I initially saw Issues in Science when I participated in the middle school science workshops at the NSTA conference in Charlotte, 2018. We've since adopted the program and I have most enjoyed watching my students develop more sophisticated responses as the year has progressed.
For my students, the best part of Issues and Science for our students is the hands on activities with group collaboration. Students now have deeper thinking, original thought, student-led discussions, authentic student products (such as their concept maps). The biggest shift in my teaching and students' learning is letting go and allowing students to direct their learning. Also making sure we have time for wonderful insightful discussions as small groups and as a whole class. I believe their understanding is so much deeper than just taking notes and memorizing them.