Next Generation Science Standards Explorer

Are you a STEM, STEAM, and/or science teacher looking for great edtech for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)? Browse hundreds of apps, games, and websites evaluated by our expert reviewers and tagged for relevant Performance Expectations (PEs).

To find the right tool for your NGSS-aligned activities, lessons, and curriculum: select a grade, choose a topic, and then find the PE that interests you. Click the green arrow on the right-hand side of the PE to see a list of suggested tools. Just below each PE you’ll see three NGSS dimensions – Science and Engineering Practices (SEP), Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI), and Crosscutting Concepts (CC) – for quick and easy reference.

Earth and Human Activity

HS-ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
Number Performance Expectation Products New Window
HS-ESS3-1
Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
8
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Construct an explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from a variety of sources (including students’ own investigations, models, theories, simulations, peer review) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS3.A
Resource availability has guided the development of human society.
ESS3.B
Natural hazards and other geologic events have shaped the course of human history; [they] have significantly altered the sizes of human populations and have driven human migrations.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Cause and Effect
Empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects.
HS-ESS3-2
Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
11
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Evaluate competing design solutions to a real-world problem based on scientific ideas and principles, empirical evidence, and logical arguments regarding relevant factors (e.g. economic, societal, environmental, ethical considerations).
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS3.A
All forms of energy production and other resource extraction have associated economic, social, environmental, and geopolitical costs and risks as well as benefits. New technologies and social regulations can change the balance of these factors.
ETS1.B
When evaluating solutions, it is important to take into account a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, and to consider social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
Show Crosscutting Concept
HS-ESS3-3
Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
6
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
Create a computational model or simulation of a phenomenon, designed device, process, or system.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS3.C
The sustainability of human societies and the biodiversity that supports them requires responsible management of natural resources.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Stability and Change
Change and rates of change can be quantified and modeled over very short or very long periods of time. Some system changes are irreversible.
HS-ESS3-4
Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
16
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Design or refine a solution to a complex real-world problem, based on scientific knowledge, student-generated sources of evidence, prioritized criteria, and tradeoff considerations.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS3.C
Scientists and engineers can make major contributions by developing technologies that produce less pollution and waste and that preclude ecosystem degradation.
ETS1.B
When evaluating solutions, it is important to take into account a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, and to consider social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Stability and Change
Feedback (negative or positive) can stabilize or destabilize a system.
HS-ESS3-5
Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.
18
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Analyze data using computational models in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS3.D
Though the magnitudes of human impacts are greater than they have ever been, so too are human abilities to model, predict, and manage current and future impacts.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Stability and Change
Change and rates of change can be quantified and modeled over very short or very long periods of time. Some system changes are irreversible.
HS-ESS3-6
Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
16
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
Use a computational representation of phenomena or design solutions to describe and/or support claims and/or explanations.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS2.D
Current models predict that, although future regional climate changes will be complex and varied, average global temperatures will continue to rise. The outcomes predicted by global climate models strongly depend on the amounts of human-generated greenhou
ESS3.D
Through computer simulations and other studies, important discoveries are still being made about how the ocean, the atmosphere, and the biosphere interact and are modified in response to human activities.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Systems and System Models
When investigating or describing a system, the boundaries and initial conditions of the system need to be defined and their inputs and outputs analyzed and described using models.

