What is SEPUP?

At St. Josaphat School, our junior high science classes follow the Science Education for Public Understanding Program (SEPUP) curriculum created by UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science. The 5th grade studies a combination of earth, life, and physical sciences, while 6th grade focuses on earth science, 7th grade focuses on life science, and 8th grade focuses on physical science.

As our world changes it is becoming more crucial to not only teach scientific concepts, but to also learn why things are changing, the issues that they cause, and the ways that scientists can create solutions to them. This is why SEPUP uses an “issue oriented science” approach. At the beginning of a unit, students are introduced to an issue that people today are actually dealing with, such as a growing population. Throughout the unit the students participate in a series of hands-on experiences, as well as debates and conversations, that lead them to real-life solutions while thinking about the possible negative consequences of each solution.

The units are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). These standards are based on seven core practices, including developing and using models, analyzing and interpreting data, and engaging in arguments from evidence. To learn more about the standards please visit this link.