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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Science Education
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Engaging Middle and High School Students in Science and Engineering: New Approaches to Investigation and Design

Archived Webcast (from meeting on November 2, 2017)

Project Description

This study will review research on science investigations and engineering design problems for middle and high school students and explore promising models of innovative investigations and experiences both inside and outside the classroom. The new study will build on a 2006 report of the Board, America’s Lab Report: Investigations in High School Science. That influential report provided evidence-based guidance to secondary science educators by examining different pedagogical approaches to science laboratory experiences and how they linked to students’ learning outcomes. It was truly groundbreaking research at the time and the report helped to catalyze research on high school laboratory experiences and high school science in general. Since the time of publication, there have been significant changes in science education in the U.S. shaped primarily by the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). These standards are based on the Framework, which was developed under the auspices of the Board on Science Education.

This new study will examine research published after the original report, provide ideas for teaching and learning, and incorporate the new vision for science education embodied in the Framework and the NGSS. The resulting report will provide guidance for designing science investigations and engineering design problems for middle and high school students that align with this vision. Several unique features of the new approach to science education will be considered: 1) the eight scientific and engineering practices identified in the Framework, 2) the inclusion of engineering, technology and applications of science as well as more traditional science content, and 3) using a systematic trajectory for learning.

Sponsors: Amgen Foundation and Carnegie Corporation of New York

Related Report

America's Lab Report: Investigations in High School Science (2005)
Laboratory experiences as a part of most U.S. high school science curricula have been taken for granted for decades, but they have rarely been carefully examined. What do they contribute to science learning? What can they contribute to science learning? What is the current status of labs in our nation's high schools as a context for learning science? This book looks at a range of questions about how laboratory experiences fit into U.S. high schools.

With increased attention to the U.S. education system and student outcomes, no part of the high school curriculum should escape scrutiny. This timely book investigates factors that influence a high school laboratory experience, looking closely at what currently takes place and what the goals of those experiences are and should be. Science educators, school administrators, policy makers, and parents will all benefit from a better understanding of the need for laboratory experiences to be an integral part of the science curriculum�and how that can be accomplished.

Committee Members

Brett Moulding (Cochair), Utah Partnership for Effective Science Teaching and Learning
Nancy Songer (Cochair), Drexel University
Juan-Carlos Aguilar, Georgia State Department of Education
Anne Egger, Central Washington University
Erin Furtak, University of Colorado, Boulder
Kenneth Huff, Williamsville Middle School, Williamsville, NY
Joseph Krajcik, Michigan State University
Michael C. Lach, University of Chicago
Ronald M. Latanision, Exponent, Inc.
Mitchell Nathan, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Eileen R. Parsons, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Cynthia Passmore, University of California, Davis
Helen R. Quinn, Stanford University
Andrea Tracy, MacArthur High School, Lawton, OK


May 4-5, 2017 — 500 5th Street, NW, Washington, DC — Open Session Agenda
July 24-25, 2017 — 500 5th Street, NW, Washington, DC — Open Session Agenda
November 2-3, 2017 — NAS Building — Agenda  |  Background Paper
January 30-31, 2018 — Beckman Center (Irvine, CA) — closed in its entirety


Kerry Brenner, Study Director
Amy Stephens, Program Officer
Greg Pearson, Scholar
Tiffany Taylor, Research Associate
Matt Lammers, Program Coordinator

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