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Next Generation Science Standards

Through a collaborative, state-led process managed by Achieve, new K–12 science standards have been developed that are rich in content and practice and arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education. The NGSS are based on the Framework for K–12 Science Education developed by the National Research Council.

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Three Dimensions of the Standards

Dimension 1: Practices

The practices describe behaviors that scientists engage in as they investigate and build models and theories about the natural world and the key set of engineering practices that engineers use as they design and build models and systems. The NRC uses the term practices instead of a term like “skills” to emphasize that engaging in scientific investigation requires not only skill but also knowledge that is specific to each practice. Part of the NRC’s intent is to better explain and extend what is meant by “inquiry” in science and the range of cognitive, social, and physical practices that it requires.

Although engineering design is similar to scientific inquiry, there are significant differences. For example, scientific inquiry involves the formulation of a question that can be answered through investigation, while engineering design involves the formulation of a problem that can be solved through design. Strengthening the engineering aspects of the Next Generation Science Standards will clarify for students the relevance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (the four STEM fields) to everyday life.

Dimension 2: Crosscutting Concepts

Crosscutting concepts have application across all domains of science. As such, they are a way of linking the different domains of science. They include: Patterns, similarity, and diversity; Cause and effect; Scale, proportion and quantity; Systems and system models; Energy and matter; Structure and function; Stability and change. The Framework emphasizes that these concepts need to be made explicit for students because they provide an organizational schema for interrelating knowledge from various science fields into a coherent and scientifically-based view of the world.

Dimension 3: Disciplinary Core Ideas

Disciplinary core ideas have the power to focus K–12 science curriculum, instruction and assessments on the most important aspects of science. To be considered core, the ideas should meet at least two of the following criteria and ideally all four:
  • Have broad importance across multiple sciences or engineering disciplines or be a key organizing concept of a single discipline;
  • Provide a key tool for understanding or investigating more complex ideas and solving problems;
  • Relate to the interests and life experiences of students or be connected to societal or personal concerns that require scientific or technological knowledge;
  • Be teachable and learnable over multiple grades at increasing levels of depth and sophistication.
Disciplinary ideas are grouped in four domains: the physical sciences; the life sciences; the earth and space sciences; and engineering, technology and applications of science.

Learn more about the three dimensions in the NRC Framework online by visiting, www.nextgenscience.org.

Kindergarten

Our NGSS Kindergarten package provides texts to support a science curriculum that helps students grow to science proficiency. Titles chosen for this package present and support Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI) that are grouped in four domains: the physical sciences; the life sciences; the earth and space sciences; and engineering, technology and applications of science.
Forces and Motion
  • Pushes and Pulls
  • How Things Move
  • Levers
Plan and conduct an investigation to compare the effects of different strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls on the motion of an object.

Analyze data to determine if a design solution works as intended to change the speed or direction of an object with a push or a pull.
 
13 instructional
texts
Energy
  • Our Sun
Make observations to determine the effect of sunlight on Earth’s surface.

Use tools and materials to design and build a structure that will reduce the warming effect of sunlight on an area.
 
1 instructional
texts
From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • Homes
  • Learning About Animals
  • Water
Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.
 
15 instructional
texts
Earth’s Systems
  • It's Summer
  • Fall Leaves
  • Learning About Plants
Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time.

Construct an argument supported by evidence for how plants and animals (including humans) can change the environment to meet their needs.
 
19 instructional texts, and
2 Big Books
Earth and Human Activity
  • Rain Forest Life
  • At the Beach
  • Light
Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants or animals (including humans) and the places they live.

Ask questions to obtain information about the purpose of weather forecasting to prepare for, and respond to, severe weather.

Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of human s on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.
 
22 instructional
texts

Grade 1

Our NGSS Grade 1 package provides texts to support a science curriculum that helps students grow to science proficiency. Titles chosen for this package present and support Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI) that are grouped in four domains: the physical sciences; the life sciences; the earth and space sciences; and engineering, technology and applications of science.
Waves and their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer
  • All Kinds of Sounds
  • How Do We Use Light?
  • Shadows and Reflections
Plan and conduct investigations to provide evidence that vibrating materials can make sound and that sound can make materials vibrate.

Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that objects can be seen only when illuminated.

Plan and conduct an investigation to determine the effect of placing objects made with different materials in the path of a beam of light.

