PARENTS & STUDENTS
Across the nation, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) adoption is prompting schools and districts to review their practices and materials to better integrate science into their curricula. You can help your school and support your children by staying informed about how your school is approaching standards implementation and by making your school aware of resources available at the Hall. You can also provide your children with more opportunities to engage in important science and engineering practices, and you can activate them toward science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning by involving them in camps, classes, and museum experiences at the Hall.
Advocate for High-Quality Science Learning at Your School
As a parent, you are a vital advocate for educational priorities, tools, and resources at your school. Taking the time to inform yourself about NGSS, finding out about NGSS-related resources, and talking to school administrators and other parents about your district’s implementation of the standards will support your child’s science education. NGSS emphasizes thinking skills that are particularly useful in the 21st century, whether or not your child becomes a scientist or engineer. The Hall offers resources that can help your school or afterschool program address the standards and build important critical-thinking skills. We can also help you advocate to have NGSS included in implementation and funding plans for local schools and districts.
The Lawrence Hall of Science has partnered with the California STEM Learning Network to create a toolkit that will help educators, parents, students, community partners, and business leaders alike participate in the development of their school district’s Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP). Part of a new process, LCAPs require all school districts to involve their community as they develop and publicly report on their annual program priorities and budget plans. We feel it is more important than ever that local stakeholders get involved, to ensure that districts prioritize and support strong science and STEM education. We encourage you to read and utilize the toolkit resources to help you become a powerful advocate for science and STEM education in your community.
For more information on parent and community advocacy, contact Vanessa Lujan.
Things You Can Do
Learning in camps, classes, afterschool programs, museums, and at home can provide opportunities for your child to engage deeply in important science and engineering practices—by doing what scientists and engineers do. Outside of school, there is time to complete a full experiment, and to discuss and debate evidence in detail. Children can choose opportunities that directly connect with their interests and questions, allowing for an authentic practice of science and fostering a level of interest that can boost their persistence and success in school. The Hall offers several resources and programs designed to help you and your child engage with science and engineering practices outside of school.
Camps and Classes
If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, sign up your child for a camp or class at the Lawrence Hall of Science. Our camps and classes provide opportunities for children to experience some of the scientific practices and content included in NGSS in a fun, informal, and engaging setting.
Engage Your Children with Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading Student Books
As part of one of the Hall’s curriculum programs, we have written a collection of award-winning, children’s science books. These books enable children to dive deeply into learning about the natural world in ways that connect to the ideas and practices in NGSS.
The Hall’s Resources for Districts and Schools
The Hall provides resources and services to help hundreds of schools and dozens of districts to improve their science program as they transition to NGSS. Explore the page specifically for schools and districts. Then, contact Vanessa Lujan to get your school or district started!
The Hall’s Resources for Afterschool Programs
Explore our page designed for afterschool educators, and share with your afterschool educators the Hall’s resources designed specifically for them. Afterschool experiences can strengthen and support what students learn in the classroom.
Visit the NGSS Out-of-School Educators page for more info.
Find Information about the NGSS
NGSS represents a significant shift in teaching and learning from an era of memorizing to a new era of thinking, meaning-making, and achieving deep conceptual understanding.
Visit the NGSS website to see the standards directly and to find out more about what they are meant to support.