Authentic Science Experiences:

Designing High School Science Learning to Reach all Students



To achieve the ambitious goals set by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and similar standards, today’s high school students need access to carefully designed learning experiences. Authentic Science Experiences: Designing High School Science Learning to Reach all Students explores several core principles that can inform the design and facilitation of more effective and meaningful science learning experiences.

The resource highlights five features of authentic science experiences and underlying research that can support the design and implementation of meaningful and enriching science learning for high school students. It also includes a series of vignettes that illustrate what these features look like in a variety of high school science experiences from across the nation.

The five core features highlighted in the resource include:

  1. Students integrate skills with core knowledge of science and engineering professions.
  2. Students’ interests, culture, identities, and experiences are positioned as fundamental assets in the learning process.
  3. Students use science to explain the world around them and solve problems that matter to society.
  4. Students learn by engaging with both peers and adults.
  5. Students engage in a variety of assessment processes that showcase ongoing learning and promote confidence.

The resource illustrates how science in a school environment can better connect to science as a profession as well as the science we use in our everyday lives, making the field of science more accessible, relevant, and meaningful to students.

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