Earth’s Place in the Universe

HS-ESS1: Earth’s Place in the Universe
Number Performance Expectation Products New Window
HS-ESS1-1
Develop a model based on evidence to illustrate the life span of the sun and the role of nuclear fusion in the sun’s core to release energy that eventually reaches Earth in the form of radiation.
6
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Developing and Using Models
Develop a model based on evidence to illustrate the relationships between systems or between components of a system.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS1.A
The star called the sun is changing and will burn out over a lifespan of approximately 10 billion years.
PS3.D
Nuclear Fusion processes in the center of the sun release the energy that ultimately reaches Earth as radiation.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
The significance of a phenomenon is dependent on the scale, proportion, and quantity at which it occurs.
HS-ESS1-2
Construct an explanation of the Big Bang theory based on astronomical evidence of light spectra, motion of distant galaxies, and composition of matter in the universe.
11
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Construct an explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from a variety of sources (including students’ own investigations, theories, simulations, peer review) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS1.A
The study of stars’ light spectra and brightness is used to identify compositional elements of stars, their movements, and their distances from Earth.
PS4.B
Atoms of each element emit and absorb characteristic frequencies of light. These characteristics allow identification of the presence of an element, even in microscopic quantities.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Energy and Matter
Energy cannot be created or destroyed– only moved between one place and another place, between objects and/or fields, or between systems.
HS-ESS1-3
Communicate scientific ideas about the way stars, over their life cycle, produce elements.
7
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
Communicate scientific ideas (e.g. about phenomena and/or the process of development and the design and performance of a proposed process or system) in multiple formats (including orally, graphically, textually, and mathematically).
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS1.A
The study of stars’ light spectra and brightness is used to identify compositional elements of stars, their movements, and their distances from Earth.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Energy and Matter
In nuclear processes, atoms are not conserved, but the total number of protons plus neutrons is conserved.
HS-ESS1-4
Use mathematical or computational representations to predict the motion of orbiting objects in the solar system.
16
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Using Mathematical and Computational Thinking
Use mathematical or computational representations of phenomena to describe explanations.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS1.B
Kepler’s laws describe common features of the motions of orbiting objects, including their elliptical paths around the sun. Orbits may change due to the gravitational effects from, or collisions with, other objects in the solar system.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
Algebraic thinking is used to examine scientific data and predict the effect of a change in one variable on another (e.g., linear growth vs. exponential growth).
HS-ESS1-5
Evaluate evidence of the past and current movements of continental and oceanic crust and the theory of plate tectonics to explain the ages of crustal rocks.
10
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Evaluate evidence behind currently accepted explanations or solutions to determine the merits of arguments.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS1.C
Continental rocks, which can be older than 4 billion years, are generally much older than the rocks of the ocean floor, which are less than 200 million years old.
ESS2.B
Plate tectonics is the unifying theory that explains the past and current movements of the rocks at Earth’s surface and provides a framework for understanding its geologic history.
PS1.C
Spontaneous radioactive decays follow a characteristic exponential decay law. Nuclear lifetimes allow radiometric dating to be used to determine the ages of rocks and other materials.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Patterns
Empirical evidence is needed to identify patterns.
HS-ESS1-6
Apply scientific reasoning and evidence from ancient Earth materials, meteorites, and other planetary surfaces to construct an account of Earth’s formation and early history.
6
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Apply scientific reasoning to link evidence to the claims to assess the extent to which the reasoning and data support the explanation or conclusion.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS1.C
Although active geologic processes, such as plate tectonics and erosion, have destroyed or altered most of the very early rock record on Earth, other objects in the solar system, such as lunar rocks, asteroids, and meteorites, have changed little over bil
PS1.C
Spontaneous radioactive decays follow a characteristic exponential decay law. Nuclear lifetimes allow radiometric dating to be used to determine the ages of rocks and other materials.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Stability and Change
Much of science deals with constructing explanations of how things change and how they remain stable.

