Transforming science education through research-driven innovation

20 BSCS Accomplishments in 2020

December 14, 2020

What a year! It may not have gone exactly as planned, but our BSCS staff persevered to make this year a successful one. For every professional learning institute we postponed, we hosted an engaging virtual gathering. For every project timeline we had to delay, we expedited the development and dissemination of timely resources. It was a trying year, but we are proud of what we accomplished.

So cheers to sharing “20 BSCS accomplishments in 2020” with all of you who support our work! This year, our staff…

  1. released two new OpenSciEd middle school science units. More than half of the three-year program for grades 6-8 is now available and being used by more than 17,000 teachers.
  2. studied the effectiveness of a fully online version of our signature teacher professional learning program, STeLLA®, for fourth and fifth grade teachers. We are currently building leadership capacity so that we can offer Online STeLLA more broadly for increased access and impact.
  3. released A Medical Mystery, a digital, middle school body systems unit. We are also offering an online professional learning program for teachers who want to use A Medical Mystery as a focus for learning how to implement Next Generation Science Standards.
  4. launched a public beta test of BSCS Science Learning Videoverse , an online library of our high quality science classroom video resources and associated materials.
  5. supported educators during COVID-19 by consolidating all of our free online resources. We even developed a few rapid-response resources to address urgent needs.
  6. developed an open source COVID-19 & Health Equity unit for high school teachers and students.
  7. collected more evidence that well-designed and executed genetics education can reduce racial bias among adolescents—and used those insights to support middle and high school teachers in navigating topics of race and genetics in biology class.
  8. began the field test for an exciting new high school biology course that will enter the marketplace in 2021.
  9. launched a new, modernized version of our FieldScope platform for community and citizen science projects. FieldScope supported thousands of citizen science volunteers from classrooms and public programs who contributed over 38,000 observations this year.
  10. released 12 Invitations to Inquiry with FieldScope lesson plans to engage middle and high school students with community and citizen science data sets. Versions of seven of these Invitations are available for asynchronous, at-home learning.
  11. partnered with Mālama Loko Ea Foundation and the Leilehua-Mililani-Waialua Complex on Oahu to develop a place-based unit that integrates traditional environmental knowledge with the Next Generation Science Standards. The seventh-grade unit explores how restoring the ecosystem of Loko ea, an ancient fishpond on the North Shore of Oahu, can help restore food sovereignty to Hawaii.
  12. provided a leadership development program to 24 leaders from across the country on facilitating our signature STeLLA teacher professional learning program. Most of these leaders are participants in our buzz-worthy STeLLA Scale-Up & Sustainability program in Tennessee and Kentucky.
  13. worked collaboratively with colleagues at WestEd on key leadership development initiatives. Together, we developed a virtual version of one Phase of NextGen TIME, and designed the NEXUS Academy for Science Curriculum Leadership.
  14. advanced our Equity & Social Justice work and made it visible on our website. This included developing a land acknowledgment and a statement of our commitment to antiracism.
  15. published a wide array of research findings in publications, including Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness , Journal of Research in Science Teaching , Science & Education , Studies in Educational Evaluation , and The Learning Professional .
  16. received 11 new federal and foundation grants—two of which were awarded to first-time Principal Investigators at BSCS.
  17. expanded our capacity to transform science teaching and learning through research-driven innovation by hiring 10+ new research and science education staff members.
  18. hosted a virtual “BSCS Family Science Night” to immerse families near and far in a puzzling natural phenomenon. Participating families engaged in inquiry, developed questions, made predictions, and planned and observed an investigation to help answer their questions.
  19. connected with teachers across the country like Kris Grymonpre in Boston, who shared, “OpenSciEd units are going to make students love science,” and Judy Barrere in Seattle, who shared that “A Medical Mystery is especially helpful for students who struggle or think of themselves as lesser learners.” Their stories of impact keep us motivated to produce high quality science programs for students who need it most.
  20. remained a resilient nonprofit organization amidst a global pandemic—thanks to our valued grantors and donors who invest in the more-inclusive, meaningful, and effective science education that we are actively pursuing every day.