Posted on 11/06/2009 at 09:44 AM by Global Reach


At a recent Every Learner Inquires conference, Shannon C’DeBaca addressed the strong connection between teaching inquiry-based science and integrating the science content of the Iowa Core Curriculum. Shannon illustrated a point using one of her favorite TV shows, “The Deadliest Catch.” This reality show follows the actions of fishing boat crews off the coast of Alaska. Shannon observes that there seem to be two types of captains on the show. One type sees a 40 ft. wave coming at their small fishing boat and thinks, “Oh my God, we’re going to die!” The other type sees the wave and thinks, “Cool! Things are gonna get a little crunchy!” She observed that the second type of captain seemed to enjoy the most fishing success. We need to consider our own response to the science content within the Iowa Core Curriculum: do we see it as another “Oh my Gosh,” or do we see its connection to things we’ve been trying to do for years?

As you start reviewing the science Essential Concepts and Skills within the Iowa Core Curriculum, you will recognize a strong emphasis on teaching science through inquiry. You will also notice that elementary science simply cannot be shortchanged. There are experiences with soil, magnets, levers, crayfish, observing the changing shape of the moon, etc. that students need in their early education to allow them to make sense of science principles later on.   Finally, you may notice that the ICC places an emphasis on Earth Science at the high school level that has not always been there. Students of the 21st Century simply must be literate about issues affecting our planet.

So what if it gets a little crunchy as we implement the Iowa Core? What are we afraid of? Jody Herbold, Jim Christensen, and I pledge to provide support to all local science teachers in this endeavor.


From one boat captain to another,


Brian Nelsen

Northwest AEA

Instructional coach and science consultant


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