Curriculum and Instruction / Science / Next Generation Science Standards NGSS
  • Next Generation Science Standards NGSS

    Next Generation Science Standards NGSS

    NGSS: Improving Science Education Through Three Dimensional Learning


    Next Generation Science Standards

    The links in this section take you to the Next Generation Science Standards website where you will find comprehensive descriptions of the standards, the process of developing the standards and resources to better understand and teach them. 

    The NGSS are composed of the three dimensions from the NRC Framework. The National Research Council’s (NRC) Framework describes a vision of what it means to be proficient in science; it rests on a view of science as both a body of knowledge and an evidence-based, model and theory building enterprise that continually extends, refines, and revises knowledge. It presents three dimensions that will be combined to form each standard: 



    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.   

    Next Generation Science Standards


    Crosscutting concepts describe concepts that bridge disciplinary boundaries, having explanatory value throughout much of science and engineering. These crosscutting concepts have application across all domains of science. They are a way of linking the different domains of science. The seven crosscutting concepts include: Patterns; Cause and effect; Scale, proportion and quantity; Systems and system models; Energy and matter: Flows, cycles, and conservation; 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. 


    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 met 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 major domains: physical sciences; the life sciences; the earth and space sciences; and engineeringtechnology and applications of science

    NGSS Resources