The latest from STEM Teaching Tools, a series of free, bite-sized PDFs for science educators.
Field Notes #6, March 2017
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Why Do We Need to Teach Science in Elementary School?

The future depends on a public that can use science for personal decision-making and to participate in civic, political, and cultural discussions related to science. And yet, though we have national goals for science education, science is often pushed to the side—particularly at the elementary school level.

Our new tool details the case for making science a core part of elementary school learning. 

Brief #43: Teaching Science in Elementary School
Other New Teaching Tools
Brief #44: Addressing controversial science topics in the K-12 classroom [Read]
Brief #46: How to define meaningful daily learning objectives for science investigations [Read]
Resources to #TeachClimate
To be scientifically literate, your students need to understand global climate change and what people can do about it. This is why related learning goals are outlined in the NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education and the resulting Next Generation Science Standards. To support teachers in working on these specific standards, we have started posting educational resources and guidance to Twitter using the hashtag #TeachClimate.

Also look for a series of upcoming resources on teaching climate change, developed by our working group of climate scientists, teachers, and educational researchers. You can start by checking out STEM Teaching Tool #12: Scientific literacy involves understanding global climate change & what people can do about it and the new STEM Teaching Tool #44: Addressing controversial science topics in the K-12 classroom. Others will be posted soon.
What are STEM Teaching Tools?
STEM Teaching Tool 3

STEM Teaching Tools are short briefs designed to bring together ideas and resources to address common challenges as educators adopt the new vision for science education in the NRC Framework and resulting Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). These tools are helping thousands of educators across the country align their teaching with best practices from both research and teaching.  

STEM Teaching tools are:

  • co-written by researchers and educators.
  • easily downloadable as PDFs.
  • updated regularly at, with new briefs created in response to educator needs.
Access the entire collection of STEM Teaching Tools
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STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2014-17 University of Washington Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved.

This site is primarily funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the Research + Practice Collaboratory (Award #1238253, #1626365). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

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