"Science in Global Issues" (SGI) joins the already published, "Science and Sustainability," to become a two-year integrated science course for grades 9 and 10 incorporating an issues-oriented, guided-inquiry approach to learning. The course, to be available both as a full year course and as modules, focuses on the role of science in addressing the needs of modern society and the use of technology in advancing scientific knowledge. In collaboration with teachers and scientists, specific learning goals related to the science standards are developed. The assessment system, previously used in other SEPUP materials, serves as an indicator of learning, guides the development of activities, and is used as a basis for evaluation and research on how the instruction affects student learning and teacher practice. Students are introduced to and examine key science concepts in the context of personal and societal issues. A primary resource contains images of and data about countries around the world and links to existing simulations of processes. Unit themes include "Tools for Exploring Earth," "Maintaining Diversity," "World Health," and "Fueling the World." Content standards include interactions of energy and matter, matter energy and of living systems, evolution, the cell, structure of atoms and molecular basis of heredity. With SGI, SEPUP has developed a sequenced science curriculum for grades 6-10.
The Science Education for Public Understanding Program (SEPUP), of the Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Berkeley, developed and field-tested nationally an innovative two-year high school science program. This program, titled Science and Global Issues (SGI), teaches science in the context of sustainability issues. These issues vary from human effects on ecosystems to sustainable use of resources and energy. Through this curriculum, students learn scientific concepts as well as how to use scientific evidence to suggest solutions to problems. The complete SGI program includes nine units comprising one year of biology and a semester each of chemistry and physics. The learning goals for this sequence were based on the National Science Education Standards and other national and state standards. Before publication, the program was field-tested by teachers and their students in high school classrooms. Scientists with related research expertise reviewed each unit to ensure the science is accurate and issues are up-to-date. Field-test sites included urban, rural, and suburban schools with diverse student populations. Over 100 teachers received professional development, taught one or more of the nine units in their classrooms, and provided extensive feedback to the project. This feedback was used to revise the units for publication. Evaluation of student learning during the field test indicates that the materials promote learning and are equally effective for males, females, and students from groups traditionally underrepresented in science and engineering fields. The project has helped high school students learn about science and how it relates to their lives. The nine units in SGI can be used as a complete integrated two-year science program (Table 1), as a sequence with a year each of biology and physical science (Table 2), or as a single year of either biology or physical science. This flexibility will allow schools and districts throughout the United States to adopt the program for use in their existing course sequences. The SGI program includes a student book with readings, laboratories, and hands-on activities that are highly engaging to students. It also includes: 1) a complete teachers guide with extensive teacher resources on such topics as assessment and developing studentsâ€™ literacy skills in science, 2) a laboratory kit, 3) interactive computer simulations, 4) a website with links for further exploration, 5) an assessment program, and 6) presentation materials for teachers. An introductory unit on sustainability and four biology units were published in 2011 as Science and Global Issues: Biology, by LAB-AIDS, Inc. Publication of the physical science units is planned for late 2012. SGI: Biology has been widely disseminated through presentations at national, regional, and state conferences for science teachers, as well as through the SEPUP and LAB-AIDS websites and newsletters. Table 1: Science and Global Issues Course Overview for Integrated/Coordinated Science Unit Title Content Focus Sustainability Issue Year One Sustainability Introductory Unit What is Sustainability? Living on Earth Biology: Ecology Sustainable Fisheries Earthâ€™s Resources Chemistry: Matter Use of Earthâ€™s Resources Mechanical and Electromagnetic Waves Physics: Waves Earthquakes and Electromagnetic Radiation World Health Biology: Cell Biology Global Infectious Diseases Year Two Feeding the World Biology: Genetics Genetically Modified Organisms Maintaining Diversity Biology: Evolution Conservation and Biodiversity Global Energy and Power Physics: Electricity & Energy Supplying and Using Electrical Energy Fueling the World Chemistry: Chemical Reactions Alternative and Fossil Fuels Table 2: Science and Global Issues Course Overview for Biology and Physical Sciences Courses Unit Title Content Focus Sustainability Issue Physical Sciences Sustainability Introductory Unit What is Sustainability? Earthâ€™s Resources Chemistry: Matter Use of Earthâ€™s Resources Mechanical and Electromagnetic Waves Physics: Waves Earthquakes and Electromagnetic Radiation Global Energy and Power Physics: Electricity & Energy Supplying and Using Electrical Energy Fueling the World Chemistry: Chemical Reactions Alternative and Fossil Fuels Biology *Sustainability Introductory Unit What is Sustainability? Living on Earth Biology: Ecology Sustainable Fisheries World Health Biology: Cell Biology Global Infectious Diseases Feeding the World Biology: Genetics Genetically Modified Organisms Maintaining Diversity Biology: Evolution Conservation and Biodiversity * If this unit was not taught the previous year.