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NGSS Resources

The Rhode Island Board of Education unanimously approved the adoption of the NGSS in May, 2013.  Rhode Island was one of 26 lead state to work with WestEd (previously Achieve) to develop the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  To learn more about WestEd and the standards, go to www.nextgenscience.org/

Science Education in the United States: A Landscape Study for Improving the Field Posted April 12, 2023

The report, which was written by Horizon Research Institute (HRI), features 13 recommendations on professional learning, instruction, preservice teacher preparation, instructional materials, assessments and accountability, and state standards.  HRI adopted the Bridgespan Group’s Field Building for Population - Level Change model (Farnham et al. 2020), which identifies five characteristics necessary for building a field: a knowledge base, actors, a field-level agenda, infrastructure, and resources.

Three OpenSciEd High School Units are Published! Posted April 12, 2023

After 18 months of development, the first high school units are published and ready to be downloaded here.  These include:

  • Biology: Ecosystems Interactions & Dynamics

  • Chemistry: Thermodynamics in Earth's Systems

  • Physics: Energy Flow from Earth's Systems

The OpenSciEd Team recorded a series of Webinars to introduce each unit.  See them at this page.

Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC). Posted April 13, 2023

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the “For Educators: Grades 6-12 [yale.us2.list-manage.com]” section of our website. There, you’ll find free resources that:

  • Utilize current YPCCC data, as well as stories, about Americans’ climate change attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs.
  • Enable students to engage with climate change topics in an accessible, digestible, interactive way.
  • Can live in classrooms across grade levels and content areas - since climate change is and will continue to impact all areas of our lives, learning about it shouldn’t be limited to high school science classrooms!
  • Are NGSS and Common Core-aligned.
  • Can be used in the classroom the very next day without modification (some of the lesson plans can be modified for elementary classrooms).
  • Come with instructions for teachers so that everyone is set up for success.
  • Challenge students and teachers to approach climate change through a variety of skills, including critical thinking, communication, and data analysis. 
  • Have been piloted in middle and high schools across the U.S. 
  • Can be adapted to fit the needs of students and teachers. For example, a Brooklyn biology teacher facilitated an extension of one of our activities in which she had her students depict Global Warming’s Six Americas as CareBears. 

Commercial Crew Program STEM Mission Toolkit (K-12) Posted April 12, 2023

Build excitement for the SpaceX Crew-6 launch with activities and resources from the Commercial Crew Program STEM Mission Toolkit, a one-stop-shop launch resource filled with lesson plans, videos, and educational resources for K-12 students. Find more ways to bring resources from Commercial Crew and the International Space Station into your classroom by checking out NASA’s Next Gen STEM website

Mass Academy’s Teacher Resource Center is Now Open! Posted April 12, 2023

Mass Academy is pleased to announce the opening of the Teacher Resource Center! Visit us to check out this collaborative space filled with books, instructional materials, and STEM kits available for your use while you visit or to borrow for your classroom or program. If you are looking for a hands-on, interactive task, activity, or lesson, let us know! If we don’t have what you need, we would be thrilled to design a kit to match your goals. Educators are welcome to book the Teacher Resource Center for lesson planning, curriculum writing, or meetings. If interested in reserving this space, please email mams@wpi.edu.

NSTA Resources Posted April 12, 2023


NASCAR Kids: Free Racing-Themed Resources for K–8

What better way to teach STEM than through the sport of racing, a sport many kids enjoy! Get some free lesson plans, a track guide, and videos, and have your students design and drive their own race car in a simulation that also teaches them about engineering and aerodynamics.

Freebies and Opportunities for Science and STEM Teachers

Check out these free resources and opportunities for educators, including lesson plans, a grant, and student scholarship opportunities.

NSTA Connected Science Learning

Using Open-World Games to Support Inclusive Approaches to Computational Thinking

Ed Surge

NextGen Science WestEd Posted April 12, 2023

Example Instructional Materials

New Quality High School Unit Posted

Over the last ten years, the field has learned about the features of high-quality science instructional materials, and their importance in making the shifts in classrooms that today’s science standards demand. In this time, over 50 lessons and units have been posted on nextgenscience.org as quality examples for the field to use and learn from. Each of these examples is also linked on the corresponding standards pages the example aims to address.

