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Science for All Children: A Guide to Improving Elementary Science Education in Your School District (1997)

Chapter: National Science Resources Center Advisory Board

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Suggested Citation:"National Science Resources Center Advisory Board." National Academy of Sciences. 1997. Science for All Children: A Guide to Improving Elementary Science Education in Your School District. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4964.
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Page 224
Suggested Citation:"National Science Resources Center Advisory Board." National Academy of Sciences. 1997. Science for All Children: A Guide to Improving Elementary Science Education in Your School District. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4964.
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Page 225
Suggested Citation:"National Science Resources Center Advisory Board." National Academy of Sciences. 1997. Science for All Children: A Guide to Improving Elementary Science Education in Your School District. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4964.
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Page 226

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National Science Resources Center Advisory Boaril Chair Joseph A. Miller, Ir. Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President for Research and Development, E. I. du Pont de Nemours Accompany, Wilmington, Del. Members Ann Bay Director, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C. DeAnna Banks Beane Project Director, YouthALlVE, Association of Science-Technology Centers, Washington, D. C. Fred P. Corson Vice President and Director, Research and Development, The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Mich. Goery Delacote Executive Director, The Exploratorium, San Francisco, Calif: loAnn E. DeMaria Elementary School Teacher, Hutchison Elementary School, Herndon, Va. Peter Dow Education Director, Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo, N.Y. Hubert M. Dyasi Director, The Workshop Center, City College School of Education (The City University of New YorkJ, New York, N. Y. Bernard S. Finn Curator, Division of Electricity and Modern Physics, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C. Robert M. Fitch Senior Vice President (retired), Research and Development, S. C. Johnson Wax, Racine, Wis. ferry P. Gollub Professor of Physics, Haverford College, Haverford, Pa. Ana M. Guzman Vice President, Cypress Creek Campus, Austin Community College, Cedar Park, Tex. Anders Hedberg Director, Centerfor Science Education, Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Princeton, N.J. 224

NSRC Advisory Board Richard Hinman Senior Vice President (retired,, Research and Development, Pf zer Central Research, Groton, Conn. David Jenkins Associate Director for Interpretive Programs, National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C. Mildred E. Iones Director, New York City Urban Systemic Initiative, Brooklyn, N. John W. Layman Director, Science Teaching Center, and Professor, Departments of Education and Physics, University of Maryland, College Park, Md. Leon Lederman Chairman, Board of Trustees, Teachers Academy for Mathematics and Science, Chicago, III., and Director Emeritus, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia, Ill. Sarah A. Lindsey Science Coordinator, Midland Public Schools, Midland, Mich. Lynn Margulis Distinguished University Professor, ~Department of Botany, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass. Theodore Maxwell Chairman, Centerfor Earth and Planetary Studies, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C. Mara Mayor Director, The Smithsonian Associates, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C. John A. Moore Professor Emeritus, Department of Biology, University of California, Raverside, Calif: Carlo Parravano Director, Merck Institute for Science Education, Rakway, N.J. Robert W. Ridky Professor of Geology, University of Maryland, College Park, Md. Ruth 0. Selig Executive Assistant to the Provost, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Maxine F. Singer President, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D. C. Robert D. Sullivan Assistant Director for Public Programs, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C. Gerald F. Wheeler Executive Director, National Science Teachers Association, Arlington, Va. Richard L. White Executive Vice President and President of Fibers, Organics, and Rubber Division, Bayer Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pa. Paul H. Williams Director, Center for Biology Education, and Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis. Karen L. Worth Faculty, Wheelock College, and Senior Associate, Urban Elementary Science Project, Education Development Center, Newton, Mass. Ex Officio Members Rodger Bybee Executive Director, Centerfor Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education, National Research Council, Washington, D. C. E. William Colglazier Executive Officer, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D. C. J. Dennis O'Connor Provost, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C. Barbara Schneider Executive Assistantfor Programs, Office of the Provost, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C. 225

National Science Resources Center The National Science Resources Center (NSRC) is operated by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Academy of Sciences to improve the teaching of sci- ence in the nation's schools. The NSRC collects and disseminates information about exemplary teaching resources, develops and disseminates curriculum ma- terials, and sponsors outreach activities, specifically in the areas of leadership de- velopment and technical assistance, to help school districts develop and sustain hands-on, inquiry-centered science programs. The NSRC is located in the Arts and Industries Building of the Smithsonian Institution and in the Capital Gallery Building in Washington, D.C. National Academy of Sciences The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating soci- e~cy of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, ded- icated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the gen- eral welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal govern- ment on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. National Research Council The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sci- ences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal gov- ernment. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the Na- tional Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in provid- ing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the In- stitute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and interim vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. Smithsonian Institution The Smithsonian Institution was created by an act of Congress in 1846 in accor- dance with the will of the Englishman James Smithson, who in 1826 bequeathed his property to the United States of America "to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and dif- fusion of knowledge among men." The Smithsonian has since evolved into an in- stitution devoted to public education, research, and national service in the arts, sciences, and history. This independent federal establishment is the~world's largest museum complex and is responsible for public and scholarly activities, ex- hibitions, and research projects nationwide and overseas.

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Remember the first time you planted a seed and watched it sprout? Or explored how a magnet attracted a nail? If these questions bring back memories of joy and wonder, then you understand the idea behind inquiry-based science--an approach to science education that challenges children to ask questions, solve problems, and develop scientific skills as well as gain knowledge. Inquiry-based science is based on research and experience, both of which confirm that children learn science best when they engage in hands-on science activities rather than read from a textbook.

The recent National Science Education Standards prepared by the National Research Council call for a revolution in science education. They stress that the science taught must be based on active inquiry and that science should become a core activity in every grade, starting in kindergarten. This easy-to-read and practical book shows how to bring about the changes recommended in the standards. It provides guidelines for planning and implementing an inquiry-based science program in any school district.

The book is divided into three parts. "Building a Foundation for Change," presents a rationale for inquiry-based science and describes how teaching through inquiry supports the way children naturally learn. It concludes with basic guidelines for planning a program.

School administrators, teachers, and parents will be especially interested in the second part, "The Nuts and Bolts of Change." This section describes the five building blocks of an elementary science program:

  • Community and administrative support.
  • A developmentally appropriate curriculum.
  • Opportunities for professional development.
  • Materials support.
  • Appropriate assessment tools.

Together, these five elements provide a working model of how to implement hands-on science.

The third part, "Inquiry-Centered Science in Practice," presents profiles of the successful inquiry-based science programs in districts nationwide. These profiles show how the principles of hands-on science can be adapted to different school settings.

If you want to improve the way science is taught in the elementary schools in your community, Science for All Children is an indispensable resource.

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