Science resource targets K-5 STEM gap, NGSS

New curriculum is built for the Next Generation Science Standards

inspire-STEMA new science resource launching this month is intended to engage K-5 students in problem-based science learning. The curriculum also integrates literacy with science and engineering teaching practices.

Inspire Science, from McGraw-Hill Education, is a new core elementary science curriculum for K-5 students designed specifically to address the requirements of the Next Generation Science Standards.

The program aims to help teachers improve student results in STEM by motivating students to become curious, creative problem solvers.

Next page: How the program blends science and engineering with problem-based challenges

Inspire Science blends science and engineering practices with problem-based learning to engage students in STEM while improving literacy and math skills. Inspire Science will initially launch in August, with additional content, features, and updates rolling out this fall.

According to the National Math + Science Initiative, only 30 percent of American high school graduates performed at or above the proficient level in science. Among college students who begin with a STEM major, 38 percent do not graduate with a STEM major. Meanwhile STEM jobs are increasingly in demand, leaving a gap between great jobs and qualified candidates.

To address the STEM gap, Inspire Science allows students to develop a foundational understanding of science at an early age through conceptual learning and hands-on activities. The program teaches science the way it is used in real life: through the combined use of science, engineering, literacy and math skills.

“Student performance and advancement in STEM will be born from a shift to a more collaborative, problem-based learning approach that blends knowledge with skills and places a priority on curiosity, problem solving and communication,” said Christine Willig, president of McGraw-Hill Education’s K-12 group. “Inspire Science encourages students to think like scientists and explore real-world career paths they can follow with a STEM education.”

Inspire Science at a glance:
• With hands-on and problem-based learning activities, Inspire Science fosters student learning progression and collaboration while adhering to the familiar and proven 5E instructional model: engage, explore, explain, elaborate and evaluate.
• Inspire Science blends a digital learning experience with print resources where they are needed the most in reading, journal writing and problem solving.
• The Inspire Science lessons focus on core topics, so students can deepen their conceptual understanding of key subjects through rich exploration and critical thinking.
• Digital experiences, interactive content, simulations and hands-on activities help students develop critical and computational thinking skills that include making numerical predictions, organizing data, understanding variables and communicating findings or concepts to others.
• Inspire Science improves literacy skills in a fun way through the incorporation of non-fiction readings paired with text-dependent questions, paired readings with fiction and non-fiction connections, writing arguments and explanations practiced in the context of science.
• McGraw-Hill Education offers comprehensive training and professional development support to ensure teachers get the most out of the Inspire Science platform.

“Research-based models and simulations have a demonstrated ability to help students learn, particularly about concepts that they can’t easily experience directly,” said Chad Dorsey, president and CEO of Concord Consortium. “The scientifically accurate simulations we’ve co-developed for Inspire Science help make the invisible both visible and experiential to bring out the inner scientist in students and teachers alike.”

About Inspire Science partners:
• The Concord Consortium is a nonprofit educational research and digital learning organization focused on delivering the promise of technology for education in science, math and engineering. The Inspire Science simulations, created in partnership with the Concord Consortium, allow students to explore cause and effect in ways that scientists and engineers do in real life and enable them to model concepts otherwise not possible to explore in the classroom.
• Filament Games is a game production studio that creates digital learning games and interactives designed to foster 21st-century skills through experiential learning. The immersive games included with Inspire Science, developed in partnership with Filament Games, enable students to “play” with the lesson concepts to deepen and reinforce conceptual understanding.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

Sign up for our K-12 newsletter

Newsletter: Innovations in K12 Education
By submitting your information, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Laura Ascione

Want to share a great resource? Let us know at

eSchool News uses cookies to improve your experience. Visit our Privacy Policy for more information.