A new curriculum for giving science real world meaning, the Science Education for Public Understanding Program is enabling students to tackle lessons by designing strategies to experiment, test ideas, and solve problems.
At Concord Junior High School, “issue oriented” lessons are a routine occurrence. In an age when students can find information at their fingertips through Google, it’s important for them to know how to investigate ideas and create experiments for understanding and new discoveries.
SEPUP lessons usually start with students asking a lot of questions with few answers. The lessons guide then shows them ways to find the answers, through experiments, and figure it out on their own.
“It’s challenging the kids to problem solve and think critically,” said science teacher Katie Shelton. “They’re so used to reading and finding the answer, to hunting and pecking. This challenges them to figure it out on their own.”
Shelton was not supportive of the curriculum at first. She felt she had her own methods, her own experiments and sources. She found that while her lessons are fine individually, the SEPUP lessons built on one another, promoting a more complete understanding