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.

Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

HS-LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
Number Performance Expectation Products New Window
HS-LS4-1
Communicate scientific information that common ancestry and biological evolution are supported by multiple lines of empirical evidence.
12
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
Communicate scientific information (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
LS4.A
Genetic information provides evidence of evolution. DNA sequences vary among species, but there are many overlaps; in fact, the ongoing branching that produces multiple lines of descent can be inferred by comparing the DNA sequences of different organisms
Show Crosscutting Concept
Patterns
Different patterns may be observed at each of the scales at which a system is studied and can provide evidence for causality in explanations of phenomena.
HS-LS4-2
Construct an explanation based on evidence that the process of evolution primarily results from four factors: (1) the potential for a species to increase in number, (2) the heritable genetic variation of individuals in a species due to mutation and sexual reproduction, (3) competition for limited resources, and (4) the proliferation of those organisms that are better able to survive and reproduce in the environment.
13
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
LS4.B
Natural selection occurs only if there is both variation in the genetic information between organisms in a population and variation in the expression of that genetic information—that is, trait variation—that leads to differences in performance among indiv
LS4.C
Evolution is a consequence of the interaction of four factors:
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-LS4-3
Apply concepts of statistics and probability to support explanations that organisms with an advantageous heritable trait tend to increase in proportion to organisms lacking this trait.
11
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Apply concepts of statistics and probability (including determining function fits to data, slope, intercept, and correlation coefficient for linear fits) to scientific and engineering questions and problems, using digital tools when feasible.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS4.B
Natural selection occurs only if there is both variation in the genetic information between organisms in a population and variation in the expression of that genetic information—that is, trait variation—that leads to differences in performance among indiv
LS4.C
Natural selection leads to adaptation, that is, to a population dominated by organisms that are anatomically, behaviorally, and physiologically well suited to survive and reproduce in a specific environment. That is, the differential survival and reproduc
Show Crosscutting Concept
Patterns
Different patterns may be observed at each of the scales at which a system is studied and can provide evidence for causality in explanations of phenomena.
HS-LS4-4
Construct an explanation based on evidence for how natural selection leads to adaptation of populations.
18
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
LS4.C
Natural selection leads to adaptation, that is, to a population dominated by organisms that are anatomically, behaviorally, and physiologically well suited to survive and reproduce in a specific environment. That is, the differential survival and reproduc
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-LS4-5
Evaluate the evidence supporting claims that changes in environmental conditions may result in: (1) increases in the number of individuals of some species, (2) the emergence of new species over time, and (3) the extinction of other species.
18
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Evaluate the evidence behind currently accepted explanations or solutions to determine the merits of arguments.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS4.C
Changes in the physical environment, whether naturally occurring or human induced, have thus contributed to the expansion of some species, the emergence of new distinct species as populations diverge under different conditions, and the decline–and sometim
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-LS4-6
Create or revise a simulation to test a solution to mitigate adverse impacts of human activity on biodiversity.
13
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
Create or revise a simulation of a phenomenon, designed device, process, or system.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
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.
LS4.C
Changes in the physical environment, whether naturally occurring or human induced, have thus contributed to the expansion of some species, the emergence of new distinct species as populations diverge under different conditions, and the decline–and sometim
LS4.D
Humans depend on the living world for the resources and other benefits provided by biodiversity. But human activity is also having adverse impacts on biodiversity through overpopulation, overexploitation, habitat destruction, pollution, introduction of in
Show Crosscutting Concept
Cause and Effect
Empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects.

Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

HS-LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
Number Performance Expectation Products New Window
HS-LS2-1
Use mathematical and/or computational representations to support explanations of factors that affect carrying capacity of ecosystems at different scales.
14
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
Use mathematical and/or computational representations of phenomena or design solutions to support explanations.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS2.A
Ecosystems have carrying capacities, which are limits to the numbers of organisms and populations they can support. These limits result from such factors as the availability of living and nonliving resources and from such challenges such as predation, com
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-LS2-2
Use mathematical representations to support and revise explanations based on evidence about factors affecting biodiversity and populations in ecosystems of different scales.
12
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
Use mathematical representations of phenomena or design solutions to support and revise explanations.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS2.A
Ecosystems have carrying capacities, which are limits to the numbers of organisms and populations they can support. These limits result from such factors as the availability of living and nonliving resources and from such challenges such as predation, com
LS2.C
A complex set of interactions within an ecosystem can keep its numbers and types of organisms relatively constant over long periods of time under stable conditions. If a modest biological or physical disturbance to an ecosystem occurs, it may return to it
Show Crosscutting Concept
Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
Using the concept of orders of magnitude allows one to understand how a model at one scale relates to a model at another scale.
HS-LS2-3
Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for the cycling of matter and flow of energy in aerobic and anaerobic conditions.
5
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Construct and revise 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
LS2.B
Photosynthesis and cellular respiration (including anaerobic processes) provide most of the energy for life processes.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Energy and Matter
Energy drives the cycling of matter within and between systems.
HS-LS2-4
Use mathematical representations to support claims for the cycling of matter and flow of energy among organisms in an ecosystem.
9
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
Use mathematical representations of phenomena or design solutions to support claims.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS2.B
Plants or algae form the lowest level of the food web. At each link upward in a food web, only a small fraction of the matter consumed at the lower level is transferred upward, to produce growth and release energy in cellular respiration at the higher lev
Show Crosscutting Concept
Energy and Matter
Energy cannot be created or destroyed— it only moves between one place and another place, between objects and/or fields, or between systems.
HS-LS2-5
Develop a model to illustrate the role of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cycling of carbon among the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.
6
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Developing and Using Models
Develop a model based on evidence to illustrate the relationships between systems or components of a system.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS2.B
Photosynthesis and cellular respiration are important components of the carbon cycle, in which carbon is exchanged among the biosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and geosphere through chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes.
PS3.D
The main way that solar energy is captured and stored on Earth is through the complex chemical process known as photosynthesis.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Systems and System Models
Models (e.g., physical, mathematical, computer models) can be used to simulate systems and interactions— including energy, matter, and information flows—within and between systems at different scales.
HS-LS2-6
Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
21
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning behind currently accepted explanations or solutions to determine the merits of arguments.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS2.C
A complex set of interactions within an ecosystem can keep its numbers and types of organisms relatively constant over long periods of time under stable conditions. If a modest biological or physical disturbance to an ecosystem occurs, it may return to it
Show Crosscutting Concept
Stability and Change
Much of science deals with constructing explanations of how things change and how they remain stable.
HS-LS2-7
Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
12
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Design, evaluate, and 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
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.
LS2.C
Moreover, anthropogenic changes (induced by human activity) in the environment—including habitat destruction, pollution, introduction of invasive species, overexploitation, and climate change—can disrupt an ecosystem and threaten the survival of some spec
LS4.D
Biodiversity is increased by the formation of new species (speciation) and decreased by the loss of species (extinction).
Show Crosscutting Concept
Stability and Change
Much of science deals with constructing explanations of how things change and how they remain stable.
HS-LS2-8
Evaluate the evidence for the role of group behavior on individual and species’ chances to survive and reproduce.
12
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Evaluate the evidence behind currently accepted explanations to determine the merits of arguments.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS2.D
Group behavior has evolved because membership can increase the chances of survival for individuals and their genetic relatives.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Cause and Effect
Empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects.

