Did you know that the Northwest Educational Service District runs a Science Materials Center (SMC)? The SMC is a NWESD cooperative that provides cost-effective science kit refurbishment services to member districts. The SMC currently supports Foss and Science & Technology Concepts (STC) kits in Earth, Physical and Life Science Strands, totaling 52 different kit titles from three different publishers. Member districts can easily join the cooperative at any time, allowing them to have “hands-on” science materials delivered right to their classroom.
I get a lot of questions from districts about science materials. For example: When will they be ready? What’s aligned? Who’s doing the work? Lots of pressing and great questions! So, I wanted to take a moment to share with you some resources that may be helpful to you!
EdReports.org – Science Reviews
Modeled after the idea of a “Consumer Reports” for instructional materials, EdReports.org has been reviewing and evaluating curricular offerings for Common Core for about five years now. This winter they released the initial findings of their first foray into Next Generation Science Standards land. Their first round of review focused on some middle school materials and — not surprisingly — most offerings did not fare well in the evaluation. Only one (Amplify) came through looking like a viable resource well-aligned to the NGSS.
NextGenTime.org – Materials Evaluation
In the previous era of national science standards, the publisher BSCS Science Learning had an exemplary tool and system for evaluating materials. In our new NextGenScience era, BSCS Science Learning has worked together with WestEd and Achieve, with funding by Carnegie, to produce a new process and suite of tools! Based largely on the EQuIP Rubric, their tools take EQuIP’s focus and make some user-friendly tools to help teams know what to look for and how to engage in the process of evaluating materials.