Welcome to Science

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.

Core Standards

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.

Current Standards

Utah Core Standards: Utah Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards Utah K-12 Science

Utah Core Standards: Utah Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards Utah K-2 Science

Utah Core Standards: Utah Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards Utah 3-5 Science

Utah Core Standards: Utah Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards Utah 6-8 Science

Utah Core Standards: Utah Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards Utah 9-12 Science

Utah Core Literacy Standards

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:

  • Reading Standards for Informational Text K-5 (Page 15)
  • Writing Standards K-5 (Page 21)
  • Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects 6-12 (Page 74)
  • Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects 6-12 (Page 78)

E-mail List

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.

Core Guides

Utah Science with Engineering Education (SEEd)

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.

Google Docs:

Educator Endorsements

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.

Utah Secondary Science Endorsements

Application for the Utah State Board of Education Secondary Science Endorsement
Utah State Board of Education Educator Licensing

Courses That Can Be Taught with Each Science Endorsement

Endorsement Courses

To fulfill course requirements for secondary science endorsements each course needs to meet the following three requirements:

  • The course must be posted on a college/university transcript,
  • The course must be worth 3 or more credits, and
  • The course must be passed with a grade of C or better.
Online Courses

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:

  • Improving teacher content knowledge, and
  • Improving science instructional strategies.

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.

University

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.

University Online Programs and Courses that meet Science Endorsement Requirements

Brigham Young University (BYU) Independent Study course offerings:

  • General Biology (BIO 100 and PDBIO 120)
  • General Microbiology (MMBIO 221)
  • General Molecular Biology (MMBIO 240)
  • Human Anatomy (PDBIO 210)
  • Elementary Chemistry (CHEM 100)
  • General Physics 1 (PHSCS 105)
  • General Physics 2 (PHSCS 106)
  • Introduction to Electricity and Magnetism (PHSCS 220)
  • Descriptive Astronomy (PHSCS 127)
  • Severe and Hazardous Weather (PHSCS 137)
  • Introducation to Geology (GEOL 101)
  • Introduction to Statistics (STAT 105)
  • Principles of Statistics (STAT 121)
  • Calculus 1 (MATH 112)
  • SUU Online course offerings:
    • Intro to Biology (BIOL 1010)
    • Intro to Chemistry (CHEM 1010)
    • Elementary Chemistry (CHEM 1110)
    • Principles of Chemistry I (CHEM 1210)
    • Chemistry Labs (CHEM 1015, 1115, 1215)
    • Geology of National Parks (GEO 1050)
    • How the Earth Works, (GEO 1090)
    • Statistics (MATH 1040)

Utah State University (USU) Online course offerings:

  • Biology and the Citizen (BIOL 1010)
  • Intro to Animal Science (ADVS 1110)
  • Ecology of Our World (WILD 2200)
  • Evolution (BIOL 3010)
  • Intro to Chemistry (CHEM 1010)
  • Principles of Chemistry I (CHEM 1210)
  • Principles of Chemistry II (CHEM 1220)
  • Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 2310)
  • Organic Chemistry II (CHEM 2320)
  • Environmental Chemistry (CHEM 3650)
  • Intro Biochemistry (CHEM 3700)
  • Intro to Geology (GEO 1010)
  • Geology of World's Oceans (GEO 3300)
  • The Universe (PHYS 3030)
  • Climate Change (PSC 6810)
  • Intro to Statistics (STAT 1040)
  • Calculus I (MATH 1210)
  • Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) Online course offerings:
    • Intro to Chemistry (CHEM 1010)
    • Elementary Chemistry (CHEM 1110)
    • General Chemistry I (CHEM 1210)
    • General Chemistry II (CHEM 1220)
    • Severe Weather (ATMO 1010)
    • Climate Change (ATMO 1020)
    • Introduction to Geology (GEO 1010)
    • Intro to Statistics (MATH 1040)
    • Calculus I (MATH 1210)
    • Elementary Physics (PHYS 1010)
    • Elementary Astronomy (PHYS 1040)
    • Physics for Science and Engineers I (PHYS 2210)
    • Physics for Science and Engineers II (PHYS 2220)
Face-to-Face Courses

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
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.

Safety Certification

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:

  1. District Safety Course
    Many school districts offer a safety course for teachers that fulfill the safety certification requirement. Please ask your district office if a course like this exists.
  2. Flinn Scientific
    Flinn Scientific offers an online course that qualifies to fulfill the safety certification requirement. The course is self-paced and has been said to take only 4+ hours to complete. Please note that this is a vendor company and completing their free course will sign you up for marketing with that company.
  3. Utah Science Teachers Association (UtSTA) Safety Course
    This certification process is a free four-week online course from UtSTA in partnership with Utah Education Network (UEN). It is associated with 1.0 Utah State Board of Education credit and helps to assure that all our science teachers are knowledgeable about the safe science classroom and laboratory practices.

Professional Learning

The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) offers two different types of Canvas courses for K-12 Science:

  1. Implementing the Utah Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards (K-12)
  2. SEEd Content Courses for each grade (K-8)

Implementing the Utah Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards K-12

Enroll in Implementing the Utah Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards

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.

SEEd Content Courses Grades K-8

Accessing SEEd Content Courses for Grades K-8

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.

Table 1

USBE Science Canvas Course Credit Posting Dates.

Term

Spring

Summer

Fall

Completion Date

May 31

August 31

December 31

Credit Posting

First week of June

First week of September

First week of January

Critical Registration Note

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. 

Utah Science Open Educational Resources (OER) Textbooks

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..

Feedback

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
Google Docs

New for 2020-2021

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.

2020-2021 OER Textbooks

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.

Purchases 

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 paul.dobecki@officedepot.com.

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.

Resources

State Science Education Coordinating Committee (SSECC)

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.

Utah State Board of Education Massively Integrated Data Analytics System (MIDAS) Course Registration

2020 Meetings

March 13

MIDAS Registration Number: 39831
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Location: Canyons School District Crescent Building

 

2019 Meetings

2018 Meetings

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST)

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST)
Utah State Board of Education Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

Science Team

Nathan Auck
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Coordinator/STEM Education Specialist
Phone: (801) 538-7664 | E-mail

Melissa Mendenhall
Elementary Science Education Specialist
Phone: (801) 538-7547 | E-mail

Richard Scott
Secondary Science Education Specialist
Phone: (801) 538-7808 | E-mail

Kira Sommer
Office Specialist
Phone: (801) 538-7773 | E-mail