Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks

The 2016 Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework outlines statewide guidelines for learning, teaching and assessing science and technology/engineering in Massachusetts public schools. According to the Framework:

“Our world has never been so complex, and scientific and technological reasoning have never been so necessary to make sense of it all. It is self-evident that science, technology, and engineering (STE) are central to the lives of all Massachusetts citizens when they analyze current events, make informed decisions about healthcare, or decide to support public development of community infrastructure. By the end of grade 12, all students must have an appreciation for the wonder of science, possess sufficient knowledge of science and engineering to engage in public discussions on related issues, and be careful consumers of scientific and technological information and products in their everyday lives. Students’ STE experience should encourage and facilitate engagement in STE to prepare them for the reality that most careers require some scientific or technical preparation, and to increase their interest in and consideration of careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). All students, regardless of their future education plan and career path, must have an engaging, relevant, rigorous, and coherent pre-K–12 STE education to be prepared for citizenship, continuing education, and careers.”

The standards contained in the Framework emphasize that students should be:

  • Analyzing and explaining phenomena in the world around them via inquiry and design-based learning,
  • Regularly engaging with the science and engineering practices to build, use and apply knowledge, and
  • Developing understanding sequentially over time via coherent storylines that integrate the scientific disciplines and engineering.

The science and engineering practices, which are formally woven into the content standards include: 1) asking questions and defining problems, 2) developing and using models, 3) planning and carrying out investigations, 4) analyzing and interpreting data, 5) using mathematics and computational thinking, 6) constructing explanations and designing solutions, 7) engaging in argument from evidence, and 8) obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information.