Next Generation Science Standards

A Western Kentucky University researcher has been chosen as a co-winner in a "Science Idol" competition in Washington, D.C.

Jill Maples shared the award as a recent symposium on biomedical research excellence. Maples is an assistant professor in WKU's department of kinesiology, recreation and sport.

The symposium was sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health.

School districts throughout Kentucky will spend the summer putting the finishing touches on new science curriculum. State Education Commissioner Terry Holliday announced this week that what’s known as the Next Generation Science Standards will be implemented this fall.

Kentucky is one of 26 states that recently worked to develop the new standards.

Next Generation puts greater emphasis on subjects such as physical science, life sciences, earth science, and engineering.

Some school districts across the state have gotten a head start in getting the new standards in place.

“In Barren County, we have already started the implementation, with about half of our grades having made the transition last year, and the other half to make the transition this year,” said Scott Harper, director of instruction and technology for Barren County Schools.

Jennifer Davis, director of elementary and secondary programs for Bowing Green Independent Schools, says the content that students will experience next school year goes beyond learning basic scientific concepts.

“With the new standards, it’s not just a focus on core ideas, but also engineering practices, concepts as to how science is applied in the real world,” Davis told WKU Public Radio. “It’s really about how to teach kids to think scientifically.”