The guidelines from the NGSS, STEM, and the State Standards are the guidelines used by public, charter and private schools nationwide (in the U.S.) to establish their curriculum base. (If you're looking for my personal recommendations of what kids should learn by grade level, click here. This page deals only with how the e-Science program meets/exceeds current national standards.)
One of the two biggest misconceptions is that there are new Common Core Standards for science. There is no Common Core for Science. The only science in the Common Core deals with literacy, and it’s minimal.
The other big misconception is that the NGSS is a curriculum that lets teachers and parents know what to teach their kids. It’s not… it’s a set of performance expectations that indicate what students should be able to do at the end of the year (or years) of instruction. The NGSS doesn’t specify how to teach or plan instruction to help students achieve the performance levels specified.
The NGSS is expected to begin implementation in schools that have adopted these standards starting in 2017 at the earliest. The science curriculum framework based on NGSS was completed in 2016. Please note that U.S. science standards vary by state. (The information on this page is intended as a guideline only. If you need to cover evolution, please refer to your state guidelines for specific requirement details.)
Since it’s rather new, I’ve listed the most important ideas about NGSS here:
- Science education reflects the interconnected nature of science as it is practiced and experienced in the real world.
- The NGSS are student performance expectations, not
- The NGSS focus on deeper understanding of content as well as how to apply it in the real world.
- Science and Engineering build coherently, and are integrated from K-12.
- The NGSS are designed to prepare students for college, career, and citizenship.
In this document, you’ll find just the NGSS standards arranged by science concepts (key objectives, educational benchmarks, curriculum standards, assessment norms… all the same thing) that are broken down by grade level and topic area so you can teach these big ideas one bite at a time. The e-Science program (the program you're in right now) is aligned with this program in most ways (more on this in a minute).
The bottom line is that when your student is done with a section, you want them to not only know about teach science concept, but understand and be able to teach it back to you in way that really shows their level of comprehension based on the experiments they’ve done and conclusions they’ve made. I’ve added hundreds of hands-on science labs to the core concepts to support the science principles they are correlated to.
As kids work through these science experiments, they will be able to roll around with the concepts. They can see, hear, and experience it for themselves, and store that information in lots of places in their mind. Your kids will be learning real scientific stuff without it feeling like it.
Kids who just read about science or look at pictures of experiments but have never tried to do an experiment are trying to build on abstract ideas and usually miss out and don’t learn nearly as much as when they actively participate in the learning process.
As I mentioned before, I didn’t feel that this new set of standards was complete enough on its own, so I have combined it with standards and personal experience in the classroom to give your students the absolute best science education under their belt by the time they graduate from high school.
NOTE: If you need to only follow the NGSS framework, and you wish to use the e-Science program, you’ll need to make a couple of tweaks along the way to cover the standards recommended by the NGSS framework. Please note that I do not recommend using solely the NGSS. However if you’re already locked into using NGSS, I’ve created this document to help you get the most effective use of the e-Science program.
Here’s what you do:
- Click here to view the “Grades” for the e-Science program.
- Now find your child’s grade level and complete the subjects within their grade level.
- Note any of the following updates needed to follow just the NGSS:
- First Grade: no changes needed.
- Second Grade: no changes needed.
- Third Grade: omit Astronomy, add Unit 16: Lesson 3: Genetics.
- Fourth Grade: omit Electricity and Robotics, and add Unit 6: Sound.
- Fifth Grade: no changes needed.
- Sixth Grade: omit Life Science, add Unit 7: Astronomy and Unit 12: Alternative Energy.
- Seventh Grade: omit Energy and Physics of Light and Lasers.
- Eighth Grade: add Unit 6: Sound and Unit 9: Light.
- High School/Advanced: no changes needed.