NGSS: The Next Generation Science Standards
A New Conceptual Framework
Science and engineering—significant parts of human culture that represent some of the pinnacles of human achievement—are not only major intellectual enterprises but also can improve people’s lives in fundamental ways. Although the intrinsic beauty of science and a fascination with how the world works have driven exploration and discovery for centuries, many of the challenges that face humanity now and in the future—related, for example, to the environment, energy, and health—require social, political, and economic solutions that must be informed deeply by knowledge of the underlying science and engineering.* A new vision for science education: NGSS will include more of and less of...
How Scientists and Engineers Work
One helpful way of understanding the practices of scientists and engineers is to frame them as work that is done in three spheres of activity. In one sphere, the dominant activity is investigation and empirical inquiry. In the second, the essence of work is the construction of explanations or designs
using reasoning, creative thinking, and models. And in the third sphere, the ideas, such as the fit of models and explanations to evidence or the appropriateness of product designs, are analyzed, debated, and evaluated. In all three spheres of activity, scientists and engineers try to use the best available tools to support the task at hand, which today means that modern computational technology is integral to virtually all aspects of their work.