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AAAS Co-Hosts Kansas City Science Education Workshop for School Board Members
What Do Students Need to Know?
When Kansas and Missouri school board members convened in Kansas City recently for a seminar organized by AAAS and the National School Boards Association, many of them had a crucial question: What do students need to understand about science, mathematics and technology to succeed in the 21st century economy?
Jo Ellen Roseman, director of Project 2061, AAAS's science literacy initiative, offered an example from Project 2061's influential Benchmarks for Science Literacy about what students should know about the flow of matter and energy in the living environment:
- Kindergarten-2nd grade:
"Most plants and animals need to take in both water and air. In addition, animals need to take in food and plants need light."
- 3rd-5th grades:
"From food, people and other organisms obtain fuel and building materials for body repair and growth."
- 5th-8th grades
"All organisms need food as a source of molecules that provide chemical energy and building material. Plants use energy in light to make sugars out of carbon dioxide and water. Plants and other organisms use sugar molecules to make more complex molecules that become part of their body structures. If not used as fuel or building materials, these molecules may be stored for later use."
- 9th-12th grades
"The chemical elements that make up the molecules of living things pass through food webs and are combined and recombined in different ways. At each link in a food web, some energy is stored in newly made structures but much is dissipated into the environment as heat. Continual input of energy from sunlight keeps the process going."
12 July 2007