Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

The National Academy of Sciences is a great source for information about the status of science research and education in the U.S. The National Research Council (NRC) releases guidelines and frameworks for all aspects of education among other things. In 2011, NRC released a framework for K-12 science education (although all STEM sources are talked about).

The NRC committee’s has two major goals for K-12 science education:

  1. educating all students in science and engineering
  2. provide the foundational knowledge for those who will become the scientists, engineers, technologists, and technicians of the future.

The report also divides science education into three dimensions:

  1. Practices
  2. Crosscutting Concepts
  3. Disciplinary Core Ideas

Practices for K-12 Science Classrooms

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

Engaging students in the actual practice of science and engineering helps them understand how scientific knowledge develops. It also gives them an appreciation for the complexity of the process. It can pique their “curiosity, capture their interest, and motivate their continued study.”


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