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

MS-LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
Number Performance Expectation Products New Window
MS-LS4-1
Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past.
13
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Analyze and interpret data to determine similarities and differences in findings.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS4.A
The collection of fossils and their placement in chronological order (e.g., through the location of the sedimentary layers in which they are found or through radioactive dating) is known as the fossil record. It documents the existence, diversity, extinct
Show Crosscutting Concept
Patterns
Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data.
MS-LS4-2
Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships.
14
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for realworld phenomena, examples, or events.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS4.A
Anatomical similarities and differences between various organisms living today and between them and organisms in the fossil record, enable the reconstruction of evolutionary history and the inference of lines of evolutionary descent.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Patterns
Patterns can be used to identify cause and effect relationships.
MS-LS4-3
Analyze displays of pictorial data to compare patterns of similarities in the embryological development across multiple species to identify relationships not evident in the fully formed anatomy.
5
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Analyze displays of data to identify linear and nonlinear relationships.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS4.A
Comparison of the embryological development of different species also reveals similarities that show relationships not evident in the fully-formed anatomy.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Patterns
Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data.
MS-LS4-4
Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.
30
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Construct an explanation that includes qualitative or quantitative relationships between variables that describe phenomena.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS4.B
Natural selection leads to the predominance of certain traits in a population, and the suppression of others.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Cause and Effect
Phenomena may have more than one cause, and some cause and effect relationships in systems can only be described using probability.
MS-LS4-5
Gather and synthesize information about the technologies that have changed the way humans influence the inheritance of desired traits in organisms.
9
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
Gather, read, and synthesize information from multiple appropriate sources and assess the credibility, accuracy, and possible bias of each publication and methods used, and describe how they are supported or not supported by evidence.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS4.B
In artificial selection, humans have the capacity to influence certain characteristics of organisms by selective breeding. One can choose desired parental traits determined by genes, which are then passed on to offspring.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Cause and Effect
Phenomena may have more than one cause, and some cause and effect relationships in systems can only be described using probability.
MS-LS4-6
Use mathematical representations to support explanations of how natural selection may lead to increases and decreases of specific traits in populations over time.
12
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
Use mathematical representations to support scientific conclusions and design solutions.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS4.C
Adaptation by natural selection acting over generations is one important process by which species change over time in response to changes in environmental conditions. Traits that support successful survival and reproduction in the new environment become m
Show Crosscutting Concept
Cause and Effect
Phenomena may have more than one cause, and some cause and effect relationships in systems can only be described using probability.

Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

MS-LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
Number Performance Expectation Products New Window
MS-LS2-1
Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
36
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for phenomena.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS2.A
Organisms, and populations of organisms, are dependent on their environmental interactions both with other living things and with nonliving factors.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Cause and Effect
Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems.
MS-LS2-2
Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
22
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Construct an explanation that includes qualitative or quantitative relationships between variables that predict phenomena.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS2.A
Similarly, predatory interactions may reduce the number of organisms or eliminate whole populations of organisms. Mutually beneficial interactions, in contrast, may become so interdependent that each organism requires the other for survival. Although the
Show Crosscutting Concept
Patterns
Patterns can be used to identify cause and effect relationships.
MS-LS2-3
Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.
15
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Developing and Using Models
Develop a model to describe phenomena.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS2.B
Food webs are models that demonstrate how matter and energy is transferred between producers, consumers, and decomposers as the three groups interact within an ecosystem. Transfers of matter into and out of the physical environment occur at every level. D
Show Crosscutting Concept
Energy and Matter
The transfer of energy can be tracked as energy flows through a natural system.
MS-LS2-4
Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
36
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Construct an oral and written argument supported by empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support or refute an explanation or a model for a phenomenon or a solution to a problem.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS2.C
Ecosystems are dynamic in nature; their characteristics can vary over time. Disruptions to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all its populations.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Stability and Change
Small changes in one part of a system might cause large changes in another part.
MS-LS2-5
Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
11
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Evaluate competing design solutions based on jointly developed and agreed-upon design criteria.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
ETS1.B
There are systematic processes for evaluating solutions with respect to how well they meet the criteria and constraints of a problem.
LS2.C
Biodiversity describes the variety of species found in Earth’s terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems. The completeness or integrity of an ecosystem’s biodiversity is often used as a measure of its health.
LS4.D
Changes in biodiversity can influence humans’ resources, such as food, energy, and medicines, as well as ecosystem services that humans rely on—for example, water purification and recycling.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Stability and Change
Small changes in one part of a system might cause large changes in another part.

