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Please let me remind all of you--this material is copyrighted. Though partially funded by NASA, it is still a private site. Therefore, before using our materials in any form, electronic or otherwise, you need to ask permission.
There are two ways to browse the site: (1) use the search button above to find specific materials using keywords; or,
(2) go to specific headings like history, principles or careers at specific levels above and click on the button. 
Teachers may go directly to the Teachers' Guide from the For Teachers button above or site browse as in (1) and  (2).

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National Science Education Standards

The National Science Education Standards are the efforts of many well respected educators around our nation. The project was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council. The work encompasses among other things, a change in emphases in how science is usually taught. We at ALLSTAR wish to thank the National Academy Press for allowing us to directly use the materials from the National Science Education Standards. It is our belief that if you are involved in teaching science, evaluating science programs, or intend to use the national standards, it would be best for you to visit their web site to gain a better understanding of what the project is all about. For your convenience, we provided a hot link at the bottom of this page. We have highlighted only the content standards that apply to the ALLSTAR web site. To that end, the content standards that are not covered in ALLSTAR are intentionally left out. However, we have kept the numbering scheme intact in order to maintain continuity in lesson planning.


National Science Standards:  General Emphasis Throughout the System

            An Emphasis on Promoting Inquiry

Back to The Teachers Guide



Knowing scientific facts and information Understanding scientific concepts and developing abilities of inquiry
Studying subject matter disciplines (physical, life, earth sciences) for their own sake Learning subject matter disciplines in the context of inquiry,technology, science in personal and social perspectives, and history and nature of science
Separating science knowledge and science process Integrating all aspects of science content
Covering many science topics Studying a few fundamental science concepts
Implementing inquiry as a set of processes Implementing inquiry as instructional strategies, abilities, and ideas to be learned

You can now go Back to The Teachers Guide
or continue to the next section of the National Science Standards.


Activities that demonstrate and verify science content Activities that investigate and analyze science questions
Investigations confined to one class period Investigations over extended periods of time
Process skills out of context Process skills in context
Emphasis on individual process skills such as observation or inference Using multiple process skills manipulation, cognitive, procedural
Getting an answer Using evidence and strategies for developing or revising an explanation
Science as exploration and experiment Science as argument and explanation
Providing answers to questions Communicating science explanations about science content
Individuals and groups of students analyzing and synthesizing data without defending a conclusion Groups of students often analyzing and synthesizing data after defending conclusions
Doing few investigations in order to leave time to cover large amounts of content Doing more investigations in order to develop understanding, ability, values of inquiry and knowledge of science content
Concluding inquiries with the result of the experiment Applying the results of experiments to scientific arguments and explanations
Management of materials and equipment Management of ideas and information
Private communication of student ideas and conclusions to teacher Public communication of student ideas and work to classmates

You can now go Back to The Teachers Guide
or continue to the next section on National Science Content Standards (which is the same section found in the Teachers' Guide).

Science Content Standards

The science content standards outline what students should know, understand, and be able to do in the natural sciences over the course of K-12 education. They are divided into eight categories:

The first category is presented for all grade levels, because the understandings and abilities associated with these concepts need to be developed throughout a student's educational experiences. The other seven categories are clustered for grade levels K-4, 5-8, and 9-12.

Unifying concepts and processes in science. K-12
Science as inquiry K-4 5-8 9-12 Level 2 9-12 Level 3
Physical science K-4 5-8 9-12 Level 2 9-12 Level 3

Life science                      Not Available (at present)

Earth and space science.   Not Available (at present)
Science and technology K-4 5-8 9-12 Level 2 9-12 Level 3
Science in personal and social perspective K-4 5-8 9-12 Level 2 9-12 Level 3
History and nature of science K-4 5-8 9-12 Level 2 9-12 Level 3


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Updated: March 12, 2004