NGSS Connections Introduction


The Next Generation Science Standards1 (NGSS) represent a vision for science education in which students are engaged in figuring out phenomena and solving design problems using the three dimensions of disciplinary core ideas (DCIs), science and engineering practices (SEPs), and crosscutting concepts (CCCs).2 This section of the M-PLANS Toolkit is intended to provide specific approaches and strategies for classroom instruction based on the NGSS with particular attention to phenomena, CCCs, and SEPs. The Phenomena and Design Problems section describes how the Motivation Design Principles (MDPs) can help teachers select and implement phenomena and design problems and, in turn, how phenomena and design problems can serve as motivational supports for student learning. The Crosscutting Concepts section describes how the MDPs can support student understanding and use of the CCCs and how, in turn, the CCCs can support student motivation. The Science and Engineering Practices section provides strategies aligned with each MDP to support student engagement in each SEP. We do not address strategies related to the individual DCIs and instead focus most of our attention on the SEPs because they best reflect what students are doing in the classroom as they use the three dimensions to make sense of phenomena and solve design problems.3 The SEP section highlights opportunities to promote student motivation while students enact science and engineering practices to make sense of phenomena and solve design problems.