Next Generation Science Standards Appendix F

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
Appendix F of the Next Generation Science Standards describes the science and engineering practices students should learn from kindergarten through high school. Read on to learn about these practices and why they are important.

Overview of Appendix F

The Next Generation Science Standards incorporate not only the scientific knowledge students need to master, but also the science and engineering practices required to apply that knowledge. Appendix F details those practices, and how students should be able to apply them with increasing complexity throughout elementary, middle and high school. The appendix also explains that these practices are designed to generate interest and enthusiasm among students by ensuring that they fully understand the impact of science and engineering by becoming involved in the practices used in these fields.

The Eight Science and Engineering Practices in Appendix F

The eight science and engineering practices included within NGSS are those used in a myriad of scientific and engineering applications. Appendix F explains why each is important to the study of science.

Questioning and Defining Problems

Both science and engineering rely upon the ability to ask the right questions in order to gain understanding of scientific processes and to learn about problems before generating evidence-based solutions that may be tested.

Creating and Using Models

Models - such as analogies, diagrams and drawings - illustrate scientific concepts and engineering solutions, allowing one to develop predictions and foresee potential problems.


Investigations provide scientists and engineers the data required to test theories and designs.

Understanding Data

Scientists and engineers must interpret the data obtained in investigations to understand whether or not their solutions are viable and effective. Skills required include visualization, statistics, and interpreting graphs.

Applying Math and Computational Skills

Quantitative skills are required for many scientific and engineering tasks, such as solving equations, creating algorithms and process simulations, and analyzing data.

Explaining and Solving Problems

Ultimately, a scientist's goal is to form an explanation of natural phenomena, while an engineer's goal is to develop solutions to problems. Both require the integration of gathering and analyzing data through the practices described above.

Using Evidence in Arguments

To reach a conclusion to questions or problems, scientists and engineers argue the validity of different options and evaluate the evidence available for each.

Collecting and Disseminating Information

Scientists and engineers must collect both technical and non-technical information from many different sources in their analysis of different ideas and solutions. They also must be able to communicate their conclusions both verbally and in writing.

How Students Learn These Practices

The practices detailed in Appendix F are translated into the performance expectations for the core NGSS disciplines of life science, physical science and earth and space science for all grade levels. By integrating these practices into the standards, students receive hands-on experience with these methods and ideas. For both students learning these practices and educators preparing to teach them, offers convenient online science courses in each scientific discipline. These courses include chapters on both scientific concepts and facts, along with the application of knowledge through the practices described in Appendix F.

Grade Level Science Discipline Courses
Elementary School All Science for Kids
Middle School Physical Science Physical Science: Middle School
Earth Science Earth Science: Middle School
Life Science Life Science Middle School
High School Physical Science High School Physical Science
Life Science High School Biology
Earth Science Earth Science Tutoring Solution

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