Next Generation Science Standards


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NGSS Overview

Science Education: Practices, Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts recommends science education in grades K-12 be built around three major dimensions: scientific and engineering practices; crosscutting concepts that unify the study of science and engineering through their common application across fields; and core ideas in the major disciplines of natural science.

  • The NGSS helps to prepare students for college and careers!
  • The NGSS, provide students with a structure for learning and doing science in authentic and meaningful ways.
  • The NGSS help guide teachers toward creating a classroom environment where students can engage with that structure.

NGSS Science & Engineering Practices

The eight practices of science and engineering that is essential for all students to learn...

1. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)

2. Developing and using models

3. Planning and carrying out investigations

4. Analyzing and interpreting data

5. Using mathematics and computational thinking

6. Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)

7. Engaging in argument from evidence

8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

The above eight practices help to get the students ready for college and careers!!!

Disciplinary Core Ideas

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.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

Physical Sciences

PS1: Matter and its interactions

PS2: Motion and stability: Forces and interactions

PS3: Energy

PS4: Waves and their applications in technologies for information transfer

Life Sciences

LS1: From molecules to organisms: Structures and processes

LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, energy, and dynamics

LS3: Heredity: Inheritance and variation of traits

LS4: Biological evolution: Unity and diversity

Earth and Space Sciences

ESS1: Earth’s place in the universe

ESS2: Earth’s systems

ESS3: Earth and human activity

Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science

ETS1: Engineering design

ETS2: Links among engineering, technology, science, and society

In order to be considered "core", the ideas should meet at least two of the following criteria and ideally all four:

1. It has broad importance across multiple science or engineering disciplines or is a key organizing principle of a single discipline.

2. It is an important tool for understanding or investigating more complex ideas and solving problems.

3. It is relevant, either by relating to students’ interests and life experiences or to societal or personal concerns that require scientific or technical knowledge.

4. It must be broad enough to be meaningfully taught and learned at increasing levels of depth and sophistication over a student's K-12 educational career.

Crosscutting Concepts

Crosscutting concepts are applied in all domains in science and they help to connect the different domains of science.

1. Patterns.

2. Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation.

3. Scale, proportion, and quantity.

4. Systems and system models.

5. Energy and matter: Flows, cycles, and conservation.

6. Structure and function.

7. Stability and change.

The Framework stresses that these concepts need to be made obvious for students because they provide an organizational representation for correlating knowledge from various science fields into a clear and scientifically-based view of the world.

NGSS Overview


Contant, T. L. (2014). Teaching Science Through Inquiry and Investigation (12th ed.). Retrieved from ISBN: 9780132612241.

NGSS Lead States. (2013). Next Generation Science Standards:For States, By States . Retrieved from

YouTube (2014, August 5). NGSS Overview [Video file]. Retrieved from YouTube website: