Six New Mi-STAR Units Up and Running for Fall 2018
Thursday, September 27, 2018
Mi-STAR has added six new units to its curriculum this fall, doubling the number of units available and completing the entire sixth-grade series.
“We’re so excited to be rolling out these new units,” said Chris Wojick, Mi-STAR project director. “With the sixth grade complete, we’re poised to provide Michigan’s middle schools a full, NGSS-aligned curriculum by the time this year’s sixth graders enter the eighth grade.”
Teachers from more than 100 school districts are already using Mi-STAR, and this is a great time for all Michigan middle school science teachers to get on board. For the 2018-19 school year, support and access to the 12 completed units is free to all teachers who have completed the Mi-STAR Professional Learning Program. In fall 2020, Mi-STAR will begin charging modest fees to support ongoing access to professional learning and the curriculum. The fees will allow Mi-STAR to continue to improve the curriculum based on teacher feedback and to provide a high level of service to members of the Mi-STAR community.
In addition to its low cost, Mi-STAR has other advantages.
- It is developed by teachers for teachers, in cooperation with scientists, engineers and curriculum professionals. This ensures that the content is accurate, engaging and appropriate for the grade level.
- The units are Michigan centric, revolving around issues and problems that students can relate to.
- All units are classroom-tested by Michigan teachers, who provide ongoing feedback.
- Mi-STAR units are designed to keep the cost of classroom supplies low.
- Teachers who have tried Mi-STAR say their classes love it, including at-risk students who have struggled with conventional curricula.
Units available for the 2018-19 school year include the following (units new to this school year are in bold):
- Unit 6.1: The Water Cycle
- Unit 6.2: Investigating and Modeling Body Systems
- Unit 6.3: Chemical Processes in Organism Digestion
- Unit 6.4: Forces and Motion
- Unit 6.5: Plant Growth
- Unit 6.6: Interactions within Ecosystems
- Unit 6.7: Cycling of Energy and Matter Through Food Webs
- Unit 7.1: Creating an Energy Plan
- Unit 7.3: Moving Thermal Energy
- Unit 7.4: Life Cycle of Building Materials
- Unit 8.6: Natural Hazards
- Unit 8.7: Climate Change
In fall 2019, Mi-STAR will release five more new units, two for the seventh grade and three for the eighth grade. By spring 2020, all units for both grades will be complete.
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Mi-STAR was founded in 2015 through generous support provided by the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation. Mi-STAR has also received substantial support from the National Science Foundation, the MiSTEM Advisory Council through the Michigan Department of Education, and Michigan Technological University.
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