Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

  • The California Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are standards, not curriculum. Standards are goals that reflect what a student should know and be able to do. The standards contain Performance Expectations (PEs) written in a way that express the concepts and skills to be performed but still leave curricular and instructional decisions to our district, schools and teachers.

    Every CA NGSS standard has three dimensions: disciplinary core ideas (DCI), scientific and engineering practices (SEP), and cross-cutting concepts (CCC). SEPs and CCCs are designed to be taught in context, integrated with multiple core concepts throughout each year. Engineering is integrated with the science standards through the Engineering Technology Standards (ETS), also called the Engineering Design Standards. These standards are arranged in grade bands: kindergarten through second, three through five, six through eight, and nine through twelve. The ETS standards emphasize core ideas of engineering design and technology applications.

    The CA NGSS are organized by grade level and then by DCI or Topic. The DCI arrangement of the standards organizes the standards using the DCI linked to each PE. The categories of DCIs include: Life Sciences, Earth and Space Sciences, and Physical Sciences. The Topic arrangement of the standards organizes the standards by “big ideas”. Topic examples include, but are not limited to: Chemical Reactions, Structure and Function, or Space Systems. Both arrangements support connections across the grade and between grade levels, and contain California Common Core State Standards (CA CCSS) connections: English Language Arts Standards (ELA) and Mathematics Standards.