About the NGSS Corner

The Next Genearation Science Standards (NGSS) have arrived and many of us teachers of Physics and Physical Science have some work to do in an effort to align our curricula with the NGSS. We hope to make the task fun, effective, and easy by providing our NGSS Corner. 


Why the NGSS Corner?

At The Physics Classroom, we get quite excited at providing interactive and mentally challenging activities. For years, our Minds On Physics Internet Modules have been providing teachers with an excellent tool for promoting close reading, a solid grasp of concepts, and the dependence upon strong analytical reasoning skills. More recently, our Science Reasoning Center has been providing teachers with a set of tools for promoting data interpretation, science reasoning, and experimental design skills. And our recently added Physics Interactives section provides teachers with an outstanding selection of simulations for fostering strong model-building and computational thinking skills. So when the Next Generation Science Standards were released, we recognized that there were plenty of resources at our website that squarely align with the standards. Many of these resources are perfect complements to the NGSS with their emphasis on Science and Engineering Practices and Cross Cutting concepts. Recognizing the strong alignment between many of our resources and the NGSS, we have spent a good deal of time identifying the connections. The NGSS Corner makes it easy for a teacher of Physics or Physical Science to find the resources that target a particular dimension of the NGSS. 


How Do I Use the NGSS Corner?

The true spirit of the NGSS involves the use of Performance Expectations that lie at the intersection of a Disciplinary Core Idea, a Cross Cutting Concept, and a Science and Engineering Practice. Nonetheless, a teacher that takes the various standards seriously should alway be on the look-out for activities and curriculum components that help students implement a practice or recognize a cross cutting concept. So we have taken the liberties to link our resources to the three dimensions - to a Science and Engineering Practice, to a Cross Cutting Concept, and to a Discplinary Core Idea. Some of the resources lie at the intersection of two dimensions; others lie at the intersection of three dimensions. Some are squarely aligned with specific Performance Expectations identified by NGSS. We've made it easy to search for resources by traditional topic or by one or more of the various dimensions. 

So perhaps you're a teacher of High School Physics who is teaching a unit on Kinematics. Kinematic topics is not listed among the Disciplinary Core Ideas of the high school standards. That doesn't mean that you wouldn't teach Kinematics. But that doesn't mean you have to ignore the other two NGSS dimensions when teaching your unit on Kinematics. You can still select activities for your instruction that align well with the other two dimensions. And we have provided ways to do so by listing resources that target the Science and Engineering Practices and the Cross Cutting Concepts dimensions. In such a case, you can search for those activities in the Physics Topics section of the NGSS Corner.


Pardon Our Pixel Dust

We first released the NGSS Corner in October of 2015 with 17 resources. The number has since doubled to 34 resources.For certain, we are far from done with the NGSS Corner. So please excuse our shortcomings in various areas of the curriculum and know that there's much more to come. We have lots of resources planned ... and given our busy teaching schedules, limited time to roll them out. But for certain, we plan to add... and to add... and to add some more. This of course gives you reason to return and see what's new. And it also gives you reason to follow us on our social media sites (PinterestTwitterFacebook, and Google+) where we regularly post announcements about updates to our website. You must believe us when we say that we are not done.

Of course, when a website is alive and growing, it's difficult to describe it as ever being in a state of "Done". And this section of the website will likely never be done. We intend to add to it throughout the 2015-16 shool year and continue adding to it  in the years to come. Just as we will grow in our own understanding of effective ways to implement the standards within the Physics classroom, we will also continue to improve the resources that we offer in this section of the website. In fact, our intention is to continue adding resources to our website that provide natural alignments with the Next Gen standards. And as we add those resources, we will identify and index them here at the NGSS Corner. If you're a Next Gen fan, that gives you a lot to look forward to.


Learning More About the NGSS

Theres are a variety of resources available for learning more about the NGSS. Perhaps the best resource is the official Next Generation Science Standards website (http://www.nextgenscience.org). The website provides a wealth of information about the standards, the underlying framework for the standards, the rationale behind the standards, a discussion of the three dimensions, and a wealth of other information related to the use of the standards withini a science classroom. And of course, you will find the standards themselves organized in a variety of ways. We are particularly fond of the following pages at the NGSS website:



A Special Thanks

The Physics Classroom offers a special thanks to Caroline Hall and Jeff Rylander who helped to make this project possible. Caroline Hall is no newcomer to the field of physics education. She has served as Managing Editor of ComPADRE Digital Library for Physics and Astronomy since 2005 and was instrumental in the development of The Physics Front digital collection for K-12 science teachers. She’s also served as project lead for NSF-funded RET programs (Research Experiences for Teachers) and project manager for a Materials Science Research & Engineering Center (MRSEC). Jeff Rylander is a veteran physics teacher and the Instructional Supervisor of the Science Department at Glenbrook South High School in Glenview, IL. Jeff has been actively involved with numerous STEM-related initiatives both in his role as Physics Teacher and Instructional Supervisor. Such initiatives include the development of the STEM Learning Community at Glenbrook South High School and the Summer Science and Engineering Camps offered through the Glenview Park District.