As educators, we know that science is not just a body of knowledge, but it is a process that enables people to answer questions through scientific inquiry.  Scientists conduct inquiries using a specific toolbox of skills and knowledge that the Next Generations Science Standards (NGSS) has spelled out for emerging scientists as so-called “science and engineering practices,” or practices that increase in complexity and sophistication across grade levels.

These are important skills for students to master, not least because of the growing demand for science and STEM professionals. Here in California, like other states nationwide, the STEM job market is rapidly...

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  • About the Author:

    Alec Barron is the Principal Investigator for Competency X and a teacher at Del Lago Academy. Over the last 13 years, Alec worked to develop teachers, curriculum, and instructional practices that engage students in learning science. Alec taught multiple science subjects from grades six through twelve at culturally and socioeconomically diverse schools. Alec’s interest in social justice in education led him to complete an Education Doctorate in Leadership for Educational Equity with the University of Colorado, Denver.