Middle School Science Curriculum Materials: Meeting Standards and Fostering Inquiry Through Learning Technologies

August 1st, 2001 - December 31st, 2007 | PROJECT

This sixth through eighth grade comprehensive, project-based, science curriculum focuses on students acquiring deep understandings of the concepts, principles and habits of mind articulated in national science standards. The curriculum builds upon the experiences of the Center for Learning Technologies in Urban Schools developing the LeTUS modules for Chicago and Detroit Public Schools. The project brings together scientists and science educators from three universities, teachers and administrators from six school districts, curriculum speialists from Project 2061, educational researchers from EDC, and Kendall/Hunt publishers. The design principles, arising from research on teaching and learning, include alignment with standards, assessments, contextualization, sustained student inquiry, embedded learning technologies, collaboration, and scaffolds between and within modules. Phase 1 focuses on the development of two units: Structure of Matter and Diversity of Life and Evolution. Learning outcomes are identified, target understanding performances are specified and assessments are designed before the activities are developed. Everday authentic questions that students hold as important provide the basis for projects, contextualize the activities and give coherence to the curriculum. In addition to the student materials and teacher guides, the project develops materials to provide information to administrators and the community to understand and support the implementation of the modules. Issues of language, literacy, culture and diversity are addressed. Professional development materials address teacher attitudes and beliefs while educating the teachers about the new context and pedagogy.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Team Members

Joseph Krajcik, Principal Investigator, University of Michigan Ann Arbor


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 0101780
Funding Amount: 2093358


Audience: Educators | Teachers | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Life science | Physics
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Informal | Formal Connections | K-12 Programs