Science

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This page provides information on topics such as curriculum, assessment, rules, and professional development. We welcome any suggestions you may have that will improve this page for individuals working to provide high quality science programs for students. Join the science mailing list to receive updates as information becomes available.  

The Division of Curriculum Standards and Student Support science team provides direction and leadership to Kindergarten (K) through grade 12 science educators in Texas. The science staff does the following: 

  • Assists districts statewide with implementation of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for science
  • Facilitates the development and management of state-funded professional development programs
  • Collaborates with the Division of Student Assessment in the development of state science assessments
  • Assists the Division of Instructional Materials in overseeing the  adoption process for grades K-12 science instructional materials
  • Reviews state certifications related to science
  • In addition, the science staff coordinates the Texas Environmental Education Advisory Committee (TEEAC), National Youth Science Camp (NYSC), and the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).
  • Science staff also provides on-going communication with the field related to science curriculum and graduation requirements found in Texas Administrative Code (TAC).

 

Announcements

The State Board of Education (SBOE) gave final approval on April 21, 2017 to the streamlined science TEKS for K-8 science and four high school science courses. The streamlined TEKS are now implemented. The link to the streamlined science TEKS can be found on http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter112/index.html

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

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the highest honors bestowed by the United States government specifically for K-12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teaching. The awards were established by Congress in 1983. The National Science Foundation, under the direction of the White House, approves the Texas candidates for the national award. If selected as an awardee, the applicant will receive $10,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington D.C. for ceremonies that include recognition from the President of the United States. For more information, please visit www.paemst.org.

In Texas, eligible teachers who submit a completed application by May 1, 2020, will receive 25 CPE hours. For questions, contact your Texas State PAEMST Coordinators at
tx_paemst@tea.texas.gov.  

Reviewer Applications Window for the 2020 PAEMST Competition is Open

The TEA is looking for experts in science education to review and evaluate applications for the 2020 PAEMST competition. This year’s competition is for kindergarten through grade 6 teachers. Applications are due on or before Wednesday, March 30, 2020. 

PAEMST Reviewer Application (PDF, 1.105 KB)

PAEMST Mentors

The TEA is looking for experts in science education to serve as PAEMST mentors to applicants. Teachers complete the application online, which includes a written narrative and a video of a lesson. To learn more about the application process or to view the application packet, visit the PAEMST website at www.paemst.org.

Mentors may be asked to coach up to three applicants for the award. This could include assisting applicants with videotaping, answering questions, or reviewing/editing the narrative component of the application. Mentoring can be face-to-face, by phone, via email, or by another method determined by the mentor and applicant.

Training and materials will be provided to assist mentors as well as help provide consistency in each mentorship. Educators who would like to participate should email the Texas State Coordinators at tx_paemst@tea.texas.gov.

PAEMST National Awardees Announced for Science

Dolores "Lollie" Garay was selected as a 2017 science PAEMST national awardee. At the time of the award, Ms. Garay was Lead Science Teacher/Science Projects Coordinator at the Redd School, a private school, in Houston, TX. Currently, she is an instructor in the School of Health Professions at the Baylor College of Medicine, Center for Educational Outreach. Additional information on the announcement for Ms. Garay is available on the PAEMST website (outside source).

Brenda Williams was selected as a 2018 science PAEMST national awardee. Ms. Williams teaches fourth and fifth grade STEM at Argyle Intermediate School in Argyle ISD in Argyle, TX. Additional information on the announcement for Ms. Williams is available on the PAEMST website (outside source).

PAEMST Texas State Finalists for 2019

The 2019 competition recognizes grades 7-12 mathematics and science teachers whose innovative methods bring teaching to life in the classroom. The Texas state finalists were recognized in January 2020 at the Texas State Board of Education meeting. The Texas state finalists in secondary science are listed below:

  • Katherine Fincher teaches AP Physics at Amarillo High School in the Amarillo ISD, Amarillo, TX
  • Terry Snow teaches Grade 8 science at Aledo Middle School in the Aledo ISD, Aledo, TX
  • Markaela Van Putten teaches dual credit Biology and Human Anatomy and Physiology at Tomball High School in the Tomball ISD, Tomball, TX

2019 National Youth Science Camp Delegates

Two outstanding science students were selected to represent Texas as 2019 National Youth Science Camp Delegates.

Gabriela Gonzalez of Tom C. Clark High School in Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, and Melanie Che of the Texas Academy of Math and Science in Denton have been named as Texas delegates.

The National Youth Science Camp (NYSC) is a residential science education program that honors and challenges two graduating high school science students from each state. At this camp scientists from across the nation present lectures and hands-on science seminars and linger to interact informally with student delegates. 

Delegates are challenged to explore new areas in the biological and physical sciences, art, and music with resident staff members. Opportunities are provided for delegates to present seminars covering their own areas of interest and research.  A visit to Washington D.C. permits delegates to visit some of the nation’s premier scientific, governmental, and cultural facilities

Gabriela Gonzales and Melanie Che will be flown to the National Youth Science Camp to participate in this innovative educational program.

More information is available online at www.nysf.com and www.nysc.org.

 

Professional Development

Statewide professional development opportunities on science topics are available now at regional education service centers (ESCs) and through the Texas Gateway.

Contact the science specialist at your regional ESC for upcoming professional development opportunities.

Professional development opportunities are available through the statewide network of TEEAC Providers.

This network of universities, state agencies, museums, and nature centers helps ensure that teacher professional development offered by formal and non-formal providers is educationally sound and consistent with the TEKS.

 

Related Links

The resources below address various topics related to the science standards, awards, and organizations.

Science TEKS, Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 112, effective 2018-2019

Grades K-5 Science TEKS  (PDF, 122KB)

Grade 6 Science TEKS  (PDF, 26.76KB)

Texas Environmental Education Advisory Committee (TEEAC)

Texas Gateway (outside source)

Benchmarks for Science Literacy, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (outside source)

National Academy of Sciences (NAS) (outside source)

National Youth Science Camp (outside source)

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

Science for All Americans, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (outside source)

Science Professional Organizations (PDF, 18KB)

Documents

The following documents are provided as a reference for science teachers.

Data and Research (PDF, 90KB)

Laboratory and Field Investigations – FAQ, August 2010 (PDF, 203KB) 

Chemical Safety 2016 (PDF, 265KB)

Safety Information and Resources (PDF, 227KB)

Texas Education Agency Safety Laws and Rules (PDF, 222KB)

Texas Education Agency Science Facilities Best Practices (PDF, 38MB)

Please note the Facilities Standards can be found at http://tea.texas.gov/Finance_and_Grants/State_Funding/Facilities_Funding_and_Standards/Facilities_Funding_and_Standards.

Texas Education Agency Texas Safety Standards (PDF, 20MB)