Revision of CRDG’s award-winning marine science curriculum is ongoing in the Laboratory School’s ninth grade marine science classes where surveys, testing of early drafts of new material, and direct student feedback allow the authors to refine their approach and content. The current two-book program will be expanded and combined into a single book that integrates biological and physical sciences.
Ecology and evolutionary biology are the central organizers of the revised program. The study of interconnections between organisms and the environment naturally integrates physical and biological content in a meaningful way. As a thematic organizer, ecology allows developers to take advantage of biological systems to introduce physics and chemistry by connecting the abiotic features of the environment to the organisms living there and by examining how environmental features influence adaptation of organisms through natural selection.
Activities targeting the nature of science follow CRDG’s long-held philosophy that a science classroom should simulate a community of scientists. Project-based instructional modules give students an opportunity to identify and resolve scientific questions, thereby engaging them in a long-term activity connected to their world, helping them to develop critical thinking and scientific investigation skills, and allowing them to form a more complete understanding of the scientific process as outlined in the National Science Education Standards on Science as Inquiry.