The California-adopted Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), both call for fundamental reform in the ways in which K-12 schools prepare all students for 21st Century studies and careers, many of which have yet to be invented. Literacy is an inherent component of knowledge building and innovation across the multitude of professional contexts. Scientists, engineers, and technological entrepreneurs, for example, engage in various forms of language and communication, much of which are currently underrepresented and unexplored in K-12 learning practices (e.g., Houseal, Abd-El-Khalick & Destafano, 2014). As such, we are committed to fostering the intellectual identities of students as they engage in a variety of texts and technologies across academic disciplines, including the humanities and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) related studies. With a holistic focus on students’ cultures, experiences, interests, and motivations, we support the literacy-based goals of all students, including:
- Grade-level reading fluency and comprehension aligned with the Common Core,
- In-depth discussions of various forms of challenging texts and associated hands-on activities across the content areas (including STEM and the arts), and
- Communicating complex ideas in various forms, including writing for multiple purposes.