• CA NGSS Essentials

    The goal of the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS) is to prepare California students to be future citizens and future scientists, which leads to a specific vision about science education:

    Learning science depends not only on the accumulation of facts and concepts but also on the development of an identity as a competent learner of science with motivation and interest to learn more. … Such identity formation is valuable not only for the small number of students who, over the course of a lifetime, will come to view themselves as scientists or engineers, but also for the great majority of students who do not follow these professional paths. Science learning in school leads to citizens with the confidence, ability, and inclination to continue learning about issues, scientific and otherwise, that affect their lives and communities. (National Research Council [NRC] 2012a, Chapter 11)

    Achieving this vision for all California students requires that they build toward science mastery through repeated opportunities for meaningful, engaging, and successful learning experiences. To provide those experiences, the CA NGSS lays out a coherent progression for K–12 science based on accumulated research about science learning. Science is more than a disconnected sequence of facts—it requires understanding of the process of science, the fundamental ideas within each discipline of science, and certain underlying themes that are common to all the sciences.


    A Framework for K–12 Science Education (NRC Framework) identifies these components as three dimensions:

    1) science and engineering practices (SEPs)

    2) disciplinary core ideas (DCIs)

    3) crosscutting concepts (CCCs)


The Science Framework for California Public Schools (K-12) supports a 3 dimensional vision of science education. In the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS), students make sense of science phenomena and learn to think like and do the work of scientists and engineers.


A searchable version of the CA-NGSS to help you in planning instruction and assessments aligned with the three dimensions and performance expectations of the standards.


Within the NGSS, there are three distinct and equally important dimensions to learning science. These dimensions are combined to form each standard—or performance expectation—and each dimension works with the other two to help students build a cohesive understanding of science over time.


Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs) shift the focus from the science classroom as environments where students learn about science ideas to places where students explore, examine, and use science ideas to explain how and why phenomena occur. The SEPs describe the activities that scientists and engineers engage in when they do their work.


These concepts help provide students with a framework for connecting knowledge from the various disciplines into a coherent and scientifically based view of the world. Identifying and using the Crosscutting Concepts during instruction helps students develop a deeper, more integrated, understanding of essential science ideas.


Science concepts that have broad importance within a discipline and have relevance to people's lives. These are key organizing concepts and underlying principles of Life Science. Physical Science, Earth and Space Science and Engineering disciplines


NGSS Evidence Statements provide educators with additional detail on what students should know and be able to do. These Evidence Statements describe a detailed look at the NGSS performance expectations.


Scientific phenomena are occurrences in the natural and human-made world that can be observed and cause one to wonder and ask questions. By focusing on phenomena, learning shifts from being about a topic to figuring out why or how something happens.


All students need a comprehensive science education in order to help them understand the world around them and develop critical thinking and reasoning skills.