Utah has its own set of new science standards. They are called the Utah SEEd. The acronym stands for Science with Engineering Education Standards.
These standards were written with students in mind, including engaging activities that focus on having students make sense of the science, rather than learning a set of facts. The standards build on one another in a developmentally appropriate progression. The Utah SEEd standards have three dimensions. The Science and Engineering Practices, the Crosscutting Concepts and Disciplinary Core Ideas.
The Science and Engineering Practices
The Science and Engineering Practices for Utah SEEd are what students and scientists do in science. In other words, the Science and Engineering Practices (SEP) are the behaviors of scientists and students. There are eight science and engineering practices in the Utah SEEd.
- Asking Questions or Defining Problems
- Developing and Using Models
- Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
- Analyzing and Interpreting Data
- Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
- Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
- Engaging in Argument from Evidence
- Obtaining, Evaluating and Communicating Information
The crosscutting concepts provide a lens through which students can think about the topic at hand. Crosscutting concepts have applications across all domains of science. As such, they are a way of linking the different areas of science. They include patterns; cause and effect; scale, proportion, and quantity; systems and system models; energy and matter; structure and function; and stability and change.
Crosscutting concepts also help the teacher to ask the right questions as they guide the inquiry.
The Disciplinary Core Ideas
The Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs) are the key ideas in science that have that students must learn at each level. They build on one another at each grade level. There are disciplinary core ideas in each domain of science: Physical Science, Life Science, Earth and Space Science, and Engineering.
Another important aspect of the Utah SEEd is the use of Phenomena.
Phenomena are observable events that cause a student to wonder or otherwise engage with the process of science. The observations do not have to be seen by the human eye but may be observed and recorded by instruments. Phenomena are specific observable events. For example, the topic of the weather by itself is not a phenomenon. But if you showed students damage from a severe storm or flooding it could be used as a phenomenon. Why? Because it generates a human problem that requires an engineering solution.
Utah SEEd standards are designed so that the teacher can see all three dimensions within each standard. The Science and Engineering Standards are written in Bold, the Crosscutting Concepts are underlined and the Disciplinary Concepts have a Code at the end of the standard.
Analyze and interpret data to reveal patterns that indicate typical weather conditions expected during a particular season. Emphasize students gathering data in a variety of ways and representing data in tables and graphs. Examples of data could include temperature, precipitation, or wind speed. (ESS2.D)
3.1.1 The first number tells us that this is a third-grade standard. The second numeral indicates this is the first strand of standards, and the last number indicates the standard in that strand. The code ESS2.D indicates that this is an Earth Science DCI.
The Utah SEEd standards are a well designed set of standards. If you are looking for resources for Utah SEEd, I have developed many resources that are based in the three dimensions of science: Science and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts and Disciplinary Core Ideas. My resources use Phenomena to engage students in making sense of science.
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Thank you, and I hope you enjoy using this unit in your classroom!
Are you looking to assess Utah SEEd standards? Be sure to check out my post about assessment.