Issue-Based Science | Developed by SEPUP | Lawrence Hall of Science
If you're familiar with current NGSS work you know the use of phenomena is a big deal. The issues in SEPUP's Issues and Science for California provide context for relevant and connected phenomena within the unit. Not just an event or process that links scientific content - it is the big idea that has meaning in students' lives and is anchored in real-world events. These issues connect the why for students, "Why does this matter?"
Issue-oriented science forms the foundation of SEPUP’s curriculum materials and it is the only secondary science program to do so.
Innovations in science education
Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Three Dimensional Learning
Connecting the three dimensions
Alignment documents, like those below and featured in the video above, have value during a curriculum review. But no matter how thorough, it is difficult to visualize the connectedness of the three-dimensions in such a format. Enter the Learning Pathway - a tool used by SEPUP during development to be sure the curriculum truly weaves the dimensions together.
The focus of student learning in these instructional materials—both instruction and assessment of learning—is on student performances that integrate all three dimensions.
Correlations for California NGSS
This document shows how Issues and Science for California, developed by SEPUP, aligns with the California Preferred Integrated Model for the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core documents. Issues and Science for California was officially adopted in November 2018 by the California State Board of Education.
Grade Level Courses | Designed for California
Finding the evidence
What do you look for when selecting quality instructional materials? How do you arrive at your final top choices? Watch this video to get a sense of what evidence of NGSS design is offered in the SEPUP program and where to find it.
Grade 6 | Issues and Science for California
Course Cross-Cutting Concept: Energy and Matter
Students investigate the types and transfer of energy in a variety of systems, from living things to earth processes, including climate and weather systems.
Units in Grade 6
Grade 7 | Issues and Science for California
Course Cross-Cutting Concept: Systems and System Models
Students model and explain the interactions of living and nonliving systems in the environment and use the idea of systems and system models to design artificial body parts.
Units in Grade 7
Grade 8 | Issues and Science for California
Course Cross-Cutting Concept: Scale, proportion, and quantity
Students explore and explain phenomena related to objects and interactions at a wide range of scales—from the molecules that comprise genes to the gravitational fields that operate within and beyond the solar system.
Units in Grade 8
Look through a typical unit
Take ten minutes to watch an overview of one unit, Energy, from the 6th grade program Issues and Science for California, developed by SEPUP. The first five minutes covers the unit's anchoring phenomenon, the unit issue, and a brief visit to each lesson, while the second half takes a deep dive into one activity. This is a great way to quickly see how SEPUP's California NGSS units are structured.
Authentically moving to three-dimensional learning and teaching is a significant shift. We think we’ve put together some pretty compelling evidence to reflect the ability of SEPUP’s programs to do just that. Though only sample evidence for each unit is linked above, previews of the entire Issues and Science for California curricula are available on the Portal.
Program Overview and General Layout
SEPUP make explicit connections to ELA learning in grade-appropriate, substantive ways and provides embedded strategies to help teachers deepen students' conceptual thinking.
Integrated into the programs the SEPUP assessment system sets up ways to collect evidence on student learning and improve performance.
An intentionally flexible approach to all program activity types help accomplish our goal that all students achieve scientific literacy.
Equitable access to learn
Units are student-driven; consistently fostering student questions and making sure that students feel that their questions are leading the learning experience. All units are designed so that students may demonstrate their understandings and abilities in a variety of ways, including some that don’t rely on English speaking or writing skills.
Professional Development and teacher supports
Science educators have come to trust Lab-Aids as a valuable resource for engaging and worth-while professional development - whether it's an on-site implementation training, the Summer Academy to develop internal leadership, or a day focused on new standards or best-practice strategies.
Professional development is a critical component of any new instructional material implementation, perhaps now more than ever. Lab-Aids works build internal leadership and long-term sustainability of the program. This professional development additionally supports a deepened understanding of the new standards and how they strive to serve all students.
Online Portal Trial
The online Portal for Issues and Science for California is available for both Students and Teachers and includes interactive text, LABsent sheets and videos for absent students, and the ability to receive and submit homework. Access to the Teacher Edition and Teacher Resources also includes editable PowerPoints, literacy tools, visual aids, training videos, and an integrated online assessment system.
Register for a trial access to the Portal.
Want to see a Lab-Aids specialist get really excited? Ask to see our evidence of NGSS design in our middle and high school programs.