STEM Education

Twig Ed Intros New Middle School Science Lessons

Education technology company Twig Education has produced a new version of STEM curriculum for grades 6-8. Twig Middle School Science Next Gen features, among other resources, videos of scientists around the world, filmed on location, as they share their areas of expertise, including in subjects such as mechanical engineering, food sustainability, volcano eruptions and space exploration.

The lessons conform to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

The science program includes multiple elements:

  • Hands-on labs, allowing students to learn through inquiry-based activities, solving problems and designing solutions using everyday items and resources supplied in kits.

  • Digital simulations based on real-world phenomena and data, to let students experience science. Interactives include a gravity simulator, volcano builder and missions, such as "The Great Air Race" and "Into the Abyss."

  • Multimedia field trips that use video and text to enable students to follow scientists and engineers around the world as they explore local, national, global and space phenomena.

  • Scientific text investigations, with a variety of text types: informational, narrative, descriptive and argumentative.

  • Video labs, shot in the Twig studio and showing scientific inquiries and experiences that would be impractical to carry out in the classroom.

Assessments were developed with input from the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE). Imperial College London acted as scientific advisors during the development of the program.

"We're so excited to bring this innovative, modern curriculum to middle school students across the country. Twig Science Next Gen gives them a chance to use up-to-date science knowledge, practices, and cognitive tools to make sense of the incredible world around them," said Twig CEO Catherine Cahn, in a press release. "I know that many, many students who learn through Twig Science Next Gen will use the opportunity to put STEAM subjects at the center of their lives and go on to do great things that make our lives better. We'll be seeing the fruits of that engagement for the next 50 years or longer."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.