Use tools and materials to design and build a device that uses light or sound to solve the problem of communicating over a distance.
9 instructional
texts
Engineering and Design
  • Materials
  • Shapes in the City
  • Metal
Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.

Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.

Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.
11 instructional
texts
From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • Amphibian Babies
  • Plant Parts
  • Seeds Go, Seeds Grow
Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their need.

Read texts and use media to determine patterns in behavior of parents and offspring that help offspring survive.
28 instructional
texts
Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
  • Fish Babies
  • Plants: Real Size Science
  • Animal Babies
Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that young plants and animals are like, but not exactly like, their parents.
9 instructional
texts
Earth’s Place in the Universe
  • Light and Dark
  • Where Does the Sun Go at Night?
  • The Moon
Use observations of the sun, moon, and stars to describe patterns that can be predicted.

Make observations at different times of year to relate the amount of daylight to the time of year.
18 instructional
texts

Grade 2

Our NGSS Grade 2 package provides texts to support a science curriculum that helps students grow to science proficiency. Titles chosen for this package present and support Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI) that are grouped in four domains: the physical sciences; the life sciences; the earth and space sciences; and engineering, technology and applications of science.
Matter and its Interactions
  • Experiments with Heating and Cooling
  • All About Matter
  • Joe the Wizard Brews Up Solids, Liquids, and Gases
Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties.

Analyze data obtained from testing different materials to determine which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose.

Make observations to construct an evidence-based account of how an object made of a small set of pieces can be disassembled and made into a new object.

Construct an argument with evidence that some changes caused by heating or cooling can be reversed and some cannot.
6 instructional
texts
Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  • Plant Packages
  • Sunlight
  • Water
Plan and conduct an investigation to determine if plants need sunlight and water to grow.

Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.
43 instructional
texts
Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
  • Poison Venom
  • Hiding in Wetlands
  • Camouflage and Mimicry
Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
6 instructional
texts
Engineering and Design
  • Finding Information and Making Arguments
  • Graphs
  • Science Tools
Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.

Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.

Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.
15 instructional
texts
Earth’s Place in the Universe
  • Earthquakes
  • Volcanoes
  • Waterfalls
Use information from several sources to provide evidence that Earth events can occur quickly or slowly.
7 instructional
texts
Earth’s Systems
  • Water Goes Round
  • Islands
  • Caves
Compare multiple solutions designed to slow or prevent wind or water from changing the shape of the land.

Develop a model to represent the shapes and kinds of land and bodies of water in an area.

Obtain information to identify where water is found on Earth and that it can be solid or liquid.
12 instructional
texts

Grade 3

Our NGSS Grade 3 package provides texts to support a science curriculum that helps students grow to science proficiency. Titles chosen for this package present and support Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI) that are grouped in four domains: the physical sciences; the life sciences; the earth and space sciences; and engineering, technology and applications of science.
Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
  • Conductors and Insulators
  • The Attractive Truth about Magnetism
  • Motion: Push and Pull, Fast and Slow
Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.

Make observations and/or measurements of an object’s motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion.

Ask questions to determine cause and effect relationships of electric or magnetic interactions between two objects not in contact with each other.

Define a simple design problem that can be solved by applying scientific ideas about magnets.
10 instructional
texts
From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • Growth
  • Life Processes
  • Inheritance and Reproduction
Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death.
6 instructional
texts
Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  • Adaptation and Survival
  • What If There Were No Bees?
  • What If There Were No Sea Otters?
Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive.
5 instructional
texts
Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
  • Plants
  • The Secret Lives of Plants
  • Inheritance and Reproduction
Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits exists in a group of similar organisms.

Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment.
14 instructional
texts
Engineering Design
  • Journey of a Toy
  • Zoom It!
Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.

Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
8 instructional
texts
Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
  • What If There Were No Bees?
  • How Do We Know About Dinosaurs
  • What If There Were No Gray Wolves?
Analyze and interpret data from fossils to provide evidence of the organisms and the environments in which they lived long ago.

Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.

Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.

Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change.
39 instructional
texts
Earth’s Systems
  • Rocks: Hard, Soft, Smooth and Rough
  • Extreme Weather
  • Weather
Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.

Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.
4 instructional
texts
Earth and Human Activity
  • The Worst Hurricanes of All Time
  • The Worst Tornadoes of All Time
Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.

