Science—and therefore science education—is central to the lives of all Americans. A robust understanding of science is essential to thrive in today's world.
High-quality science instructional materials are an essential component of every school's, district's and state's improvement strategy, and must be accessible to all teachers if classrooms are to produce informed citizens and knowledgeable users of today's complex societal science issues and rapidly expanding technological innovations.
Our nation's future citizens require – and deserve – a science education that is locally-informed, culturally relevant, and world-class, one that will give them what they need to not only effectively prepare for jobs that may not yet exist, but to thrive in the world of tomorrow.
OpenSciEd brings together multiple partners, including ten states, a consortium of curriculum developers, and many other science education leaders and experts, to create a complete set of robust, research-based, open-source, K-12 science instructional materials while addressing demand for science instructional materials designed for the Next Generation Science Standards.
OpenSciEd is organized into two overlapping phases, collectively spanning approximately 36 months. Phase one focuses on launching the initiative, establishing specifications for OpenSciEd instructional materials and developing and field testing prototype units for middle school science courses. Phase two includes the development of freely accessible and open middle school science course materials for grades 6-8 designed to address the Framework for K-12 Science Education, published by the National Research Council at the National Academies in 2012 and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)—which have been adopted by 19 states and the District of Columbia and influenced the adoption of new science standards in an additional 20 states, collectively impacting more than two thirds of the student population in U.S. schools.
Phase one, which began in January 2018, is focused on the development of a middle school scope and sequence and design specifications for science instructional materials under the direction of educators and science experts in ten states (CA, IA, LA, MA, MI, NM, NJ, OK, RI, and WA). Six complete instructional units are being created, field tested and shared that exemplify these specifications. Each unit will be based on pre-existing, research-based work, updated for OpenSciEd, field tested, and then revised based on feedback from classroom teachers. Phase one also will include a competitive process to complete the development of full course, open-source middle school science instructional materials.
Phase two began in August 2018 with a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to identify potential development teams to complete the OpenSciEd middle school curricula. This will be followed by a request for proposals (RFP) to contract for the development, field test, and revision of a full middle school science instructional program.
OpenSciEd is an effort of the National Center for Civic Innovation. Several other entities are collaborating to inform this work, including an Advisory Board and a State Steering Committee of education leaders from each participating state who will guide the content and structure of the OpenSciEd instructional materials.
OpenSciEd Advisory Board
Bruce Alberts (University of California, San Francisco)
Luyen Chou (Chief Product Officer, Trilogy Education Services)
David Evans (Executive Director, National Science Teachers Association)
Kumar Garg (Senior Fellow, Society for Science and the Public)
Rush Holt (CEO, American Association for the Advancement of Science)
Doug Jaffe (Education Consultant)
John King (President, The Education Trust)
Tiffany Neill (President, Council of State Science Supervisors)
Taunya Nesin (Senior Program Officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)
Stephen Pruitt (President, Southern Regional Education Board)
Kiran Purohit (Director of Curriculum and Instruction, New Visions for Public Schools)
Jim Short (Program Director, Carnegie Corporation of New York)