Science and Technology/Engineering
An effective science and technology/engineering program builds students' understanding of the fundamental concepts of each domain of science and their understanding of the connections across these domains and to basic concepts in technology/engineering.
Each domain of science has its particular approach and area of concern. Taken together, they present a coherent view of the world. Students need to understand that much of the scientific work done in the world draws on multiple disciplines. Oceanographers, for instance, use their knowledge of physics, chemistry, biology, earth science, and technology to chart the course of ocean currents. Connecting the domains of natural science with mathematical study and with one another, and then to practical applications through technology and engineering, should be one goal of science education.
In the elementary grades, coursework should integrate all of the major domains of science and technology/engineering every year. In one approach, instruction can be organized around distinct but complementary units drawn from the earth, life, and physical sciences and from technology/engineering. In another approach, teachers working together and with outside help (e.g., museum personnel, scientists, or engineers) can organize activities around concepts or topics unifying all of the domains.
At the middle and high school level, science faculty may choose either a discipline-based or an integrated approach in science. In choosing an approach, faculty will want to consider the particular content expertise of teachers and the academic goals, abilities, and interests of students. In this document, the high school science standards are written to allow for choice in course organization and sequence.