Reports & Articles

STEM Teaching Tool: Evaluating Curriculum Materials for Alignment with the New Vision for K-12 Science Education

Kristen Clapper Bergsman authored a Practice Brief for the growing library of STEM Teaching Tools. This online resource provides practical resources for STEM practitioners, especially in support of implementing the Next Generation Science Standards. The Practice Brief, “Evaluating Curriculum Materials for Alignment with the New Vision for K-12 Science Education,” was designed to support teachers, principals, and district curriculum staff through the process of evaluating new and existing science and engineering curriculum materials in light of the new science standards. It can be downloaded as a free PDF, and is designed to be used as a professional development tool.

From the overview of the Practice Brief: “Many teachers, schools, and districts are now challenged to identify curriculum materials that support the vision of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Whether adapting existing materials or adopting new ones, it is important to evaluate all curriculum materials for deep alignment to multiple dimensions of the new vision. This tool highlights how the Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instructional Products (EQuIP) Rubric and support videos can be used to guide that process.”


Brains-Computers-Machines: Neural Engineering in Science Classrooms

This article published in CBE–Life Sciences Education by Eric H. Chudler and Laughing Crow Curriculum founder Kristen Clapper Bergsman provides supports to secondary science teachers with an interest in bringing neural engineering content into their classrooms. The article is described by CBE-Life Sciences Education as: “Neural engineering is an emerging field of high relevance to students, teachers, and the general public. This Feature presents online resources that educators and scientists can use to introduce students to neural engineering and to integrate core ideas from the life sciences, physical sciences, social sciences, computer science, and engineering into the classroom.”


Explain the Brain: Websites to Help Scientists Explain Neuroscience to the General Public

Many scientists engage in outreach activities, sharing the highlights of their research or the foundations of their field with teachers, students, or the general public. This article, published in CBE–Life Sciences Education by Eric H. Chudler and Kristen Clapper Bergsman, suggests top websites to support explanations of the history of neuroscience, neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, the senses, and neuropharmacology.

How-to Guide for Out-of-School-Time Curriculum Developers

Recasting Content How-To Guide

Recasting Content in a New Light: Adapting Formal Education Materials for Informal Education Settings is a field-tested ‘how-to’ guide developed by Laughing Crow Curriculum, NASA, and Pacific Science Center. The guide provides tools and templates to help adapt curriculum materials originally intended for formal classroom environments for use in out-of-school-time settings.

Storybook Science: Examining Girls’ Science Learning with a Fictional Story and a Mother-Daughter Book Club

Storybook Science article

Storybook Science reports on a research project conducted by Kristen Clapper Bergsman. A four-week mother-daughter-book club was formed with girls ages 8-12 and their mothers. The study investigated the use of text features in a fictional story and an interactive book club format to increase girls’ motivation and interest in science learning. This article reports on specific elements of the research study. The full master’s thesis is available at the University of Washington’s Suzzallo library.

Motivating Readers to Learn from Fictional Story Characters: Character Identification, Social Contexts, and Interest

Motivating Readers to Learn article

This literature review explores how characters in fictional children’s books may be able to motivate children to learn about science through the imitation of modeled attitudes and behaviors. Fictional characters are examined through the lenses of social cognitive theory, self-determination theory, and socio-cultural theory.

Journals Across the Curriculum: By Examining How Student Journals are Used in K-12 Classrooms, Environmental Educators Can Better Understand How to Use Journals in the Field

Journals Across the Curriculum article

Journals Across the Curriculum provides information for environmental and experiential educators on how to use journals in the field. Journaling has become a popular trend in the K-12 classroom, especially among teachers of science, math, and language arts. Student journals are used to increase opportunities for content-based readng and writing, to reinforce concepts, and to communicate knowledge and beliefs about the subject area.

Yard Talk: Green Roofs and Rain Gardens

Check out Episode 12 of the King County TV series, Yard Talk, for an introduction to green roofs and rain gardens. This episode features Kristen Bergsman’s front yard rain garden and includes an interview about the importance of homeowner stewardship.