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News and Updates

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NGSS Now: 6 Things to Know in August 2021


STEM Teaching Tools: Focusing Science and Engineering Learning on Justice-Centered Phenomena across PK-12

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Teaching K-12 Scinece and Engineering During A Crisis


preK-12 Science Facilitator

Catherine Pozarski Connolly

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Next Generation Science Standards

Within the Next Generation Science Standards (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.

Crosscutting Concepts

Patterns Causality and Systems in the CC

Crosscutting Concepts help students explore connections across the four domains of science, including Physical Science, Life Science, Earth and Space Science, and Engineering Design.
When these concepts, such as “cause and effect”, are made explicit for students, they can help students develop a coherent and scientifically-based view of the world around them.

Science and Engineering Practices


Science and Engineering Practices describe what scientists do to investigate the natural world and what engineers do to design and build systems. The practices better explain and extend what is meant by “inquiry” in science and the range of cognitive, social, and physical practices that it requires. Students engage in practices to build, deepen, and apply their knowledge of core ideas and crosscutting concepts.

Disciplinary Core Ideas


Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs) are the key ideas in science that have broad importance within or across multiple science or engineering disciplines. These core ideas build on each other as students progress through grade levels and are grouped into the following four domains: Physical Science, Life Science, Earth and Space Science, and Engineering.

View the Standards

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K-2 Standards 

Each year, students should be able to demonstrate greater capacity for connecting knowledge across, and between, the physical sciences, life sciences, earth and space sciences, and engineering design. During grades K–2, your child will begin to form connections between concepts and skills such as understanding relationships between objects, planning and carrying out investigations, and constructing explanations.

-NGSS Parent Guide (k-2)

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3-5 Standards

During grades 3–5, your child will begin to form deeper connections between concepts and skills previously learned in grades K–2, such as evaluating methods for collecting data, revising models based on evidence, and analyzing data to make sense of phenomena. Upon completion of grades 3–5, your child should have a deeper understanding of 

  • the effects of chemical reactions, forces, and energy on the world around us;

  • The ways different organisms and the environment interact;

  • The ways the geosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere interact; and

  • How engineering design can be a regular part of problem solving

-3-5 Parent Guide

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Middle School Standards

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Planning, Instruction and Assessment

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Elementary Science Resources

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Secondary Science Resources

Assessment Resources

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Instructional Shifts

Equity in Science

Professional Associations

Course Resources


For more information or to get involved, contact Catherine Connolly


The goal of Nevada CONNECTS is to create a set of standards-aligned, locally-based, performance tasks for every grade, K-12, by partnering educators with Subject-Matter-Experts (SMEs). These performance tasks would be available for all K-12 teachers in Nevada as examples of high-quality tasks that teachers will be able to use and adapt as needed for their students.


Northwestern Nevada STEM Network

The Regional Network will serve as the clearinghouse for identifying and scaling up quality STEM pipeline programming and be the "one stop shop" for all in the region. Through this effort we will increase student STEM engagement, support a STEM-literate workforce, and build community around the opportunity that STEM brings. The Northwest Regional STEM Network is made up of schools, colleges and universities, libraries, businesses, and informal educators in Carson City, Douglas, Lyon, Storey, and Washoe Counties.

The California Association for Science Educators (CASE) and the Nevada State Science Teachers Association (NSSTA) gathered a subcommittee of rural educators to assist in the development of a survey to determine if the science education needs of rural educators in both state were being met. The organizations decided that rural educators should play a role in the development of the survey.

Image by Kelly Sikkema

A World in Motion: Tesla Sponsored Engineering Kits from SAE

SAE INTERNATIONAL and Tesla will work together to impact up to 25,000 kindergarten through eighth grade  students in Nevada by implementing SAE’s A World In Motion® (AWIM) STEM Program. The hands-on and  innovative AWIM program will be introduced in classrooms across the state and provide students with access  to mobility industry professionals and university students who are pursuing more advanced studies. Contact Catherine Connolly for more information or to get involved!

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