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
Other NGSS Connections
In addition to these three dimensions, standards are also connected to:
Understanding the Scientific Enterprise: The Nature of Science
context of NGSS is the expectation that students will learn about the development
of scientific knowledge, with its many historical and social implications. The nature
of science is not an additional dimension to the three dimensions above, but is
interwoven with the SEPs and CCs. The first four are closely related to the SEPs, and
the last four are closely related to CCs.
Scientific investigations use a variety of methods.
Scientific knowledge is based on empirical evidence.
Scientific knowledge is open to revision in light of new evidence.
Scientific models, laws, mechanisms, and theories explain natural
Science is a way of knowing.
Science knowledge assumes an order and consistency in natural systems.
Science is a human endeavor.
Science addresses questions about the natural and material world.
In the NGSS documents, engineering is defined as “any engagement in a systematic
practice of design to achieve solutions to particular human problems.” Although many
models of engineering design exist, the NGSS focus on a three-part approach (Figure 6)
that include the following components, with modified descriptors for each component
dependent upon the grade band.
Defining and delimiting engineering problems
Designing solutions to engineering problems
Optimizing the design solution
Science, Technology, Society, and the Environment
Science, technology, society, and environment are interdependent upon one another.
Likewise, teachers must encourage their students to make connections between the
classroom, their home lives, and their community.
Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and Literacy in Science and
Where appropriate, the NGSS connects to Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
However, adoption of the NGSS does not mandate adoption of the CCSS or have
any impact on the incorporation of the NGSS alone. The hyperlinked appendixes to
the NGSS provide examples of how teachers can incorporate the CCSS with specific
scenarios, including the use of qualitative skills (ex: proportional reasoning) and
quantitative skills (ex: mathematical modeling with algebra).
The NGSS standards are presented in a table in the Achieve, Inc. documentation. Within
a single table, all of the standards will be listed for a given DCI or topic area, with
associated Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting
Concepts, as well as connections within NGSS within and across grade bands, and
Common Core State Standards.
It is important to note that because the NGSS are written as performance expectations,
each standard is closely linked to one or more DCIs, SEPs, and/or CCs. These standards
are written with an assessment in mind, and therefore have a very narrow focus. In
contrast, teachers can and should use instructional practices and curriculum designs
that help students to see that a single DCI can have connections to many or even
all of the SEPs and CCs, not only those that are explicitly linked to the performance
The structure of a table entry is shown below in Table 2