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Volume 25 Issue 2 (February 2015)

GSA Today

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Article, pp. 28–29 | Full Text | PDF (83KB)

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Next Generation Science Standards: A call to action for the geoscience community

Nicole D. LaDue1, Cheryl Brown Manning2

1 Dept. of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois 60115, USA
2 Evergreen High School, Evergreen, Colorado 80439, USA

How do we ensure the health of our geology departments with a steady stream of majors and build an informed public prepared to make important decisions on geoscience issues? The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are a critical step, and they require the support of geoscientists nationwide.

The NGSS demonstrate an expanded emphasis on earth-science topics (such as natural resource distribution, human impacts on climate, and geologic history) compared to previous standards (NGSS, 2012; National Research Council, 1996). The NGSS present a rare opportunity to significantly improve K–12 earth-science education nationally because they (1) include up-to-date, timely topics important for public decision making; and (2) increase the rigor and prominence of earth-science content in K–12 classrooms. However, adoption of the NGSS requires state-level legislative action. Without support from geoscientists at the state level, the implementation of NGSS nationwide is threatened.

Manuscript received 5 Nov. 2014; accepted 12 Nov. 2014

doi: 10.1130/GSATG233GW.1