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K¹² Inc. Completes Modifications in Science Curriculum to Reflect Pluto’s New Status

October 27, 2006
Online curriculum provider sets a new standard as one of the first publishers to change its science curriculum to reflect Pluto's new status as a “dwarf planet”

Herndon, VA- Since the International Astronomical Union (IAU) vote on August 24, 2006 to change Pluto's status as a planet, teachers and curriculum supervisors across the country have scrambled to get the most accurate, up-to-date information for their students. However, that is not a concern for the hundreds of teachers and over 25,000 students who are using the innovative, web-based K12 curriculum in schools across the country.

Today, K12 Inc., a leading provider of high-quality curriculum and academic services, announced that they are one of the first education publishers to complete all the modifications to its science program in every grade to reflect the IAU's new classification for Pluto as a “dwarf planet.” The teachers, students and families in schools using the K12 curriculum were notified of the updates to the science curriculum and can now access the most accurate information about our solar system through the K12 Online School.

After hearing the news of the IAU's decision, the K12 science team immediately set out to make the changes to the K12 Online School, electronically updating the text and graphics in the science curriculum.

“This is a significant accomplishment for K12 since most publishers change their products every five to seven years,” said Mary Catherine Desrosiers, K12's Vice-President of Product Development. “Because K12 has developed a powerful, web-based learning program delivered through K12 Online School, we are able to make the changes to our science curriculum in real time and quickly distribute the new information to the teachers, students and schools we serve.”

Desrosiers added, “Science teachers often note that science is not carved in stone. As new information becomes available, and as new discoveries are made, science changes. The science team at K12 has effectively responded to the ever-shifting field of science by literally rewriting the curriculum in the K12 Online School with great speed so that students receive the latest scientific information.”

The following is an example of one of the text changes:

Old Version: [The planets] differ widely in size as well as distance from the sun. The largest is Jupiter; the smallest is Pluto. Pluto is so small and its orbit so different that scientists debate whether it should be considered a planet at all. However, traditionally it has been known as one. Its orbit is far from circular. Sometimes it even dips closer to the sun than Neptune's orbit, making Neptune the farthest planet at times.

New Version: [The planets] differ widely in size as well as distance from the sun. The largest is Jupiter; the smallest is Mercury. Pluto is so small and its orbit so different that scientists debate whether it should be considered a planet at all. However, in 2006 scientists determined that Pluto should be considered a “dwarf planet.”

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