Next Generation Science Standards

A high-quality science education means that students will develop an in-depth understanding of content and develop key skills—communication, collaboration, inquiry, problem solving, and flexibility—that will serve them throughout their educational and professional lives. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), around which our science curriculum is aligned, set expectations for what students should know and be able to do.

Next Generation Science Standards are inquiry-based, with hands-on learning components and scientific thinking practices. These standards place a greater emphasis on helping students understand the content of science, as well as the processes and practices used to apply new scientific knowledge. The NGSS are arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines to provide all students an internationally-benchmarked science education.

Within the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), there are three distinct and equally important dimensions to learning science. These dimensions are combined to form each standard—or performance expectation—and each dimension works with the other two to help students build a cohesive understanding of science over time.

  • Crosscutting Concepts help students explore connections across the four domains of science, including physical science, life science, earth and space science, and engineering design. This enables them to develop a coherent, science-based view of the world around them.
  • Science and Engineering Practices describe what scientists do to investigate the natural world, and what engineers do to design and build systems. Students learn what is meant by “inquiry” and the range of cognitive, social, and physical practices that it requires.
  • Disciplinary Core Ideas are the key ideas that have broad importance within or across multiple science or engineering disciplines. These core ideas build on each other as students progress through grade levels.

About Next Generation Science Standards