Revamping science education in Iowa

The University of Iowa is helping the state to rethink the way kids science. (Karen Apricot/flickr)

Katelyn Weisbrod | June 14, 2018

Innovators in education at the University of Iowa are leading a charge to revitalize science curriculum in Iowa’s K-12 schools.

The effort aims to teach kids how to apply science, like biology, chemistry, geology, and physics, rather than just memorizing terms and facts.

“It’s teaching in a way that attaches an Iowa child to real-world relevance,” said Ted Neal, clinical associate professor in the UI College of Education in an Iowa Now article. “At that point, the child is hooked. She or he cares.”

Neal pointed out that the jobs that these young people will have in the future likely do not exist yet. For that reason, they need to be trained in how to ask and answer scientific questions.

The UI College of Education, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research are conducting surveys with teachers around the state to better understand what changes need to be made to achieve the goals in curriculum changes.

Neal has also written a book detailing how to educate eighth graders in ways that teach science specifically relating to Iowa’s land use, climate, and environmental challenges.

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