Earth’s Systems

HS-ESS2: Earth’s Systems
Number Performance Expectation Products New Window
HS-ESS2-1
Develop a model to illustrate how Earth’s internal and surface processes operate at different spatial and temporal scales to form continental and ocean-floor features.
8
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Developing and Using Models
Develop a model based on evidence to illustrate the relationships between systems or between components of a system.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS2.A
Earth’s systems, being dynamic and interacting, cause feedback effects that can increase or decrease the original changes.
ESS2.B
Plate tectonics is the unifying theory that explains the past and current movements of the rocks at Earth’s surface and provides a framework for understanding its geologic history. Plate movements are responsible for most continental and ocean-floor featu
Show Crosscutting Concept
Stability and Change
Change and rates of change can be quantified and modeled over very short or very long periods of time. Some system changes are irreversible.
HS-ESS2-2
Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
14
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models (e.g., computational, mathematical) in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims or determine an optimal design solution.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS2.A
Earth’s systems, being dynamic and interacting, cause feedback effects that can increase or decrease the original changes.
ESS2.D
The foundation for Earth’s global climate systems is the electromagnetic radiation from the sun, as well as its reflection, absorption, storage, and redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and land systems, and this energy’s re-radiation into space.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Stability and Change
Feedback (negative or positive) can stabilize or destabilize a system.
HS-ESS2-3
Develop a model based on evidence of Earth’s interior to describe the cycling of matter by thermal convection.
5
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Developing and Using Models
Develop a model based on evidence to illustrate the relationships between systems or between components of a system.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS2.A
Evidence from deep probes and seismic waves, reconstructions of historical changes in Earth’s surface and its magnetic field, and an understanding of physical and chemical processes lead to a model of Earth with a hot but solid inner core, a liquid outer
ESS2.B
The radioactive decay of unstable isotopes continually generates new energy within Earth’s crust and mantle, providing the primary source of the heat that drives mantle convection. Plate tectonics can be viewed as the surface expression of mantle convecti
PS4.A
Geologists use seismic waves and their reflection at interfaces between layers to probe structures deep in the planet.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Energy and Matter
Energy drives the cycling of matter within and between systems.
HS-ESS2-4
Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth's systems result in changes in climate.
11
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Developing and Using Models
Use a model to provide mechanistic accounts of phenomena.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS1.B
Cyclical changes in the shape of Earth’s orbit around the sun, together with changes in the tilt of the planet’s axis of rotation, both occurring over hundreds of thousands of years, have altered the intensity and distribution of sunlight falling on the e
ESS2.A
The geological record shows that changes to global and regional climate can be caused by interactions among changes in the sun’s energy output or Earth’s orbit, tectonic events, ocean circulation, volcanic activity, glaciers, vegetation, and human activit
ESS2.D
The foundation for Earth’s global climate systems is the electromagnetic radiation from the sun, as well as its reflection, absorption, storage, and redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and land systems, and this energy’s re-radiation into space.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Cause and Effect
Empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects.
HS-ESS2-5
Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes.
8
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
Plan and conduct an investigation individually and collaboratively to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence, and in the design: decide on types, how much, and accuracy of data needed to produce reliable measurements and consider limitations on the precision of the data (e.g., number of trials, cost, risk, time), and refine the design accordingly.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS2.C
The abundance of liquid water on Earth’s surface and its unique combination of physical and chemical properties are central to the planet’s dynamics. These properties include water’s exceptional capacity to absorb, store, and release large amounts of ener
Show Crosscutting Concept
Structure and Function
The functions and properties of natural and designed objects and systems can be inferred from their overall structure, the way their components are shaped and used, and the molecular substructures of its various materials.
HS-ESS2-6
Develop a quantitative model to describe the cycling of carbon among the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere.
8
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Developing and Using Models
Develop a model based on evidence to illustrate the relationships between systems or between components of a system.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS2.D
Gradual atmospheric changes were due to plants and other organisms that captured carbon dioxide and released oxygen.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Energy and Matter
The total amount of energy and matter in closed systems is conserved.
HS-ESS2-7
Construct an argument based on evidence about the simultaneous coevolution of Earth's systems and life on Earth.
9
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Construct an oral and written argument or counterarguments based on data and evidence.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS2.D
Gradual atmospheric changes were due to plants and other organisms that captured carbon dioxide and released oxygen.
ESS2.E
The many dynamic and delicate feedbacks between the biosphere and other Earth systems cause a continual co-evolution of Earth’s surface and the life that exists on it.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Stability and Change
Much of science deals with constructing explanations of how things change and how they remain stable.