Welcome to the Science website for the Utah State Board of Education. On the home page, you will find links to some of the most recent news from our office, and in the subsequent pages, we've placed more details about state science standards, endorsement information, grant applications, and our ongoing projects. Peruse, enjoy, and if you have any questions, please contact us.
The Utah State Board of Education, in January of 1984, established policy requiring the identification of specific core standards to be met by all K-12 students in order to graduate from Utah's secondary schools. The Utah State Board of Education regularly updates the Utah Core Standards, while parents, teachers, and local school boards continue to control the curriculum choices that reflect local values.
Utah State Board of Education Core Standards for English Language Arts (ELAs) and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects
Utah State Board of Education Elementary Language Arts
Included are standards for Science Literacy Instruction in both reading and writing:
Science Teacher E-mail List Registration for Educators
The Utah State Board of Education, in collaboration with the Utah Education Network (UEN), has created an e-mail list for science teachers to learn more about Utah science events and professional development.
The Science Core Guides are created to provide guidance for developing effective instruction aligned to the Utah Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards. They are intended to support teachers, administrators, science specialists, instructional coaches, parents, and other stakeholders as they plan instruction at a local level.
The Core Guides are not intended to be read from cover to cover. They are meant as a resource document to be used, when needed, to support teacher professional learning and curriculum decisions. They are not meant to be used by students, and therefore they may not be written in student-friendly language. The Core Guides are meant to inform teachers and leaders as they make science curriculum decisions.
The Utah State Board of Education desires that all educators in Utah are fully qualified to teach the courses they are assigned to assure that all students get the best education possible. All secondary science courses (grades 7-12) require specific secondary science endorsements for teachers to be eligible to teach them.
Application for the Utah State Board of Education Secondary Science Endorsement
Utah State Board of Education Educator Licensing
To fulfill course requirements for secondary science endorsements each course needs to meet the following three requirements:
For some teachers, online courses are the best option to take needed endorsement courses because they allow work to be done on their own time and in the comfort of their own home or classroom.
Utah Science Teachers Association (UtSTA)
The UtSTA offers several online endorsement courses in partnership with the Utah Education Network (UEN) and Southern Utah University. These courses are designed with two things in mind:
The courses are offered in a 12-week, semester setting and require 4-6 hours a week of coursework. These courses are $400 for UtSTA members and that price includes the posting of Southern Utah University credit. Due to the time commitment, teachers are only allowed to sign up for two classes per semester.
Many universities offer online courses that can be taken to fulfill endorsement course requirements. These courses vary from semester to semester and vary in price from university to university. Some universities also require a small payment to become a matriculated student and gain a student identification number. Please be sure to read all university requirements to assure that you are eligible, can meet prerequisite requirements, and can successfully take the course.
Brigham Young University (BYU) Independent Study course offerings:
Utah State University (USU) Online course offerings:
For some teachers, a face-to-face learning experience is preferred because it allows teachers the chance to experience modeled curriculum and experienced teaching. These courses are usually offered in a week-long session over the summer months.
UtSTA partners with local colleges and universities to connect teachers from across the state with experienced teachers in a week-long learning model.
Earth Science Education
Earth Science Education is a set of three week-long courses focusing on Utah Landforms, Rocks and Minerals, and Geologic history. Completion of all three courses will award an educator a 3 credit Earth.
As part of the application for a secondary science endorsement, the Utah State Board of Education asks that all applicants complete a safety certification. There are three options for Safety Certification:
The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) offers two different types of Canvas courses for K-12 Science:
The course’s purpose is to support educators in understanding shifts to instruction that are required to effectively implement the Utah SEEd Standards. The Canvas-based course contains six modules: Introduction to the SEEd Standards, Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs), Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs), Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs), Engineering Design, and Using Phenomena.
This course is free for participants and is self-paced. K-12 educators may register at any point. Successful completion of the entire course is worth 2.0 USBE Credits. Credit will be assigned three times during the year as delineated in Table 1 below.
The purpose of these courses is to build and support teacher science conceptual knowledge of the Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs) used within the SEEd Standards. The Grade K-6 courses are developed specifically for elementary educators and therefore only licensed K-6 teachers will be awarded USBE credit upon completion.
Completing content courses for Grades 6-8 do not qualify teachers to earn a Middle Level Science Endorsement to teach these grades. For information on the course requirements for this teaching endorsement, review the Application for the Utah State Board of Education Secondary Science Endorsement on the USBE Educator Licensing website.
For these content courses, each grade level or content area has one main course in which to enroll. Within the course, there are mini-courses that explore the content knowledge expectations of each strand within the SEEd Standards for that grade level. The number of mini-courses available for each grade level are equal to the number of strands within the SEEd standards for that grade level. Educators may select which mini-courses they want to pursue and the order they want to take each one after a short introduction module is completed within the main course. Educators do not need to complete all of the mini-courses. Credit for the K-5 mini-courses is either .5 or 1.0 for each strand mini-course depending on the number of standards within the strand (2-5 standards = .5, 6+ standards = 1.0). Credit for 6-8 courses is listed as you sign up for the course. Credits will post in MIDAS three times during the year as delineated in Table 1 below. These courses are free for participants and are self-paced. Educators may register at any time.
