Next Generation Science Standards

Next Generation Science Standards

The National Research Council (NRC), the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and Achieve are the lead partners in the multi-step process to develop the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

The National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences managed the first of two steps in the creation of the Next Generation Science Standards by developing the Framework for K-12 Science Education, which was released July 2011. The Framework provides a sound, evidence-based foundation for standards by drawing on current scientific research—including research on the ways students learn science effectively—and identifies the science all K–12 students should know.

To undertake this effort, the NRC convened a committee of 18 individuals who are nationally and internationally known in their respective fields. The committee included practicing scientists, including two Nobel laureates, cognitive scientists, science education researchers, and science education standards and policy experts. In addition, the NRC used four design teams to develop the Framework. These four design teams, in physical science, life science, earth/space science, and engineering, developed the Framework sections for their respective disciplinary area.

After releasing a public draft in July of 2010, the NRC reviewed comments and considered all feedback prior to releasing the final Framework. The Framework is now being used as the foundation for the Next Generation Science Standards in a collaborative, state-led process that is managed by Achieve.

In a process managed by Achieve, states lead the development of K–12 science standards, rich in content and practice, arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally-benchmarked science education. The NGSS is based on the Framework and will prepare students for college and careers. The NGSS was developed collaboratively with states and other stakeholders in science, science education, higher education and industry. Additional review and guidance was provided by advisory committees composed of nationally-recognized leaders in science and science education as well as business and industry. As part of the development process, the standards underwent multiple reviews from many stakeholders including two public drafts, allowing all who have a stake in science education an opportunity to inform the development of the standards. This process produced a set of high quality, college- and career-ready K–12 Next Generation Science Standards ready for state adoption. The standards were published on the NGSS website when they were completed in April 2013. NGSS are accessible by clicking on the following link: Next Generation Science Standards

Within the NGSS, there is a focus on three equal parts in science education called the three dimensions: Scientific and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas. Each standard is written with a focus on students utilizing all three dimensions. Students utilize a scientific and/or engineering practice to demonstrate understanding of a crosscutting concept and the related disciplinary core idea. The diagram below shows the pathways connected in NGSS. The Scientific and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas are also summarized on the following document: Three Dimensions of the Framework for K-12 Science Education being used to Develop the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)