From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

HS-LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
Number Performance Expectation Products New Window
HS-LS1-1
Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the structure of DNA determines the structure of proteins which carry out the essential functions of life through systems of specialized cells.
17
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
LS1.A
Systems of specialized cells within organisms help them perform the essential functions of life.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Structure and Function
Investigating or designing new systems or structures requires a detailed examination of the properties of different materials, the structures of different components, and connections of components to reveal its function and/or solve a problem.
HS-LS1-2
Develop and use a model to illustrate the hierarchical organization of interacting systems that provide specific functions within multicellular organisms.
20
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Developing and Using Models
Develop and use a model based on evidence to illustrate the relationships between systems or between components of a system.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS1.A
Multicellular organisms have a hierarchical structural organization, in which any one system is made up of numerous parts and is itself a component of the next level.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Systems and System Models
Models (e.g., physical, mathematical, computer models) can be used to simulate systems and interactions— including energy, matter, and information flows—within and between systems at different scales.
HS-LS1-3
Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that feedback mechanisms maintain homeostasis.
9
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
LS1.A
Feedback mechanisms maintain a living system’s internal conditions within certain limits and mediate behaviors, allowing it to remain alive and functional even as external conditions change within some range. Feedback mechanisms can encourage (through pos
Show Crosscutting Concept
Stability and Change
Feedback (negative or positive) can stabilize or destabilize a system.
HS-LS1-4
Use a model to illustrate the role of cellular division (mitosis) and differentiation in producing and maintaining complex organisms.
9
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Developing and Using Models
Use a model based on evidence to illustrate the relationships between systems or between components of a system.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS1.B
In multicellular organisms individual cells grow and then divide via a process called mitosis, thereby allowing the organism to grow. The organism begins as a single cell (fertilized egg) that divides successively to produce many cells, with each parent c
Show Crosscutting Concept
Systems and System Models
Models (e.g., physical, mathematical, computer models) can be used to simulate systems and interactions— including energy, matter, and information flows—within and between systems at different scales.
HS-LS1-5
Use a model to illustrate how photosynthesis transforms light energy into stored chemical energy.
11
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Developing and Using Models
Use a model based on evidence to illustrate the relationships between systems or between components of a system.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS1.C
The process of photosynthesis converts light energy to stored chemical energy by converting carbon dioxide plus water into sugars plus released oxygen.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Energy and Matter
Changes of energy and matter in a system can be described in terms of energy and matter flows into, out of, and within that system.
HS-LS1-6
Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for how carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen from sugar molecules may combine with other elements to form amino acids and/or other large carbon-based molecules.
8
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Construct and revise 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
LS1.C
The sugar molecules thus formed contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen: their hydrocarbon backbones are used to make amino acids and other carbon-based molecules that can be assembled into larger molecules (such as proteins or DNA), used for example to form
Show Crosscutting Concept
Energy and Matter
Changes of energy and matter in a system can be described in terms of energy and matter flows into, out of, and within that system.
HS-LS1-7
Use a model to illustrate that cellular respiration is a chemical process whereby the bonds of food molecules and oxygen molecules are broken and the bonds in new compounds are formed resulting in a net transfer of energy.
11
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Developing and Using Models
Use a model based on evidence to illustrate the relationships between systems or between components of a system.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS1.C
As matter and energy flow through different organizational levels of living systems, chemical elements are recombined in different ways to form different products.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Energy and Matter
Energy cannot be created or destroyed—it only moves between one place and another place, between objects and/or fields, or between systems.

Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits

HS-LS3: Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
Number Performance Expectation Products New Window
HS-LS3-1
Ask questions to clarify relationships about the role of DNA and chromosomes in coding the instructions for characteristic traits passed from parents to offspring.
20
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Asking Questions and Defining Problems
Ask questions that arise from examining models or a theory to clarify relationships.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS1.A
All cells contain genetic information in the form of DNA molecules. Genes are regions in the DNA that contain the instructions that code for the formation of proteins.
LS3.A
Each chromosome consists of a single very long DNA molecule, and each gene on the chromosome is a particular segment of that DNA. The instructions for forming species’ characteristics are carried in DNA. All cells in an organism have the same genetic cont
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-LS3-2
Make and defend a claim based on evidence that inheritable genetic variations may result from: (1) new genetic combinations through meiosis, (2) viable errors occurring during replication, and/or (3) mutations caused by environmental factors.
8
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Make and defend a claim based on evidence about the natural world that reflects scientific knowledge, and student-generated evidence.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS3.B
In sexual reproduction, chromosomes can sometimes swap sections during the process of meiosis (cell division), thereby creating new genetic combinations and thus more genetic variation. Although DNA replication is tightly regulated and remarkably accurate
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-LS3-3
Apply concepts of statistics and probability to explain the variation and distribution of expressed traits in a population.
10
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Apply concepts of statistics and probability (including determining function fits to data, slope, intercept, and correlation coefficient for linear fits) to scientific and engineering questions and problems, using digital tools when feasible.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS3.B
Environmental factors also affect expression of traits, and hence affect the probability of occurrences of traits in a population. Thus the variation and distribution of traits observed depends on both genetic and environmental factors.
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).