Next Generation Science Standards

Science and Engineering

Disciplinary Core Ideas: Three Dimensions

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices

1. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Science begins with questions driven by curiosity, predictions, or previous investigations. While questions may be asked in engineering, engineering begins with defining problems.
2. Developing and Using Models
Modeling can begin in early grades as pictures and later develop into abstract models, diagrams, graphs, charts, mathematical representations, etc.
3. Planning and carrying out investigations
Scientific investigations, or experiments, are used to test a theory and seek answers.
4. Analyzing and Interpreting data
During investigations, students collect data. Students must be able to represent the data collected in such a way so themselves, as well as others, can read the data and discover answers.
5. Using mathematics and computational thinking
Mathematics bring science and engineering together. Students are able to use mathematics in order to connect engineering to the scientific theories.
6. Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
The goal of sciences is to create explanations that support their theories.
7. Engaging in argument from evidence
Science and engineering should create the process of an argument in order to expand and defend new and old ideas. Arguments should support explanations.
8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Students should be able to read, interpret, and produce scientific and technical text within both science and engineering in order o effectively communicate.

Crosscutting Concepts

Patterns: Observed patterns of forms and events guide organization, clasification, and prompt questions.

Cause and Effect: Events have causes. Investigating and explaining different relationships allows students to conduct further testing and form predictions based on the context

Scale, proportion, and quantity:
Students need to be able to recognize different measures of size, time, and energy as well as how changes in scale, proportions, and quantity, can affect performance of object or theory being tested.

System and system models:
Understanding and defining a system and being able to make a detailed model of that system

Energy and model: flows, cycles, and conservation:
By tracking matter and energy within systems it allows students to better understand how systems work.

Structure and Function: The way in which and object or living organism is shaped and built determines how it functions and systems work.

Stability and change:
All system, living and non, require strong stability and structure if they are to evolve, grow, and last through time.

Disciplianry Core Ideas

In order to determine a core idea it must meet two or more of the following criteria:
  • broad importance across multiple sciences or be the key component within a single area of science
  • provide a key tool for understanding more complex ideas
  • relate to students life experiences
  • connect to societal or personal concerns
  • be teachable and learnable


Next Generation Science Standards. (2014). Appendix F - Science and Engineering Practices in the NGSS. Retrieved from
Next Generation Science Standards. (2014). Appendix G - Crosscutting Concepts. Retrieved from
Next Generation Science Standards. (2014). Three Dimensions. Retrieved from
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