Fourth Graders in Rhode Island Districts Using STEMscopes NGSS Digital Science Curriculum Achieve Higher Proficiency Rates on NECAP Science Assessment

Monday, March 19, 2018 - 10:23 pm

HOUSTON – March 13, 2018 – In 2017, Rhode Island school districts that used the STEMscopes™ NGSS digital science curriculum with their fourth grade students showed higher proficiency rates on the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) Science Assessment than the average rates for the state, according to a new study published by Accelerate Learning.

During the 2016-2017 school year, five public school districts in Rhode Island used STEMscopes NGSS in their elementary schools. The 2017 NECAP results show that the districts that used STEMscopes outperformed the rest of the state on their fourth grade proficiency rates in science. Specifically, the five STEMscopes districts had an average science proficiency rate of 54.1 percent, and the state of Rhode Island had an average science proficiency rate of 40.6 percent.

Built from the ground up to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), STEMscopes NGSS provides teacher and student digital resources, supplemental print materials, and hands-on exploration kits that build student engagement and excitement for learning science. It places problem-based learning, engineering challenges, scientific investigations, math and literacy connections, and culminating claim-evidence-reasoning assessments at teachers’ fingertips so they can easily help students understand the NGSS as they were designed.  

“In our district, science was traditionally taught from textbooks using direct instruction. Our students could answer multiple-choice questions, but they didn’t have a deep knowledge of scientific process skills and methods. So, students historically did poorly on the portion of the NECAP Science Assessment that required them to perform short experiments and answer questions based on the data collected,” said Don E. Cowart II, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment for Coventry Public Schools, which began using STEMscopes NGSS in kindergarten through eighth grade in 2015. “STEMscopes NGSS helped us quickly get the ball rolling toward the Next Generation Science Standards. It provides opportunities for hands-on learning and a variety of ways to teach and explore science. The more diverse the opportunities are for learning science, the better the chances of getting students exactly what they need and the better they’ll perform when faced with new challenges.”

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