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NGSS Curriculum Solutions

Dive deeper into Next Generation Science Standards and programs

Making Sense of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

The Next Generation Science Standards*—and NGSS-aligned science curriculum—stem from the Framework for K–12 Science Education, which outlines three dimensions to learning science. When braided together, these three dimensions provide a deepened learning experience designed to build the skills of future scientists through engineering, biology, chemistry, Earth/space science, life science, physical science, and more.

Learn about the three dimensions, how phenomena factor in, and some practical steps you can take to get started with NGSS science curriculum. Plus, find specific programs and free support for NGSS, along with the authors' behind the scenes of HMH programs, related blog posts, and on-demand webinar recordings.

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Next Generation Science Standards

Get more information about NGSS curriculum.

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Framework for K–12 Science Education

Get details for elementary, middle, and high school science.

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The Three Dimensions

The three dimensions wind together to form each standard, which helps students develop a cohesive understanding of science.

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Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs)

The DCIs are the foundational concepts that make up the base of each of the science disciplines: physical science, life science, Earth science, space science, and engineering. Each of the DCIs can be taught at increasing levels of depth across the grade levels, beginning in elementary school.

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Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs)

The CCCs represent concepts that carry over across the science disciplines and are intended to help students study real-world phenomena and problem solving.

They include patterns; cause and effect: mechanisms and explanation; scale, proportion, and quantity; systems and system models; energy and matter: flows, cycles, and conservation; structure and function; and stability and change.

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Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs)

The SEPs are the skills, practices, and mindset of scientists and engineers as they conduct investigations and solve problems. They are intended to be the processes used by students to make sense of the phenomena they investigate.

The SEPs include asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering); developing and using models; planning and carrying out investigations; analyzing and interpreting data; and more.

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How Do Phenomena Fit In?

Real-world, observable events referred to as phenomena serve as springboards for student investigations.

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How To Implement NGSS

Start by creating a learning environment that’s student-centered. Then, encourage students to think like scientists and solve problems like engineers.

Guide students to figure it out.

Instead of imparting information to students that they then reproduce on an assessment, think from the perspective of a scientist-–and create an experience in which students learn the material by figuring it out! Steer their investigation by asking questions like, “How could you find out?” and “Could you set up an experiment to test that idea?”

Post SEP and CCC concepts; then, point students to them.

Ask questions like, “What patterns did you see in the evidence from your heredity investigation?” and “Can you use one of the CCCs to create an explanation based on the evidence from your investigation?”

Implement the CER approach.

The claim + evidence + reasoning (CER) approach to phenomena-based learning can encourage a scientific mindset in your students. Encourage students to make a claim about the phenomenon being studied; gather evidence to either refute or support their claim; and apply reasoning to develop an explanation of the phenomenon.

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How HMH Supports NGSS

Get access to core curriculum, courses, posters, and an NGSS social network
Programs and Services
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Into Science K–5

HMH Into Science and HMH ¡Arriba las Ciencias!, for Grades K–5, deliver student-centered, flexible curriculums that combine hands-on learning with ELA-based science instruction.

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Into Science 6–8

HMH Into Science and HMH ¡Arriba las Ciencias!, for Grades 6–8, provide flexible solutions that streamline the support, strategies, inspiration, and rigorous content educators need to engage students in doing and learning science.

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HMH Science Dimensions

HMH Science Dimensions for Grades K–12 and HMH Dimensiones de las Ciencias + Biología for Grades K–8, encourage students to think like scientists as they learn through exploration, analysis, and application.

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Professional Learning

Partner with HMH to help students build science literacy and STEM skills. Access videos featuring our science experts as they model lessons and do lab demos. We also provide live online coaching, professional development, and courses designed to boost instruction and open students’ minds to a world of scientific thinking.

free content

Looking for something else? Get in touch!

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Program Authors

Because they helped create them, these authors understand the spirit and the letter of the NGSS
Dr. Cary Sneider
NGSS Writing Team Leader, Associate Research Professor at Portland State University
Bernadine Okoro
2010–2011 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow, National Science Foundation Fellow
Peter McLaren
Executive Director of Next Gen Education
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News & Events

Take a look at these NGSS-related blogs and webinars

Are there other ways we can help you with NGSS? Let us know!

*Next Generation Science Standards and logo are registered trademarks of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and they do not endorse it.