Incorporating Research: Engineering in Preschool Through Elementary Grades

Research on science teaching and learning plays a significant role in supporting all students in engaging in an equitable and inclusive learning experience. Implementing research findings can lead to meaningful outcomes including resources, tools, and strategies that can improve science teaching and learning in the field. 

Science in elementary schools often comes with many challenges — instructional time, several demands placed on teachers, a lack of resources and infrastructure — but it is an essential time for students to be developing identities as scientists and engineers. The recent National Academies consensus study identified approaches and strategies that can be used by education leaders at all levels to ensure all children are provided with high-quality learning experiences.

Read more from the 2021 National Academies report here, and more research in the past ten years about science education here

Centering Instruction on Sense-making: Problems with Problems 

Over the past decade, classroom instruction has started to shift from learning about science to figuring out the cause of phenomena. The field now has many resources on driving instruction with phenomena. However, today’s science standards also represent a commitment to raise engineering design to the same level as scientific inquiry when teaching science at all grades K–12, including supporting students to learn and apply the three dimensions while solving real world problems. A 2021 resource provides examples and guidance on what it can look like to drive instruction with engineering design problems.

Read the 2021 NextGenScience resource here.

Monitoring Progress: Implementation Indicators of Today's Science Standards

Change is a process that must be managed — it does not occur instantly or without great, sustained, and intentional effort. Monitoring progress is an essential component of that work. This resource provides some key common indicators of successful NGSS implementation at the district level, as well as some concrete actions that districts can take to achieve implementation goals.

See the 2017 Achieve resource here.

High School: Leukemia Unit

In a quality high school unit posted this month, students investigate the fictionalized case of Hina Marsey, an eleven-year-old girl who is diagnosed with a form of leukemia. They explore the effect mutations can have on cells as they divide and differentiate, how cancer can disrupt our body’s systems, and how science is used to develop treatments and cures. 

See the free Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center unit and corresponding EQuIP Rubric for Science evaluation report posted in April 2023 here. It is also linked on the standards pages for HS-LS1-1, HS-LS1-2, and HS-LS1-4.

New Middle School High Quality Unit Posted 

In this life science and engineering unit, students explore the important role bees play as pollinators within ecosystems. Students investigate the impact of human activities on wild bee species and discover why a reduction in biodiversity threatens global food security. Confronted with this problem, students make a choice: save the bees or replace them. The unit earned a rating of High Quality NGSS Design if Improved by the NextGenScience cadre of expert reviewers.  See the freely available Stile unit and corresponding EQuIP Rubric for Science evaluation report here.

Blog Post: Cultivating Cultural Competency

A new On the Same Wavelength blog post discusses what it takes to build affirming science learning environments. The authors share three strategies from the Promoting Inclusion and Engagement in STEM Learning practical guide to support educators, administrators, and professional learning providers to meaningfully engage students using the language and cultural assets they bring to the classroom. 

See the NextGenscience blog post here

This STEM Teaching Tool provides recommended approaches for science educators to critically reflect on how race and identity affect their practices and relationships with their students. The tool can help educators leverage their students’ identities, particularly those of students from Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities, and provide the space in their classroom to discuss racial and cultural backgrounds.
See Practice Brief 89 here

NGSS Resources from Achieve at www.nextgenscience.org/resources

Find EQuIP rubric, course pathways, and many other useful publications

Gr STEM Teaching Tools www.stemteachingtools.org

      Research based handouts in pdf format.  On a variety of topics based on NGSS and STEM education

     NGSS Storylines www.nextgenstorylines.org

      Tools that have been developed by NGSS experts to support teachers in developing, adapting, and teaching with the NGSS in mind.


NGSS One Pagers

NSTA offers a tremendous collection of resources designed to help provide more information for the NGSS.

Three Dimensions of NGSS (Color | B&W)

This three page pdf document provides general information of each of the three dimensions of the NGSS specifically the science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and the crosscutting concepts.

A Look at the Next Generation Science Standards (Color | B&W

This two page pdf document provides a detailed look at the architecture of the NGSS standards.

Venn Diagram of the Practices in Science, Math, and ELA  (Color | B&W)

This pdf shows how the practices of the NGSS, CCSS-Math, and CCSS ELA intersect and support each other.

Matrix of Disciplinary Core Ideas in the NGSS

Here you will find a complete matrix of the disciplinary core ideas of the NGSS by domain

NGSS Explanation for parents/families

Great link to explain why these standards are important

NSTA Position Statement that outlines the reasons why NGSS is important to the improvement of science education.

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