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.
Previews of the 12 completed units are available on the Mi-STAR Units webpage. More information on how to implement the Mi-STAR curriculum is available on the Teacher Pathway page on our website.
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