Alaska schools now have more guidance on how to teach science in the classroom

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Students work together in a science classroom at Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka. The Sitka School District had already adopted Next Generation Science Standards before the Alaska State Board of Education unanimously approved the standards for the entire state. (Photo by Elizabeth Jenkins/Alaska’s Energy Desk)

The Alaska State Board of Education unanimously approved new science standards on Friday, which are much more detailed about topics like climate change and evolution than the ones previously recommended for schools.

It’s been more than a decade since the state reviewed how science is taught in the classroom.

The new standards are based on a model called Next Generation Science Standards, which encourages more hands-on learning. Dozens of other states have already adopted a framework of these new standards.

All of the public comments at the meeting were in support of adopting the change.

However, this doesn’t mean all students across the state will get the same science lessons. It’s still largely up to the school districts to decide how to incorporate the new material.

For the curious and informed.

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