of the sudden increase in disease before making recommendations;
- Students need to weigh the advantages and drawbacks to various interventions before choosing what they view as the best option;
- Students join politicians, doctors, and university professors in working together to understand the impact on the poorest segment of the River City population.
- CONTENT STANDARD G: As a result of activities in grades 5-12, all students should develop understanding of: Science as a human endeavor
- Nature of science (grades 5-8) and of scientific knowledge (grades 9-12)
- History of science (grades 5-8)
- Historical perspectives (grades 9-12)
- Students participate in science along with men and women in various virtual roles;
- Students are exposed to concepts of nature of science;
- Students are encouraged to base their conclusions and decisions on evidence and to re-evaluate them in light of new evidence;
- Students travel back in time to experience the “dawn of microbiology” along with the culture and habits typical of that time
National Research Council. (1996). National science education standards: Observe, interact, change, learn. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
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