Category Archives: Washington State Science

WA Science Page Updated

This is not exactly headline-worthy news… but I’ve finally updated the WA Science page on this site. It had gotten a bit stale to say the least. Click HERE to view the 2014 Science Assessment Updates, NGSS transition plans, and other helpful links.

WA Science Assessment Updates 2014

Hi all,

While we recently adopted the Next Generation Science Standards here in Washington (the state), we will still be operating our science assessment system under our 2009 Science Learning Standards for the next few years. This seems to have caused much confusion for folks. I’ve talked to several district and building leaders who thought that the Science MSPs and Biology EOC were being eliminated after this year.. not the case.

OSPI has recently uploaded the latest science assessment resources HERE. You will find:

Grade 5 Science Update: 2014 – NEW

Grade 8 Science Update: 2014 – NEW

Biology EOC Update: 2014 – NEW

Lessons Learned from Scoring Student Work: 2013 – NEW

Press Release: WA State Adopts NGSS

Here are some links to stories in the news about Washington State adopting the Next Generation Science Standards:

That should be enough to get you started

Washington State Adopts Next Generation Science Standards

Washington State will officially adopt the Next Generation Science Standards on Friday, October 4th 2013. Read a story HERE about how the Institute for Systems Biology has played a key role in the adoption process. 

PS- I”m lucky to have a small role in the Partnership for Science & Engineering Practices mentioned in the article. I’ll be sharing more about the tools and resources developed by this project in the coming months.

NGSS Update July 2013

Hi all,

I apologize for the lack of blog activity recently- I hope to have lots of good things to share in the next few months. For this post I just wanted to update and summarize some resources on the Next Generation Science Standards that might be useful for your independent NGSS summer learning:

  1. If you haven’t visited the NGSS site recently you should take a look. All but one of the appendices are now posted and the standards themselves are now viewable and searchable in your browser (not just the original PDFs). I highly recommend spending some time with the following appendices:
  2. 1 Pager of NGSS Resources– This PDF contains hyperlinks to losts of resources from NSTA to support learning about the Practices of Science and Engineering, Crosscuting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas
  3. FREE Asynchronous Online workshop for WA K-8 Teachers- From WA Science Standard to the NGSS
  4. NSTA NGSS site– Lots of good stuff here but can be tricky to find on the NSTA site if you don’t know to look for it.
  5. 1 Pager of STEM Practices– this table from STEM Lesson Essentials is very helpful in seeing connections between practices.

Two Minute Geology

Spend a few minutes of your summer exploring a  brand new series of short geology videos from scenic Washington. These informative video clips are now available online and are hosted by Central Washington University geology professor Nick Zentner and created by Tom Foster for .  You will find 12 current episodes with more on the way at their YouTube Channel or Facebook page. These clips could be useful for providing some Earth Science content and context to K-8 learners (and teachers). See the clip on What is a Coulee? embedded below

WA State: FREE Online Workshop- From Systems, Inquiry, & Application to the NGSS

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K-8 teachers of science in Washington state may be interested in a FREE online workshop I created using as a platform.

The workshop is titled- From Systems, Inquiry, & Application to the NGSS. The goals of the workshop are for participants to:

  • gain a deeper understanding of Systems, Inquiry, and Application in the WA Science Learning Standards
  • gain an awareness of the 3 dimensions of the Next Generation Science Standards (Practices of Science & Engineering, Crosscutting Concepts, & Disciplinary Core Ideas)
  • gain multiple tools and resources for teaching students about Systems, Inquiry, & Application with connections to NGSS (Systems Handbook, Application Handbook, and lessons based on narrative text)

The workshop is:

  • Asynchronous- (You attend when you want and engage with materials in the order you want)
  • FREE
  • Based on a series of mostly short video “lectures” where participants engage with articles, videos, links, and make sense of the materials
  • and it’s FREE


A. I view this as a pilot and would love feedback from participants on what worked for your learning and what could be improved. I hope to create future courses with a better production value.

B. This workshop has an intentional focus on the Washington Science Learning Standards. Participants looking for a workshop with a sole focus on the NGSS should look elsewhere.

Click HERE to access the course. Enjoy!