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OpenSci Ed Launches First Three Units of Open-Content Instructional Materials for Middle School

4 Oct 2019 9:42 PM | NJSTA (Administrator)

OpenSci Ed Launches First Three Units of Open-Content Instructional Materials

Developed by World-Class Science Curriculum Developers for Middle School, Free Materials are designed for the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science.

OpenSciEd, an effort led by ten partner states -including NJ-, science educators, curriculum developers, and philanthropic organizations to improve the supply of and demand for high-quality K12 science materials, announced the public release of its first freely available instructional materials for middle school science. The three units of instruction, Thermal Energy, Metabolic Reactions and Sound Waves, have been externally evaluated by Achieve's Science Peer Review Panel and are listed as examples of quality materials on www.nextgenscience.org. They each cover approximately six weeks of classroom time.

“It’s a privilege to provide schools with rigorous science instructional materials that combine the expertise of a world-class development consortium and the wisdom of current teachers, administrators and state leaders,” said Jim Ryan, Executive Director of OpenSciEd. “These first three units are just the beginning of this initiative, and we will continue to release instructional materials every six months until there is a complete middle grades program in early 2022.”

OpenSciEd brings together leadership from ten partner states and world-class science curriculum developers from BSCS Science Learning, Northwestern University, Boston College, The Charles A. Dana Center and Digital Promise to make available free classroom and professional development materials for every teacher.

“This project is a tremendous opportunity to advance science education,” said Dr. Daniel Edelson, executive director of BSCS Science Learning. “Each member of the Developers Consortium is deeply committed to working with classroom teachers, specialists, and education leaders in the design and implementation of our instructional materials. It is a huge honor to be involved in this work during a time when high quality instructional materials for science are critically needed.”

OpenSciEd materials are freely available in both print-ready PDFs and as editable google docs, allowing teachers, schools and districts more flexibility. Ryan notes the organization’s mission is to eliminate as many barriers as possible for teachers and students to access and use high- quality materials and has partnered with a printer and kit provider to offer the materials at extremely competitive prices for those who wish to purchase the materials

“Since launching in 2016, Achieve’s Science Peer Review Panel (PRP) has reviewed nearly 300 free and publicly available units using the EQuIP Rubric for Science and only 14 units have earned the top two ratings, including the three units released by OpenSciEd,” said Matt Krehbiel, Director for Science at Achieve.

“The OpenSciEd project has pioneered a process by which classroom teachers, district and state leadership, researchers and curriculum developers work together to produce a high quality, standards-aligned curriculum that has been proven to engage all students, regardless of identity or background, in meaningful science instruction,” said Jill Cowart, Assistant Superintendent, Academic Content at Louisiana Department of Education. “The newly released units, brought to life by teachers, have the potential to reshape middle school science education across the country.”

This project is made possible by the generous philanthropic support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

About OpenSciEd

OpenSciEd was launched in 2018 as a nonprofit to address the need among teachers and school districts for high-quality, open-source, full-course science instructional materials, as well as to support the implementation of middle school science instructional units as a result of the adoption of the National Research Council’s document, A Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

For more information about OpenSciEd, please visit our website at www.OpenSciEd.org

The Liberty Science Center is the OpenSciEd lead training hub for the state of New Jersey. New Jersey educators interested in OpenSciEd should email Anthony Bisulca or Michael Heinz for more information.

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