From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

MS-LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
Number Performance Expectation Products New Window
MS-LS1-1
Conduct an investigation to provide evidence that living things are made of cells, either one cell or many different numbers and types of cells.
10
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
Conduct an investigation to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence that meet the goals of an investigation.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS1.A
All living things are made up of cells, which is the smallest unit that can be said to be alive. An organism may consist of one single cell (unicellular) or many different numbers and types of cells (multicellular).
Show Crosscutting Concept
Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
Phenomena that can be observed at one scale may not be observable at another scale.
MS-LS1-2
Develop and use a model to describe the function of a cell as a whole and ways parts of cells contribute to the function.
16
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Developing and Using Models
Develop and use a model to describe phenomena.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS1.A
Within cells, special structures are responsible for particular functions, and the cell membrane forms the boundary that controls what enters and leaves the cell.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Structure and Function
Complex and microscopic structures and systems can be visualized, modeled, and used to describe how their function depends on the relationships among its parts, therefore complex natural structures/systems can be analyzed to determine how they function.
MS-LS1-3
Use argument supported by evidence for how the body is a system of interacting subsystems composed of groups of cells.
26
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Use an oral and written argument supported by evidence to support or refute an explanation or a model for a phenomenon.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS1.A
In multicellular organisms, the body is a system of multiple interacting subsystems. These subsystems are groups of cells that work together to form tissues and organs that are specialized for particular body functions.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Systems and System Models
Systems may interact with other systems; they may have sub-systems and be a part of larger complex systems.
MS-LS1-4
Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively.
14
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Use an oral and written argument supported by empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support or refute an explanation or a model for a phenomenon or a solution to a problem.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS1.B
Animals engage in characteristic behaviors that increase the odds of reproduction.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Cause and Effect
Phenomena may have more than one cause, and some cause and effect relationships in systems can only be described using probability.
MS-LS1-5
Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.
16
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Construct a scientific explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from sources (including the students’ own experiments) 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.B
Genetic factors as well as local conditions affect the growth of the adult plant.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Cause and Effect
Phenomena may have more than one cause, and some cause and effect relationships in systems can only be described using probability.
MS-LS1-6
Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms.
15
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Construct a scientific explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from sources (including the students’ own experiments) 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
Plants, algae (including phytoplankton), and many microorganisms use the energy from light to make sugars (food) from carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and water through the process of photosynthesis, which also releases oxygen. These sugars can be used
PS3.D
The chemical reaction by which plants produce complex food molecules (sugars) requires an energy input (i.e., from sunlight) to occur. In this reaction, carbon dioxide and water combine to form carbon-based organic molecules and release oxygen.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Energy and Matter
Within a natural system, the transfer of energy drives the motion and/or cycling of matter.
MS-LS1-7
Develop a model to describe how food is rearranged through chemical reactions forming new molecules that support growth and/or release energy as this matter moves through an organism.
11
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Developing and Using Models
Develop a model to describe unobservable mechanisms.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS1.C
Within individual organisms, food moves through a series of chemical reactions in which it is broken down and rearranged to form new molecules, to support growth, or to release energy.
PS3.D
Cellular respiration in plants and animals involve chemical reactions with oxygen that release stored energy. In these processes, complex molecules containing carbon react with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide and other materials.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Energy and Matter
Matter is conserved because atoms are conserved in physical and chemical processes.
MS-LS1-8
Gather and synthesize information that sensory receptors respond to stimuli by sending messages to the brain for immediate behavior or storage as memories.
16
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
Gather, read, and synthesize information from multiple appropriate sources and assess the credibility, accuracy, and possible bias of each publication and methods used, and describe how they are supported or not supported by evidence.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS1.D
Each sense receptor responds to different inputs (electromagnetic, mechanical, chemical), transmitting them as signals that travel along nerve cells to the brain. The signals are then processed in the brain, resulting in immediate behaviors or memories.
Show Crosscutting Concept
Cause and Effect
Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural systems.

Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits

MS-LS3: Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
Number Performance Expectation Products New Window
MS-LS3-1
Develop and use a model to describe why structural changes to genes (mutations) located on chromosomes may affect proteins and may result in harmful, beneficial, or neutral effects to the structure and function of the organism.
7
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Developing and Using Models
Develop and use a model to describe phenomena.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS3.A
Genes are located in the chromosomes of cells, with each chromosome pair containing two variants of each of many distinct genes. Each distinct gene chiefly controls the production of specific proteins, which in turn affects the traits of the individual. C
LS3.B
In addition to variations that arise from sexual reproduction, genetic information can be altered because of mutations. Though rare, mutations may result in changes to the structure and function of proteins. Some changes are beneficial, others harmful, an
Show Crosscutting Concept
Structure and Function
Complex and microscopic structures and systems can be visualized, modeled, and used to describe how their function depends on the shapes, composition, and relationships among its parts, therefore complex natural structures/systems can be analyzed to determine how they function.
MS-LS3-2
Develop and use a model to describe why asexual reproduction results in offspring with identical genetic information and sexual reproduction results in offspring with genetic variation.
8
Show Science and Engineering Practice
Developing and Using Models
Develop and use a model to describe phenomena.
Show Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS1.B
Organisms reproduce, either sexually or asexually, and transfer their genetic information to their offspring.
LS3.A
Variations of inherited traits between parent and offspring arise from genetic differences that result from the subset of chromosomes (and therefore genes) inherited.
LS3.B
In sexually reproducing organisms, each parent contributes half of the genes acquired (at random) by the offspring. Individuals have two of each chromosome and hence two alleles of each gene, one acquired from each parent. These versions may be identical
Show Crosscutting Concept
Cause and Effect
Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural systems.