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Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Released

On Tuesday, April 9, the final Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), a new set of voluntary, rigorous, and internationally benchmarked standards for K-12 science education, were released. The standards are now available at www.nextgenscience.org. The new standards establish learning expectations in science for K–12 students combining three important dimensions—science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts. NGSS provides a cohesive approach to science instruction that will significantly change the way science is taught and learned.

Twenty-six states led the development of NGSS in a process managed by Achieve. The states and their broad-based teams worked together for two years with a 41-member writing team and partners to develop the standards which identify science and engineering practices and content that all K-12 students should master in order to be fully prepared for college, careers and citizenship. The NGSS were built upon a vision for science education established by the Framework for K-12 Science Education, published by the National Academies' National Research Council (NRC) in 2011. Achieve also partnered with NSTA, NRC, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in the standards’ development.

"As emphasized in the Framework, an active learning of scientific practices is critical, and takes time. A focus on these practices, rather than on content alone, leads to a deep, sustained learning of the skills needed to be a successful adult, regardless of career choice," said Bruce Alberts, PhD, who is Editor-in-Chief of Science and served two six-year terms as President of the National Academy of Sciences. "We must teach our science students to do something in science class, not to memorize facts."

NSTA has created a web hub to help science teachers search for NGSS resources. There you can view the standards as well as a variety of documents and supporting materials organized by NSTA to help you understand and navigate the NGSS.

Through NSTA you can also pre-order your copy of the NSTA Reader’s Guide to the Next Generation Science Standards, which will be available on April 15. Written by science education expert Harold Pratt, the publication will give readers a deep understanding of NGSS core ideas, scientific and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts.

For a quick overview of the new standards, check out NSTA's Frequently Asked Questions About NGSS.

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