STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)

Student viewing slide on microscope

Stanislaus County Office of Education provides professional development for teachers focused on inquiry, science content standards, and the Next Generation Science Standards. Our programs are designed to promote the improvement of science education and teacher leadership.  It is our goal to provide educators with science professional development opportunities, science resources, and information to increase the science and engineering workforce.  We are excited about the work we can do together to promote science education in Stanislaus County.

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

How Science Works

Inside the NGSS Box: This document provides a “cheat sheet” to reading and interpreting the standards.

Connecting to the Common Core - a document that connects the Common Core practices in ELA and Math to Science.  

The Three Dimensions of the Standards - This document provides an overview of the practices, core ideas, and crosscutting concepts.

The Engineering Design Process - This image illustrates to Engineering Design Process.

The Science and Engineering Practices - This document describes each of the Science and Engineering Practices in detail by grade level span.

The Key Content Sorted by Topics and Core Ideas - This document is a 2-sided resource that provides a snapshot of the content by grade level.


The Literacy Design Collaborative Sample Lessons
The Literacy Design Collaborative [LDC] offers a fresh approach to incorporating literacy into middle and high school content areas. Designed to make literacy instruction the foundation of the core subjects, LDC allows teachers to build content on top of a coherent approach to literacy.

Sample Units - K-8

Impact of Population Density Explanatory (6th Grade) – In this unit, students explore the impact of geographic characteristics on the population density of a post-industrialized nation (Canada) as part of a larger unit of study about Canada. Specifically, students are asked to determine whether climate, location, or the distribution of natural resources has the biggest impact on population density.

Biodiversity (7th Grade) - The world is rich with an amazing variety of life. Is it important to preserve this biodiversity? This is an introductory writing assignment where the focus is to introduce students to the concept and importance of biodiversity.

Cryobiology (8th Grade) - Students have just finished units on States and Properties of Matter. They will take the concepts learned and expound upon them by examining the field of cryobiology. Cryobiology is the study of living things at very low temperatures. This science is filled with many technological advances. Students will examine the pros and cons of the techniques used and formulate an argument based on scientific facts.

Energy Transfer (Grades 6-8) - All parts of matter have kinetic energy. The kinetic energy of the particles can change speed, resulting in phase change. The three states of matter on Earth are solid, liquid, and gas. During this module, students will read texts on states of matter, kinetic energy, and particles and write an informational essay explaining the motion of the particles through the states of matter.

Using Classification to Investigate Living Organisms (7th Grade) - Students will be able to investigate the diversity of living organisms and how they can be compared scientifically. They will recognize the organisms’ characteristics and classify them into specific Domains and Kingdoms based upon the physical characteristics they observe.

Sample Units 9-12

Plastics Chemical Bonding (High School) – Students will construct an argumentative piece which defends their position on the widely debated topic of the use of plastic water bottles and storage containers for drinks and foods. The unit of study, within which this module happens to fall, is chemical bonding. Students have been discussing three types of chemical bonding: ionic, covalent, and metallic and how this type of bonding affects the structure of matter. Students will construct a piece defending their position as well as using their knowledge of chemical bonding and compounds to explain either the benefits or the harmful effects of using plastics to contain our every day foods and drinks.

Diseases in Livestock (High School) - After researching news and scientific articles on Bovine Trichomoniasis, write an informational pamphlet for ranchers that describes what it is, how to recognize it and how to prevent it from affecting herds of cattle. Support your discussion with evidence from your

Nuclear Sustainability (11th Grade) - In this Project Based Learning unit, students are asked to answer the question, “Is nuclear energy sustainable?”  First, students are introduced to their task through an entry event in which they are given a brief introduction to the nuclear energy controversy and are told they will be writing an Op-Ed arguing for or against nuclear power based on their knowledge of the atom, nuclear chemistry, and nuclear power.  They are also tasked with creating a public service announcement to persuade others of their views.  After identifying what they know and want to learn about nuclear chemistry and nuclear power, they research the topics, complete labs/ activities about atomic structure, read a number of different opinion pieces, and hear a presentation from an activist.  They work collaboratively in groups for much of the process. Then they write the Op-Ed (individually) and complete public service announcement (in groups).  The project concludes with presentations of their editorials and public service announcements to the class and community activists.

Antibiotic Resistance Bacteria (High School) - Is the overuse of antibiotics leading to the creation of an untreatable "Super Bug"? After reading scientific articles and credible news reports on antibiotic resistant bacteria, write a report that examines the causes of resistant strains and explains the effect(s) that this has in the use of antibiotics in medicine and other applications. What conclusions or implications can you draw? Support your discussion with evidence from the text(s).

Contact Us

1100 H Street
Modesto, CA 95354

Key Contacts

Jose Marquez

Jose Marquez, Program Coordinator

(209) 238-1314

Rudy Escobar, Program Coordinator

(209) 238-1332
Nancy Williamson

Nancy Williamson, Event Planner II

(209) 238-1316