Make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard.
2 instructional
texts

Grade 4

Our NGSS Grade 4 package provides texts to support a science curriculum that helps students grow to science proficiency. Titles chosen for this package present and support Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI) that are grouped in four domains: the physical sciences; the life sciences; the earth and space sciences; and engineering, technology and applications of science.
Energy
  • Adventures in Sound with Max Axion
  • Experiments with Light
  • Light and Sound
Use evidence to construct an explanation relating the speed of an object to the energy of that object.

Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents.

Ask questions and predict outcomes about the changes in energy that occur when objects collide.

Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another.
14 instructional
texts
Waves and their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer
  • Adventures in Sound with Max Axiom, Super Scientist
  • Volume: Turn it up! Turn it down!
  • Electricity
Develop a model of waves to describe patterns in terms of amplitude and wavelength and that waves can cause objects to move.

Develop a model to describe that light reflecting from objects and entering the eye allows objects to be seen.

Generate and compare multiple solutions that use patterns to transfer information.
11 instructional
texts
From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • Bridging The Energy Gap
  • Life Processes
  • Plant Reproduction: How Do You Grow a Giant Pumpkin?
Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.

Use a model to describe that animals receive different types of information through their senses, process the information in their brain, and respond to the information in different ways.
14 instructional
texts
Earth’s Place in the Universe
  • Minerals
  • Rocks and Minerals
  • Crystals
Analyze and interpret data from fossils to provide evidence of the organisms and the environments in which they lived long ago.

Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time.
8 instructional
texts
Earth’s Systems
  • Sweeping Tsunamis
  • Anatomy of a Volcanic Eruption
  • Can You Survive an Earthquake? An Interactive Survival Adventure
Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation.

Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth’s features.
8 instructional
texts
Earth and Human Activity
  • Endangered Energy
  • Let's Think About Sustainable Energy
  • Onion Juice, Poop, and Other Surprising Sources of Alternative Energy
Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and their uses affect the environment.

Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.
9 instructional
texts
Engineering Design
  • The Incredible Work of Engineers with Max Axiom
  • Building the Great Wall of China
  • Buildings and Structures
Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.

Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
22 instructional
texts

Grade 5

Our NGSS Grade 5 package provides texts to support a science curriculum that helps students grow to science proficiency. Titles chosen for this package present and support Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI) that are grouped in four domains: the physical sciences; the life sciences; the earth and space sciences; and engineering, technology and applications of science.
Matter and Its Interactions
  • The Dynamic World of Chemical Reactions with Max Axiom
  • Materials
  • Solids, Liquids, and Gases
Develop a model to describe that matter is made of particles too small to be seen.

Measure and graph quantities to provide evidence that regardless of the type of change that occurs when heating, cooling, or mixing substances, the total weight of matter is conserved.

Make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties.

Conduct an investigation to determine whether the mixing of two or more substances results in new substances.
3 instructional
texts
Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
  • Forces and Motion
  • Super Cool Forces and Motion Activities with Max Axiom
  • Magnetism
Support an argument that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down.
7 instructional
texts
Energy
  • Essential Life Science: Life Processes
  • The Sun
  • Food Webs: Who Eats What?
Use models to describe that energy in animals’ food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun.
4 instructional
texts
From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • Life Processes
Support an argument that plants get the materials they need for growth chiefly from air and water.
1 instructional
texts
Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  • Exploring Ecosystems with Max Axiom
  • Food Webs - Who Eats What?
  • 30 Million Different Insects in the Rainforest
Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.
3 instructional
texts
Earth’s Place in the Universe
  • Destined for Space: Our Story of Exploration
  • The Science Behind Wonders of the Sun
  • The Science Behind Wonders of the Sky
Support an argument that differences in the apparent brightness of the sun compared to other stars is due to their relative distances from Earth.

Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky.
6 instructional
texts
Earth’s Systems
  • Endangered Oceans
  • Travel Explorer Guides - Seas
  • Earth
Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.

Describe and graph the amounts and percentages of water and fresh water in various reservoirs to provide evidence about the distribution of water on Earth.
7 instructional
texts
Earth and Human Activity
  • Sylvia Earle: Ocean Explorer
  • Are Humans Damaging the Atmosphere?
  • Saving the Environment
Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
8 instructional
texts
Engineering Design
  • Cars and Motorcycles
  • Hi-Tech Clothes: Design and Engineering for STEM
Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.

Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
4 instructional
texts
 
 
 
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