ExploraVision and the Framework for K-12 Science Education
ExploraVision celebrated our 20th anniversary in 2012. We felt this was a great time for us not only to reflect on our success but to make meaningful changes that will make the program an even more effective educational tool for the next 20 years. Importantly, we have made changes that align us more closely with the National Research Council's Framework for K–12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas, published in 2011. The Framework will help define science education for the next 20 years and will become a foundation for the development of the Next Generation Science Standards. Over 25 states have already committed themselves to use the Next Generation Science Standards as their state standard and basis for mandatory testing.
ExploraVision has always prided ourselves on representing excellence in science education. Not surprisingly, many of our program's key features are already in line with the Framework. The few changes we're making now will deepen our connection to the Framework, which we feel is important for several reasons:
- Just as ExploraVision has enhanced education by encouraging scientific imagination, interdisciplinary studies (science, technology, history, communications) and team building, the changes we are making will further enhance education, emphasizing specific science and engineering practices recommended by the Framework.
- By making the modifications now, ExploraVision will be the first national competition program to align its efforts with this new national initiative.
- ExploraVision has an impact on many more teachers and students than those who are able to complete all elements and submit entries. Annually, it is estimated that 150,000 students begin ExploraVision, yielding 15,000 students who submit entries. Aligning ExploraVision with the Framework helps expose more teachers across the county to the Framework and encourages positive change in science education.
- Aligning the competition with the Framework will help us celebrate ExploraVision's past as we set new goals for an even brighter future!
For more information about the Framework for K-12 Science Education click here.