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On this page you will find:

  • Links to additional wiki pages, external resources/websites, and downloadable Word docs and PDF's are indicated in red.


Science and the TASC


First, a word on the challenges. The science content on the TASC represents a substantial shift from the science content found on the current G.E.D. On the G.E.D. the science section is essentially a reading comprehension assessment, focused on science content materials. This is very different from the TASC science section, which will require students to have actual background knowledge of science content and science practices. No longer is being a strong reader enough for students to demonstrate their competency in science.  The TASC is designed to assess the science content detailed in the Next Generation Science Standards - see below.


Content Areas


There will be three content areas on the TASC questions evenly distributed among each.  The table below illustrates the division, and explains how much time students will have to complete the exam, and the number of items they will face.  Click on the content areas in red for a more detailed descriptions of concepts and topics in each. 



Content Area





Approximate Content Percentage



Time to Complete


Number of Items


Physical Science














80 minutes









47 Multiple Choice Items


8 Stimuli


Life Science





Earth and Space Science





Click here to read a description from TASCtest.com about the content on the TASC.


Scientific Thinking


What is Scientific Thinking?

While learning content will become much more important on the TASC for science, the emphasis will not on rote memorization and recitation of facts, but rather on scientific thinking. The Common Core stresses that there are ways of scientific thinking that extend across all scientific disciplines.  Students will need to be problem solvers and apply these problem solving skills creatively across the three major content areas.  


Essentially, students need to think like scientists.  This isn't as daunting as it sounds, though; it does not mean that Adult Educators who perhaps do not have traditional training in the sciences need to be PHd's.  Too often science is presented as a complicated study limited to experts.  But thinking like a scientist really means that we must get our students to approach scientific study as problem solvers.     


The Physicist Richard Feynman addresses the creative approach involved in thinking like a scientist in the animation below:  


Richard Feynman - Ode To A Flower from Fraser Davidson on Vimeo.


Types of Scientific Thinking

There are three types of scientific thinking that students will be required to practice to successfully complete the TASC.  Each type will be integrated across all content domains.  This means that any of the three types of Scientific Thinking practices could appear in any of the Content areas.  Click on the links in red to learn more about the different types of Scientific Thinking.



Type of Scientific Thinking


Scientific and Engineering Practices
(integrated across content domains)


Cross-Cutting Concepts
(integrated across content domains) 


Best Teaching Practices


Previously, adult educators had to focus less on actual science content and more on making sure that students had the literacy skills necessary to comprehend science texts and answer questions about them.  In some ways, this hasn't changed; the lack of time that adult educators have with students makes it impossible to cover all of the content that students will be expected to know.  Thus, teaching practices and the activities created for the classroom will still have to emphasize literacy.  The challenge that adult educators face is blending literacy skills with knowledge of the content.



The Science of How People Learn


Resources that look at current findings in neuroscience, and explore the implications for classroom instruction  


The Standards



General Resources


  • Teaching Channel Science Videos - A growing collection of videos made by science teachers, which demonstrate Common Core teaching practices and content being used with real students.



  • Modeling Instruction in Physics -These videos showcase teachers using Modeling Instruction in their classrooms. Instead of relying on lectures and textbooks, Modeling Instruction emphasizes active student construction of conceptual and mathematical models in an interactive learning community. Students are engaged with simple scenarios to learn to model the physical world. More information about Modeling Instruction, sample curriculum, and upcoming teacher workshops at: modeling.asu.edu


  • Veritasium - Veritasium is a science video blog featuring experiments, expert interviews, cool demos, and discussions with the public about everything science. Every video has a question as it's title - "Why does the Earth spin?",  "Why is ice slippery?" etc. The videos pose the question to people on the street to generate commonly held misconceptions. The videos then present the scientific concepts in the context of those misconceptions. The videos would be a great resource for a flipped classroom - in which students view a video outside of class and then class time is dedicated to discussion and experimentation. Derek Muller, the created of the Veritasium channel on YouTube, wrote his dissertation on the effects of multimedia videos on learning.


Here are a few sample videos: 




To see a summary of Derek's research (and why his approach might be more helpful for our students than say the Khan Academy), see the video below.


  • Tasks, Units and Student Work - NYC educators and national experts are developing Common Core-aligned tasks embedded in a unit of study. Educators can choose to adopt these resources in their entirety or adapt the materials to best address students’ diverse needs.  Search a growing assortment of Common Core-aligned tasks, units and student work by keyword, grade level, subject area and Common Core Learning Standard.


  • Tools for Ambitious Science Teaching - This site has a variety of resources for dynamic science teaching.  From readings on how to create and manage discourse in the classroom, to models of how to get students who are English Language Learners to give evidence based explanations, Tools for Ambitious Science Teaching is a massive source of teaching materials and recommendations for teachers who are looking to teach beyond the text book. 


Professional Development
















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