To receive credit for a mini-course or for the K-12 Introduction to Three-Dimensional Instruction course, educators enrolled in any of the courses must receive 90% on the quizzes, complete the discussion posts, and submit the required feedback survey for the mini-course or the entire Introduction course. Once enrolled in a course the participants will continue to have access to the Canvas course content even after they are finished so that it can be used as a reference in the future.
USBE Science Canvas Course Credit Posting Dates.
First week of June
First week of September
First week of January
Log into your Canvas account before clicking on the enrollment links provided above. If you are already logged in when you enroll, the self-enrollment process will be much smoother. This is important because if you cannot remember your password, the login page will provide a Forgot Password link to fix the issue. The self-enrollment page of each course does not provide that option.
If you do not have a Canvas account when you self-enroll in a course, you will not be asked for a password at that time. You will receive an e-mail asking you to finish setting up your account.
New Science OER textbooks are now available for K-5 and 9-12 and align to the new Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards
The Utah Science OER Textbook Project was started to bring Utah teachers together to create a resource that aligns to the Utah core science standards. They are not intended to be curriculum as they do not include labs, assessments, or a teacher guide with answers. They are intended as a reference material for students with content to support teachers’ classroom instruction and help make sense of science concepts found in standards.
The OER textbooks are available in digital formats for free under a creative commons license. These digital documents can be used and adjusted to support teacher and student needs. They can be loaded onto student electronic devices or printed in their entirety or as individual pages through school or district printing services. Formatted OER textbooks are also available to purchase in bulk at a low cost using a state printing contract.
The project will continue to be revised every year through the support of teachers using community feedback and data. This will be a continual process that provides a sustainable and cost-effective solution to supporting adaptable student reference materials..
As we continue to refine and improve these documents, we welcome feedback to be considered by the annual review committee.
Science OER Textbook Community Feedback
We now have books for all core science classes from Kindergarten to High School including Grades 1-6 Foreign Language books for Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, and Russian. Please be aware that revisions were only made to the Grades K-5 and High School Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, and Physics Books. No changes were made to content of the Grade 6-8 Textbooks because of the overwhelming task of creating 11 new books.
OER Web Collections: Science
Utah Education Network (UEN)
To provide teachers with a formatting version of each textbook, PDF versions of the Printed Books are available for a free download. These files can be used to print the books in-house if Districts and Charters have a better system for printing or they can be loaded on student machines.
New for the 2020-2021 school year, we have partnered with Office Depot to offer pre-published, printed versions of the textbooks. Ordering through Office Depot requires a little work upfront, however, offers amazing benefits when completed. Books will be processed and shipped in a shorter time (between 10-14 business days) and the state contract allows for free shipping as long as the order consists of 10 or more books. To get your school or district setup with Office Depot to order printed OER Science Textbooks e-mail Paul Dobect at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Books from Office Depot range from $2.75 to $5.95 depending on the size of the book.
These textbooks have a glossy color cover, with black and white pages. This keeps the costs low. The Utah State Board of Education staff has worked to support easy print ordering, but districts and schools are more than welcome to print these resources in house or based on their access and cost.
Important Note: The OER Textbook Project works very hard to ensure that only materials with an open "creative common" license are used. After a copy is made it is the responsibility of that person to assure that any content, pictures, illustrations, diagrams, etc. added to your adapted books are free of a private copyright license and are solely responsible for consequences regarding breaking regulations with these copyrights.
R277-105-8: Expressions of Personal Belief by Employees
Utah Office of Administrative Rules
Spring 2009 Lecture Series: Evolution and Medicine Podcast
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS)
Evolution: A Journey into Where We're From and Where We're Going.
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
Evolution: Constant Change and Common Threads DVD
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
The National Academies of Sciences Engineering Medicine
The National Academies Press (NAP):
Tree of Life Web Project
University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
SSECC is voluntary science community that work to discuss the needs of and share information about how to improve science education in Utah. It is made up of representatives from Utah districts and charter schools, Utah institutes of higher education, and Utah informal education organizations.
MIDAS Registration Number: 39831
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Location: Canyons School District Crescent Building
Utah Education Network (UEN)
Quarterly Science Meeting
SSECC SMECC Meeting
Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST)
Utah State Board of Education Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Coordinator/STEM Education Specialist
Phone: (801) 538-7664 | E-mail
Elementary Science Education Specialist
Phone: (801) 538-7547 | E-mail
Secondary Science Education Specialist
Phone: (801) 538-7808 | E-mail
Phone: (801) 538-7773 | E-mail