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STEM Education

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From liquids on Mars to CRISPR, significant scientific discoveries are being made each year. These are just the flashy front-page innovations; there are thousands of scientific journals that continually publish discoveries and advancements in our knowledge. Were he alive today, I think Copernicus would be awed by how scientific knowledge has grown and changed over time. He may also agree that the nature of science has remained quite constant. The Nature of Science is a fundamental construct in science education, serving as a pillar in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for K–12 education. According to the NGSS, the key ideas regarding the nature of science are:

  • Scientific knowledge is based on empirical evidence
  • Scientific knowledge is open to revision in light of new evidence
  • Scientific models, laws, mechanisms, and theories explain natural phenomena
  • Science is a way of knowing Scientific knowledge assumes an order and consistency in natural systems
  • Science is a human endeavor
  • Science addresses questions about the natural and material world (NGSS Lead States, 2013)

Publication Title

Journal of College Science Teaching


National Science Teachers Association