Always up for an adventure, there is nothing like visiting Calgary in the winter. Recently, Dean Gilbert, STEM/science education consultant, spent the better part of a week working with MindFuel’s program team to share his insights into the NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) adopted by the state of California, as well as 15 other states.

Dean walked the MindFuel team through the substantive changes to how teachers will be interacting with students using the new science standards. He also had them be both the teacher and the student during different sessions to experience the change both groups will see.

“As MindFuel works to offer its non-traditional learning resources to markets such as California, Dean’s insights into the changes taking place in science education are extremely useful,” said Margaret Glover-Campbell, MindFuel program director. “The NGSS melds nicely with MindFuel’s approach to getting students hooked on science early by teaching it in ways that bring the real world into the classroom.”

A goal for developing the NGSS was to create a set of research-based, up-to-date K–12 science standards. These standards give educators in the United States the flexibility to design classroom learning experiences that stimulate students’ interests in science and prepares them for college, careers and beyond.

“MindFuel’s approach to teaching science using its award-winning digital platform, Wonderville, aligns nicely with the new science standards being rolled out in California and other states, from my perspective,” said Dean Gilbert, science/STEM consultant for EDU Consulting LLC. “The MindFuel team has created some learning resources that are inquiry-based and hands-on that play to a student’s curiosity.”

MindFuel learning to apply NGSS to teaching

“One of the reasons NGSS was created was the previous teaching approach was not meeting the needs of the business world or the community,” Dean commented. “It was not creating the critical thinkers we need in society.”

Within the NGSS, there are three distinct and equally important dimensions (3D) of learning science:

– Crosscutting concepts (CCCs)

– Science and engineering practices (SEPs)

– Disciplinary core ideas (DCIs)

– grouped into the following four domains: physical science, life science, Earth and space science, and engineering, technology and applications of science (ETS).

Dean Gilbert consulting with the MindFuel team

Dean Gilbert administers school, district, county, state and national professional learning, leadership and strategic planning programs to improve science instruction and student achievement. Dean creates and provides innovative professional development and curriculum support to public school districts, charter, private and faith-based schools, develops technology systems to improve teaching and learning, and works collaboratively with community-based, informal science, non-profit and parent organizations to improve student achievement.