NASA’s Next Generation Science Standards Resources

By Cameron Pipkin

Looking for Next Generation Science Standards Resources? NASA’s here to help!

Maybe it’s because they’ve followed in the wake of the Common Core Standards, or because they’re a little too racy for many systems to adopt (evolution and global warming in public schools!), but you don’t hear much about the Next Generation Science Standards these days—and this may not be such a bad thing. Just look at what intense media coverage has done to the Common Core.

Either way, there is one undeniable effect that NGSS’s low profile has had on adoption. It’s really difficult to find good resources for alignment. The internet’s swimming in Common Core resources, but there’s not nearly as much to be found for educators needing Next Generation Science Standards resources.

That’s why I was so excited to stumble across this great site sponsored by, of all people, NASA. The site is actually a sub domain of NASA’s, a space and science-themed website for kids. It goes through the major domains of NGSS, from Earth and Human activity to Engineering Design and most everything in between, providing Next Generation Science Standards resources for classroom implementation. It’s also searchable by grade and subject. For each domain, the site supplies at least one, and in many cases two or three online resources. Here are some of my favorites:

Ice Finder

3-LS4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity. For any particular environment, some kinds of organisms survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.

The ice finder tool is an interactive widget that allows students to explore the places where ice has been found in our solar system.

Missions to Planet Earth

ESS3.A: Natural Resources. Energy and fuels that humans use are derived from natural sources, and their use affects the environment in multiple ways. Some resources are renewable over time, and others are not.

The Missions to Planet Earth widget is a card game that lets students help prepare five important NASA Earth missions. The information from these missions is meant to help scientists understand how to keep Earth in harmony and friendly to all its living things.

Shields Up

ESS3.B: Natural Hazards. A variety of hazards result from natural processes (e.g., earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions). Humans cannot eliminate the hazards but can take steps to reduce their impacts.

The Shields Up online game asks students to shield all Earth satellites from damage in the face of stormy oncoming space weather.

Build a Bubble-Powered Rocket

PS2.A: Forces and Motion. For any pair of interacting objects, the force exerted by the first object on the second object is equal in strength to the force that the second object exerts on the first, but in the opposite direction (Newton’s third law).

This Next Generation Science Standards resource is an activity that gives students a “recipe” for a bubble rocket using paper and fizzing tablets and asks them to measure how high the rocket goes.

Greenhouse gas attack!

ESS3.D Global Climate Change. Global Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming). Reducing the level of climate change and reducing human vulnerability to whatever climate changes do occur depend on the understanding of climate science, engineering capabilities, and other kinds of knowledge, such as understanding of human behavior and on applying that knowledge wisely in decisions and activities.

This online game asks students to help get rid of the excess greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

  • Next Generation Science Standards Resources

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