Teachers nationwide already are adopting the new national science standards, officially released last month. The Next Generation Science Standards, developed by a coalition of 26 states and several national groups, encourage deeper learning and include a focus on scientific inquiry and engineering design. Bernadette G. Manzo, a veteran teacher in Cleveland who is piloting the standards, recently had her students work on a unit about genetics by, among other things, studying the DNA of items in the school cafeteria and grocery store.

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