Next Generation Science Standards
Utilizing NGSS concepts and practices creates an atmosphere of curious and inquisitive students, who are eager to ask “why?” As education has shifted from an isolated linear movement of disjointed pieces of information to embracing 21st century learning, NGSS facilitates a more coherent progression of acquiring knowledge by utilizing the best practices and skills of technology, engineering, and science.
The NGSS classroom setting focuses less on factual retrieval and more on the values of pondering, challenging, and testing conceptual content. Students independently design experiments or build models testing their “why” questions while managing the challenges of engineering and science practices. Teachers facilitate and even expand on the natural curiosity of students to understand and identity with the world that surrounds them.
Students make claims about the natural world that will motivate their inquiries. Through investigations and developing models, students test their claims responding to the natural phenomena that lurk around every “why” question. By employing critical thinking skills and interpreting data, students develop the necessary skills to explore their “why” questions with more vigor. They develop the means to justify their claims by supporting them with evidence and clarifying them using scientific reasoning.
A successful scientist needs to master subjects other than science. Without writing skills, he or she will not be able to communicate discoveries to other scientists or to the wider world. Without the mathematical skills to analyze data, a researcher will not be able to provide convincing evidence supporting new discoveries. Without an understanding of history, scientists will not understand the ethical boundaries to applying their discoveries. Without the ability to manipulate the tools of an artist, researchers will lack the appreciation for hand drawn microscopic images or models. We encourage our staff to incorporate cross-curricular activities, enhancing our students to acquire the vital skills needed as a 21st student.
Science involves sharing our experiences, analyzing how to improve the results, and communicating the progress to our peers. Utilizing NGSS science practices helps our students become global citizens who are compassionate about our planet’s well-being. Our students are encouraged to develop sustainable, environmentally friendly experiments and models in search of reducing our ecological footprint. By incorporating NGSS concepts and practices, we hope students will become lifelong scientists and engineers that will continuously investigate, analyze, and explain the wonders of our world.
QSI Science Department 2019