Next Generation Science Standards


Next Generation Science Standards – an overview

The Next Generation Science Standards document (NGSS), based on A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas, released by the National Academies Press in July of 2011, was published in April of 2013. It is the hope of the National Academies, NSTA and AAAS that these standards will become the “Common Core” standards for science, and they have been written and reviewed by a collective of states and professional organizations who have crafted them with this goal in mind. Ultimately, it will be up to individual states whether they are. Twenty six states have been lead partners in the development of this standards document.

From the perspective of the Modeling Instruction classroom there are many things to like about these standards. The use of models and modeling is woven throughout the fabric of the standards, and the conceptual organization will map readily onto modeling curriculum resources.  A group of modelers have prepared a document that shows how Modeling instruction is aligned with the Science & Engineering practices. We hope it proves helpful to Modeling teachers in their discussions with curriculum directors and other teachers.

For more information see

Below are the Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas and Crosscutting Concepts that frame high school standards.

Core and Component Ideas in the Physical Sciences

Core Idea PS1: Matter and its Interactions

PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter

PS1.B: Chemical Reactions

PS1.C: Nuclear Processes

Core Idea PS2: Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions

PS2.A: Forces and Motion

PS2.B: Types of Interactions

PS2.C: Stability and Instability in Physical Systems

Core Idea PS3: Energy

PS3.A: Definitions of Energy

PS3.B: Conservation Of Energy and Energy Transfer

PS3.C: Relationship between Energy and Forces

PS3.D: Energy in Chemical Processes and Everyday Life

Core Idea PS4: Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer

PS4.A: Wave Properties

PS4.B: Electromagnetic Radiation

PS4.C: Information Technologies and Instrumentation.


Core and Component Ideas in the Life Sciences

Core Idea LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

LS1.A: Structure and Function

LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms

LS1.C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms

LS1.D: Information Processing

Core Idea LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems

LS2.B: Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems

LS2.C: Ecosystems Dynamics, Functioning, And Resilience

LS2.D: Social Interactions and Group Behavior

Core Idea LS3: Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits

LS3.A: Inheritance of Traits

LS3.B: Variation of Traits

Core Idea LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

LS4.A: Evidence of Common Ancestry and Diversity

LS4.B: Natural Selection

LS4.C: Adaptation

LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans

Core and Component Ideas in Earth and Space Sciences

Core Idea ESS1: Earth’s Place in the Universe

ESS1.A: The Universe and Its Stars

ESS1.B: Earth and the Solar System

ESS1.C: The History of Planet Earth

Core Idea ESS2: Earth’s Systems

ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems

ESS2.B: Plate Tectonics and Large-Scale System Interactions

ESS2.C: The Roles of Water in Earth’s Surface Processes

ESS2.D: Weather and Climate

ESS2.E: Biocenology

Core Idea ESS3: Earth and Human Activity

ESS3.A: Natural Resources

ESS3.B: Natural Hazards

ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems

ESS3.D: Global Climate Change

Definitions of Technology, Engineering, and Applications of Science

Technology Is Any Modification Of The Natural World Made To Fulfill Human Needs Or Desires.

Engineering Is A Systematic and Often Iterative Approach to Designing Objects, Processes, And

Systems to Meet Human Needs and Wants.

An Application of Science Is Any Use of Scientific Knowledge for a Specific Purpose, Whether

To Do More Science; To Design a Product, Process, or Medical Treatment; To Develop a New

Technology; Or To Predict The Impacts Of Human Actions.


Core and Component Ideas in Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science

Core Idea ETS1: Engineering Design

ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting an Engineering Problem

ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions

ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution

Core Idea ETS2: Links among Engineering, Technology, Science, and Society

ETS2.A: Interdependence of Science, Engineering, and Technology

ETS2.B: Influence of Engineering, Technology and Science on Society and the Natural World

Seven Crosscutting Concepts of the Framework


  • Patterns
  • Cause and Effect: Mechanism And Explanation
  • Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
  • Systems and System Models
  • Energy and Matter: Flows, Cycles, and Conservation
  • Structure and Function
  • Stability and Change


Science and Engineering Practices

  • Asking Questions and Defining Problems
  • Developing and Using Models
  • Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
  • Analyzing and Interpreting Data
  • Using Mathematics, Information and Computer Technology, and Computational Thinking
  • Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
  • Engaging in Argument from Evidence
  • Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information