Hands-On, Minds Open: The Changing Face of Science Education

June 24, 2014

Hands-On, Minds Open: The Changing Face of Science Education

The Hunt Institute developed this series of videos to document how leading K-12 educators are shifting their instructional practices to develop the critical thinking skills demanded in today’s economy and increase interest in science. With a dynamic and accessible format, these videos can provide diverse audiences, including educators, policymakers, and parents with a stronger understanding of how science instruction is transforming to better engage students and prepare them for success in a global economy. While these videos highlight teachers in North Carolina, these shifts are happening in other states across the country. Please refer to the accompanying Video User Guide for suggestions on how to best use this learning tool.



Inquiry-Based K-12 Science Instruction

This video features policy leaders and educators discussing how hands-on, inquiry-based science instruction builds critical thinking and problem solving skills essential to today’s economy, as well as the need to increase interest in science among women and minorities.


Building the Foundations – Elementary School Science Education

This video highlights educators in Johnston County, NC using hands-on, inquiry-based lesson plans to generate interest in science and build critical thinking skills by capitalizing on students’ natural curiosity of how the world works.


Exploration, Discovery, Learning – Middle School Science Education

This video features middle school educators and students in Moore County, NC discussing their recent shift away from textbook-centric lesson plans to hands-on exploratory lesson plans where the teacher is the facilitator of the process, but not the person with all of the answers.


Preparing for College and Careers – High School Science Education

This video features educators at Brunswick County Early College High School in NC using hands-on learning opportunities to continue engaging students in science and to expose them to the practical application of classroom lessons through careers in science.



The following two publications can be used in conjunction with this video series to provide greater context around how policymakers and education leaders nationwide are improving science standards and instruction:

  • Making the Case: The Importance of a Rigorous Science Education – This edition of re:VISION provides context on the state of science education and profiles how states are improving science education by elevating their science standards, improving teacher preparation and professional development, and engaging underrepresented groups.


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