New Online Course Helps Educators Use the 5E Model—Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate—to Fuel Student Interest in STEM Topics and Careers

San Diego, CA, March 25, 2015—Today, Sally Ride Science announced the launch of a new professional development (PD) course, Teach STEM Using the 5Es, a training designed to help educators apply the 5E model to their STEM instruction. The course is being made available to all Sally Ride STEM License customers for no additional charge.

This 8-hour course trains teachers in science content (life, earth, physical sciences) through inquiry and engages them in the process of translating that learning to their teaching practice. The course draws deeply on the latest research on how young people learn science and how teachers can support their students’ acquisition of STEM literacy.

“For students to gain a lasting understanding of science concepts, the learning process must be inquiry-based,” says Dr. Tam O’Shaughnessy, CEO and cofounder of Sally Ride Science. “The students—not the teacher—must be the ones assessing their existing understanding and doing the work required to improve or change that understanding. A practical approach to this way of learning is the 5E model.”

The 5E Instructional Model, developed by the Biological Science Curriculum Council, outlines five key steps in an effective science lesson:

  1. Engage—Activate students’ prior knowledge and help them become engaged in a new concept.
  2. Explore—Provide a common base of activities so students can identify current conceptions and facilitate new understanding.
  3. Explain—Introduce concepts or skills and allow students to explain their understanding.
  4. Elaborate—Challenge and extend students’ understanding and skills.
  5. Evaluate—Allow students to demonstrate their understanding of key concepts.

Teach STEM Using the 5Es brings together proven research about how students learn science and cutting edge resources aligned to NGSS [Next Generation Science Standards],” said Sally Ride Science Teacher-in-Residence Chelsea Cochrane. “This self-paced course engages teachers in learning about how the 5E Instructional Model supports the transition to NGSS, and also leads to powerful teaching and learning in the classroom.”

“More than ever before, the goal of education is to help students develop the learning strategies they need to become independent learners and to think productively about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as well as history, social studies, and the arts,” says Dr. O’Shaughnessy. “Teachers who understand and use the 5Es learning cycle create classrooms where this critical goal is met.”

Teach STEM Using the 5Es is one of three PD courses available to Sally Ride STEM License customers, a comprehensive STEM education offering that includes PD, eBooks, and activities, all with a focus on STEM topics and careers. The other courses available to Sally Ride STEM License customers are Ignite Student Interest in STEM and STEM Connections to Common Core.


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