Abstract

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) represent a new approach to teaching K-12 science education that involves the interweaving of three educational dimensions: science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts. Unlike most preexisting state science standards for public education, these new standards focus on what students can do and not on what they have memorized. The NGSS were motivated by the awareness within business and industry of the great need for better education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to meet future workforce demands for a global economy that is shifting toward higher technology levels. The Next Generation Science Standards were the result of an effort led by states, with 26 participating states involved in the writing. So far, the standards have been adopted in full by 14 states and the District of Columbia and have been adopted in part by several additional states and a large number of school districts in other states. The NGSS have an increased focus on human-relevant content areas, including the geosciences. Implementation of the standards will provide students with the skills, understanding, and appreciation to better prepare them for careers in energy industries.

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