ABSTRACT

Educators need to increase the number and levels of the promising science students and not limit the numbers of students in advanced science and specialized science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs. Whether students plan to enter a STEM field in a career anywhere from astronaut to zoologist or simply want to become well-informed citizens who can make sense of the world, recognize patterns, make generalizations, test conjectures, make and defend logical decisions, and critique the reasoning of others, science is critical to their development. All students, including high-ability learners, should have access to pathways to excellence in science; many student opportunities exist in the form of out-of-school enrichment activities. Some of the characteristics of thinking like a scientist that teachers should encourage and develop in themselves as well as their students can be harvested from the eight practices of science and engineering from the Framework for K-12 Science Education.