Ironically, SEPUP and Lab-Aids programs have always incorporated elements that are now expected as a result of the NGSS. Our transition from an earlier edition to the NGSS version was seamless because our kids were already immersed in digging deep, citing evidence, using sound reasoning practices, and utilizing our Science and Engineering Practices. The biggest shift in my teaching after using Issues and Science, Designed for the NGSS was to allow my classroom to become truly inquiry based. So often, as teachers we want to give answers and move on, but Issues and Science has taught me that true learning happens in the discovery process and this is where kids get excited about learning and science. To have a student come back after graduating and share that they choose a career in the science field because of my class is a direct result of this amazing program. I would love to think it is all me, but the reality is it is because of a solid and meaningful middle school science curriculum.
The best part of Issues and Science for my students is that it is connected to real-life issues that are relevant to their lives, it is hands-on, and most important - it is meaningful. My students' work has depth and personal connections, which shows a true understanding of our content. They are also pushed to excellence as a result of meaningful assessments and concrete activities. The best part of Issues and Science for me, as a teacher, is that the hard work has been done for me. It is research-based, it includes strategies and tools for me to reach ALL my kids, it includes step-by-step instructions, and it is FUN! I fell in love with teaching science because of Lab-Aids curriculum.