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U.S. National English & Science Education Standards

U.S. National English & Science Education Standards

The Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest can be used as a classroom writing assignment in either English or Science classes. The assignment involves both inquiry-based learning and problem-based learning.

The essay contest meets the following U.S. National Standards for English and Science:

National Council of Teachers of English / International Reading Association
Standards for the English Language Arts:

(Source: )

  7. Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and non-print texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.

  8. Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.


National Research Council
National Science Education Standards:

(Source:  "National Science Education Standards" by National Research Council, National Academy Press 1996.)

Grades 5-8 -- Content:
Earth and Space Science – Earth in the Solar System – Most objects in the solar system are in regular and predictable motion.  Those motions explain such phenomena as the day, the year, phases of the moon, and eclipses.

Grades 5-8 -- Process:
History and Nature of Science – Science as a Human Endeavor – Women and men of various social and ethnic backgrounds – and with diverse interests, talents, qualities, and motivations – engage in the activities of science, engineering, and related fields such as the health professions.  Some scientists work in teams, and some work alone, but all communicate extensively with others.

Grades 9-12 -- Process:
Science as Inquiry – Understandings About Scientific Inquiry – Conceptual principles and knowledge guide scientific inquiries.  Historical and current scientific knowledge influence the design and interpretation of proposed explanations made by other scientists.

– Scientists rely on technology to enhance the gathering and manipulation of data.  New techniques and tools provide new evidence to guide inquiry and new methods to gather data, thereby contributing to the advance of science.

– Results of scientific inquiry – new knowledge and methods – emerge from different types of investigations and public communication among scientists.  In communicating and defending the results of scientific inquiry, arguments must be logical and demonstrate connections between natural phenomena, investigations, and the historical body of scientific knowledge.  In addition, the methods and procedures that scientists used to obtain evidence must be clearly reported to enhance opportunities for further investigation.

Science and Technology -- Understandings about Science and Technology  

Scientists in different disciplines ask different questions, use different methods of investigation, and accept different types of evidence to support their explanations.  Many scientific investigations require the contributions of individuals from different disciplines, including engineering.

– Creativity, imagination, and a good knowledge base are all required in the work of science and engineering. 

History and Nature of Science – Science as a Human Endeavor – Individuals and teams have contributed and will continue to contribute to the scientific enterprise.  Doing science or engineering can be as simple as an individual conducting field studies or as complex as hundreds of people working on a major scientific question or technological problem.  Pursuing science as a career or as a hobby can be both fascinating and intellectually rewarding.

History and Nature of Science – Historical Perspectives – Usually changes in science occur as small modifications in extant knowledge.  The daily work of science and engineering results in incremental advances in our understanding of the world.

History and Nature of Science – Historical Perspectives – The historical perspective of scientific explanations demonstrates how scientific knowledge changes by evolving over time, almost always building on earlier knowledge.