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Physics and 21st Century Science Standards: The Role of Physics in the NGSS

Physics is not explicitly differentiated from

chemistry within physical science topics

or DCIs. As a result, there is some overlap.

Schools and teachers are expected to use

their professional discretion to determine

who teaches these concepts and in what

order, although Achieve has released a set

of suggested course maps for middle and

high school. In some cases, fundamental

physics concepts are not mentioned at

all, and teachers are expected to use good

judgment when making decisions about

detailed curriculum, using the NGSS only

as guideposts for student achievement

along the way. Table 3 shows high school

physics-related NGSS, organized by topic.

TOPIC

KEY PHYSICS

Structure and Properties of Matter

Table 3: High school physics-related standards

HS-PS1-3: Plan and conduct an investigation to gather evidence to compare the

structure of substances at the bulk scale to infer the strength of electrical forces

between particles.

HS-PS1-8: Develop models to illustrate the changes in the composition of the

nucleus of the atom and the energy released during the processes of fission, fusion,

HS-PS2-6: Communicate scientific and technical information about why the

molecular-level structure is important in the functioning of designed materials.

***ENGINEERING DESIGN***

Coulomb’s Law

Nuclear Physics

Materials Science

HS-PS2-1: Analyze data to support the claim that Newton’s second law of motion

describes the mathematical relationship among the net force on a macroscopic

object, its mass, and its acceleration.

HS-PS2-2: Use mathematical representations to support the claim that the total

momentum of a system of objects is conserved when there is no net force on the

system.

HS-PS2-3: Apply scientific and engineering ideas to design, evaluate, and refine

a device that minimizes the force on a macroscopic object during a collision.

***ENGINEERING DESIGN***

HS-PS2-4: Use mathematical representations of Newton’s Law of Gravitation and

Coulomb’s Law to describe and predict the gravitational and electrostatic forces

between objects.

HS-PS2-5: Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that an electric

current can produce a magnetic field and that a changing magnetic field can

produce an electric current.

Newton’s Laws

Kinematics

Impulse = ΔMomentum

Conservation of Energy

Uni. Gravitation

Coulomb’s Law

Current

Magnetism

Induction

Forces and Interactions

Physics in

the NGSS