National Science Standards for High School

Instructor: Shelby Golden
The National Science Education Standards were replaced with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in 2013. You can learn about the Next Generation Science Standards for high school with this article. You'll also find out about some engaging resources that can make learning and studying fun for students.

High School Next Generation Science Standards

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for high school have been adopted by many states, but be aware that not all states use these standards, as the United States does not require schools to use a single national science standard. You can check out the website for your state's Department of Education to get information about the standards used in your area.

The NGSS were designed to ensure that students develop a strong understanding of the sciences, as well as important skills related to science and engineering. The NGSS are set up to focus on three major areas of study, which interconnect and support each other.

High School Disciplinary Core Ideas

The core ideas deal with the scientific subject matter students will learn throughout their high school classes. These topics include:

Physical Science

High schoolers will have the chance to study atoms and the layout of the periodic table, as well as what's involved with different nuclear processes. They'll spend time learning about chemical processes and how to predict chemical reactions. The definition of momentum, the scientific findings of Newton and Coulomb, electrical energy and the conservation of energy will be considered. Students will focus on the properties of waves and electromagnetic radiation. Working on this high school physical science course can enhance your students' comprehension of what they're learning in class.

Life Science

Students in these grades will learn about the significance of specialized cells and DNA. They'll focus on the steps involved in photosynthesis, in addition to the role of plants in the food web. The stability of ecosystems and the impact of various factors on ecosystems will be discussed. Students will learn how multicellular organisms grow and the role of chromosomes in sexual reproduction. The factors that need to be considered when studying natural selection and evolution will be discussed. Students can check out this online biology course to study these concepts at their own pace.

Earth and Space Science

The lifespan of our sun will be studied in these grades, along with evidence that supports the Big Bang Theory. Students will explore the problems with studying the early rock record of Earth, as well as the information provided by plate tectonics. In high school, students will learn about the causes of mantle convection and our global climate system. Furthermore, they'll focus on changes in the Earth's orbit, upcoming climate changes and sustainability. It's easy to review this aspect of scientific knowledge with this Earth science course. You can see how much students have learned by assigning the quizzes and practice exams that are included in this resource.

Engineering Design

High schoolers will also study engineering. They'll learn about the problems that can be solved with engineering, as well as the factors that must be considered while looking for solutions. Students can complete these lessons to learn more about the steps of the engineering process and how to define a problem in engineering.

High School Science and Engineering Practices

These practices involve the scientific skills that students are expected to demonstrate throughout high school. Students should expect to create models and use them to develop scientific predictions. These classes will require students to correctly work with mathematical representations of phenomena. They'll also work on group and individual investigations. Students will demonstrate an understanding of scientific principles, use evidence to come up with explanations and refine solutions. Different forms of communication will need to be used effectively. Time will also be spent learning about scientific theories and laws.

High School Crosscutting Concepts

Crosscutting concepts appear throughout the NGSS. These concepts connect learning from one grade to the next, as well as across different aspects of the sciences. Certain scientific assumptions will be considered, along with the ways in which science and technology impact the world. The relationship between humanity and the sciences will be discussed. Students will also work to understand:

  • Energy and matter
  • Structure and function
  • Patterns
  • Stability and change
  • Systems and system models
  • Cause and effect
  • Scale, quantity and proportion

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