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What is SCIENCELINE? | How To Participate


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Visit the national SCIENCELINE site each month for new classroom activities, challenges, career spotlights, and more.

A unique professional development resource created for K-5 science teachers.   Although the program concentrates on innovations in science teaching, elementary teachers find that SCIENCELINE benefits their teaching in most subject areas because the majority of techniques and skills can be applied across the curriculum.

How does SCIENCELINE differ from existing staff development programs?

A collaborative effort of PBS and the National Science Teachers Association, SCIENCELINE is based on the new National Science Education Standards that call for learning and teaching science through scientific inquiry. As it explores scientific inquiry in the context of the teaching and assessment standards, SCIENCELINE adheres to the Standards recommendations for professional development programs, including:

  • on-going, coherent program (no fragmented, one-shot in-service training)
  • collegial and collaborative learning variety of activities
  • teacher as intellectual, reflective practitioner
  • teacher as member of collegial professional community

What, specifically, is the focus of SCIENCELINE?

SCIENCELINE examines in depth the process of scientific inquiry as a teaching and lifelong learning skill. Through the videos you can observe real teachers in real classrooms across the United States demonstrating effective science teaching as defined by the Standards. Because the goal of SCIENCELINE is to help teachers make the transition from traditional teacher-directed science teaching to a student-directed classroom environment of active learners, emphasis is on how to implement the scientific inquiry process: What it is...What it looks like...How it differs from traditional hands-on activities...The teacher's new role as facilitator...How to plan...Classroom management...Incorporating outside resources...etc.

How do I participate in SCIENCELINE?

Through modules incorporating videotape and facilitated listserv forums, you can explore standards-based science teaching with SCIENCELINE colleagues.  Examine and reflect on your teaching with peers online and provide mutual support and analysis as you make the transition to inquiry learning.  Participating in SCIENCELINE takes you out of the isolation of your classroom and school, enabling you to form professional networks where you can find help, support, ideas, strategies and reassurance as you facilitate active student learning.

How does the moderated listserv work?

The SCIENCELINE national moderated listserv allows you to discuss concepts addressed in the videos, hear how colleagues approach similar teaching situations, share classroom experiences, and otherwise participate in a professional development experiences designed to bring about meaningful growth. The moderator builds structured discussion threads around video segments featured on the Web site.

Do teachers receive lesson plans?

Like the Standards, SCIENCELINE is not meant to be a curriculum. The intent is to demonstrate, explore and examine the process of science inquiry teaching and learning, not to provide lessons. Through SCIENCELINE, you gain in-depth understanding of the underlying principles behind scientific inquiry in the context of the Standards which empower you to develop and modify your science inquiry lessons around state frameworks and curriculum. You investigate and apply effective strategies to facilitate active learning where students build comprehension by asking questions, making observations, and gathering, organizing and analyzing data. SCIENCELINE adheres to the concept that the essence of science is not content alone, but the process through which that content is derived.

How can I participate in Scienceline?

There are two ways of participating in Scienceline.

1) Record Scienceline when it airs on the overnight ITV blockfeeds and sign up for the moderated listserv on the national Sciencleine Web site.  For more information on broadcast times and dates visit IdahoPTV's Instructional Television website:

2) Order the videotapes of lessons, print guides, and sign up for the moderated national listserv via the national SCIENCELINE Web site. For more information, visit:

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