Changes could be coming to Kansas science classrooms

Kansas City, Kan. - Big changes could be coming to schools across Kansas, particularly in science classrooms. 

Kansas is one of 25 states reviewing its national science standards. That means several controversial topics could soon be in your child's classroom. Evolution and climate change are two topics the Kansas Board of Education hasn't decided to teach within classrooms for years.

Both topics have been hotly debated in the Sunflower State and now teachers could soon be forced to teach theories that support and counter both arguments.

Science classes could get a lot harder and require more practical thinking.

They could be asked to demonstrate how the volume of water changes when it goes from a liquid to steam. Students could also be asked how to explain how the embryo inside a kernel of popcorn changes, allowing it to pop, when heat is applied.

Students inside the science classrooms at J.C. Harmon High school in Kansas City, like many other schools in Kansas, already take STEM curriculum which stands for science, technology, engineering and math.

The new standards would really hone in on engineering and technology. Teachers would also be asked to teach about evolution and natural selection. Right now in Kansas, teachers mostly focus on creationism, the idea that religion is the basis of our universe.

Pat Colloton, former Kansas House Representative and educator says the denial of evolution is ridiculous.

"It's important to know about creationism and our values as reflected in religious doctrines, but to consider them science is fool hearty."

Education leaders hope changing the science curriculum will better prepare Kansas kids for college, and allow them to better compete in a global environment. A final vote on changing curriculum is expected in May.

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