Recently, there has been a call to improve science and engineering education and to strengthen the associated practices and skills to help ensure that the United States stays internationally competitive. There is another, equally important, reason to improve science and engineering education: to increase citizens’ fundamental understanding of science and engineering so that they are better able to understand public policies related to science, including medical and environmental issues. These pressures have led to the evaluation of how we teach and learn science. Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are the result of these discussions.

A “standard” is what a student should know (content) and be able to do (skills). When many people hear the word “standards,” they think about Common Core. The usual focus in Common Core is on Language Arts and Mathematics, but there is a science component to both of those. Scientific literacy is important...

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