Science Education

Ethos for Science Education in Nebraska

Purpose Statement

Science is a systematic sense-making process, aimed at figuring out the physical and natural world through observation and investigation.


  • look closely, question deeply, think critically, and connect related data and phenomena to identify patterns
  • pay attention to our place as humans in a complex ecosystem defined by physical laws
  • look for new evidence and constantly revise and critically evaluate claims, theories, and worldviews

As the community of Nebraska educators, it is our responsibility to invite all students to explore the rich nature of science within inclusive and culturally responsive classrooms, and prepare scientifically literate citizens ready to understand, engage, and transform the world.

Vision Statement

All* Nebraska students use scientific literacy to engage in civicminded decision making as they demonstrate readiness for college, career, and lifelong learning. Pre-K to grade 12 students:

  • gather, analyze, and communicate information from multiple sources (including data from their own investigations)
  • make connections between learning and their lives, passions, and postsecondary interests
  • engage in authentic and relevant learning experiences that cultivate curiosity
  • make sense of phenomena
  • design creative and well-researched solutions to local and global problems

Mission Statement

Nebraska high school graduates will enter their profession or higher education having benefited from access to meaningful and dedicated opportunities to learn and practice the three dimensions of science education. Students will draw from the integrated nature of science as well as their prior knowledge to engage with:

  • high-quality instruction and materials at the right level, time, and intensity that include daily opportunities to
    • develop explanations, arguments, and models
    • identify problems, ask questions, and design solutions
    • revise thinking based on multiple sources of evidence and intentional data analysis
  • high expectations for learning and achievement, established and carefully monitored through an embedded 3-D system of assessment as part of an ongoing cycle of instruction


Equity requires that these opportunities and outcomes exist for all Nebraskans, including but not limited to, and unrestricted by race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, or political affiliation.

— NDE’s equity statement

Science Teaching & Learning with COVID-19

Documents for SUPPORTING SCIENCE LEARNING DURING COVID-19 compiled by members of the Council of State Science Supervisors (CSSS)

Important Science Links

2017 Science Standards

Link to 2017 Science Standards


Link to STEM page

Science Assessment

Link to Statewide Assessment Science Transition Page

Walk to Unlock Nebraska

Walk to Unlock Nebraska - History, Agriculture, NatureCreativity is a necessity when working with youth. Walk 2 Unlock Nebraska allows classrooms and out-of-school clubs the opportunity to engage youth to learn about agriculture, nature, historical, and science-based content along one of four Nebraska trails. Two trails are currently open. The next two will be built over the 2023-2024 school year.

Walk 2 Unlock supports the whole child, working to provide activities to support body and mind. The program features an interactive map of Nebraska that allows users to track their locally achieved physical activity miles to make progress on virtual trails across the state. As students travel across the virtual trails, they will encounter checkpoints to learn more about the state through STEAM lessons appropriate for grades K-8th. Check out for Walk to Unlock Nebraska for more information.

Walk to Unlock Nebraska is a program of the Nebraska Department of Education Healthy Schools Program in partnership with Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation’s Agriculture in the Classroom, Nebraska Game and Parks, Nebraska Tourism, Midwest Dairy, History Nebraska, and Nebraska Public Media.

For more information contact:

Angie Nimmich
Professional Assistant
Updated March 29, 2023 2:00pm