Science, Technology Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)
Science & Technology/Engineering Strand Maps
Strand maps can be an efficient way to see how concepts progress over time and how curriculum and instruction can productively relate standards to support student learning. They show the conceptual relationship between standards within and across grades or grade spans that allow for targeted pre-assessment, contextualization, and/or identification of boundaries for any particular standard that is being taught. Schools and districts have found strand maps to be particularly useful in vertical team meetings, curriculum mapping workshops, and interdisciplinary meetings. Individual teachers can use them to identify concepts that should be the focus of pre-assessment, to convey to students how the standard they are learning will contribute to future learning, and to cluster standards into effective units of study.
The maps are available in a one-page PDF document (useful for viewing electronically - zoom in several hundred percent); a multi-page PDF document (useful for printing - then tape them together); and in the original CMAPTools format (useful for manipulating or adjusting the maps - any map can be printed from within the application). Download CMAPTools for free. Several notes that may be helpful in using this software:
- The overall structure of the strand maps is constructed by hand (concept maps typically are free-form without defined structure). Sets of items can be selected and moved around but will not snap to any pre-determined grid or guide.
- To make a continuous arrow, without the concept-mapping linking phrase included, hold down the shift button as you create an arrow between cells.
The strand maps will be updated periodically. Please feel free to provide input or share how you have used them: firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated May 2, 2016
Strand Map Assumptions
- Each cell contains the draft revised standard as written. Standards are placed in the grade level or course in which they are found. Some standards have been moved between topics, however. Coloring designates the original topic (where the standard currently resides in the full set).
- Arrows only represent links between the concepts represented in the standards; they do not represent connections or progressions of practices represented in the standards.
- Linking arrows = connections that are necessary for learning, not possible connections between concepts. An arrow leaving a standard implies that the concept is fundamental to learning the concept of the next/connected standard. That next standard would be difficult to learn without the knowing the previous/connected standard(s). Many more connections are possible between standards, as would be identified for curriculum development or in true concept maps, but the point here is to show how ideas and understanding develop over time; what a student needs to know to learn any particular standard. (Please note, there is not necessarily a research base for any particular linking arrow, so the word "necessary" is not accurate. AAAS uses the following language to define a link: "one contributes to learning the other." Significant work has been done by AAAS to synthesize research to build the Atlas strand maps, which are the model for these strand maps.)
- Mathematics and English Language Arts standards that contribute to learning particular science standards are included on the strand map but the entire standards are not written out; only the codes are provided (in clear cells).
- Subjects (e.g., life science, earth and space science) are identified by a thematic set of color-coded standards (e.g., life science is a green scheme)
- Each Disciplinary Core Idea is identified by a uniquely background and font color combination Standards are included as is in each cell
- Arrows connect standards based on their conceptual relationships (not potential curricular relationship)