The SPICE uses a principled design approach based on evidence-centered design to ensure that materials are designed equitably for diverse students audiences and aligned to the target NGSS Performance Expectations.
- Unpacking the dimensions entails gathering substantive information about how knowledge and skills are acquired and used in the domain, as well as articulating principles for supporting diverse students with each of the dimensions.
- Integrated dimension maps describe essential disciplinary relationships and link them to aspects of the targeted practices and crosscutting concepts.
- Learning performances are three-dimensional performance statements aligned with the PEs that represent intermediate targets for curriculum and assessment design. We articulate equitable curricular design guidelines that are aligned with learning performance statements.
- The 6-week curriculum unit guides students through an investigation about the cause of urban water runoff, and a challenge to design school ground surfaces in a way that minimizes runoff. Students engage in both hands-on activities and technology-supported inquiry. The learning performances constitute anchors for curriculum sequences. Curriculum designers use the equitable curricular design guidelines to help them include equitable curricular features, increasing the accessibility of the activities to diverse student audiences.
- Students use a computational modeling environment to develop a water runoff model. Students then use the model to determine how rainfall intensity, rainfall duration, and surface material affect water runoff and test playground designs against design constraints. The block-based programming interface is designed to promote students’ integration of science, engineering, and computational thinking concepts and practices. Custom programming blocks decrease students’ attention to syntax and highlight key scientific concepts that are essential to the model.
- Supporting resources for teachers include multi-day professional development workshops, a detailed teacher guide to promote successful and equitable curricular implementation, and educative resources about science inquiry, engineering design, computational modeling, and equitable STEM teaching.
- Assessments embedded within the curriculum and aligned with the learning performances provide evidence of students’ 3-dimensional proficiency. Observation tools help teachers interpret students’ responses to the assessments and inform instructional next steps. Equitable design guidelines ensure that assessments are accessible to diverse learners.