In partnership with the IBEX Education and Public Outreach (E/PO) program and E/PO programs for other NASA missions, the Lawrence Hall of Science “Great Explorations in Math & Science” program has developed the GEMS Space Science Sequence for Grades 6-8. Units in the GEMS Space Science Curriculum for Grades 6–8 include:
How Does the Sun Affect the Earth
Why are There Seasons?
The Solar System
Beyond the Solar System
GEMS sequences are a uniquely flexible curriculum. For example, the GEMS Space Science Sequence for 6–8 is comprised of 4 units, each about two weeks long or less. It is possible to teach the units all during a single years’ course of study; or, individual units can be taught each year over two to three years. Not all of the units in a sequence must be taught—each can stand alone as necessary. This flexibility allows schools to determine when to teach specific content based on their standards and curriculum requirements, using integrated units that naturally progress and build on prior knowledge.
Accommodating Middle School Students with Dyslexia in Science
The IBEX Education and Public Outreach team has developed a strategy guide that provides middle school science teachers with descriptions of accommodations to support students with language–based learning disabilities. The accommodations are mapped to the lessons in the GEMS Space Science Sequence for Grades 6–8 curriculum materials, though the accommodations should be useful even to those educators who do not have access to this specific set of curriculum materials.
You will need Adobe Reader to access the information in the strategy guide. This guide is also formatted to be accessible to a screen–reader.
The IBEX Education and Public Outreach team has developed a series of reading strategy guides that utilize articles from the Great Exploration in Math and Science (GEMS). These strategy guides provide teachers of middle school students with a reading strategy and supplemental resources, background information on that strategy, connections to standards, classroom implementation techniques, tips for utilizing this strategy with students with dyslexia, and a two–page reading based on a particular space science concept.
You will need Adobe Reader to access the information in the strategy guides. Each guide is also formatted to be accessible to a screen–reader.
The IBEX Education and Public Outreach Program has a number of educational resources available, including information on the IBEX mission and its background science, as well as other materials and lesson plans. While these materials were intended to be used with informal education and after-school program audiences, educators may find them useful for a formal education setting to supplement activities already being done in the classroom, with appropriate modification. Background materials and downloadable versions of posters, lithographs, and lesson plans are available. Online games and activities are also available.