Next Generation Science Standards
NGSS guides science education so that students learn science not merely as a body of information but as skill sets, methodologies and connected concepts central to the actual doing of science. Rather than assessing students in a method involving information recall, NGSS ask that they be able to actively demonstrate what they have learned.
In broadening the scope of what students are to achieve, NGSS supports the performance expectations with the Three Dimensions: Disciplinary Core Ideas, Science and Engineering Practices, and Cross-Cutting Concepts. These three dimensions all work together to create a deeper understanding of science. The Disciplinary Core Ideas are scientific topics, which is where older versions of science standards would place most emphasis and detail. NGSS also places emphasis on Practices and Concepts, allowing students to take what they learn and then apply it to other Core Ideas, making connections along the way.
AstroCamp Curriculum and NGSS
The AstroCamp teaching philosophy is directly aligned with the core framework used to develop the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The NGSS framework places renewed emphasis on students engaging in Scientific and Engineering Practices and recognizing Crosscutting Concepts found in all science disciplines.
As students move through the AstroCamp program, they are continuously asking questions, forming and testing hypotheses, performing experiments, and engineering solutions. Some of our activities have more obvious connections to the Disciplinary Core Ideas for particular grade levels, and the nature of our program means that all our science activities involve Science and Engineering Practices and Cross-Cutting Concepts. See the guide below to find out which AstroCamp science activities best align with your school’s NGSS-based curriculum.