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Dimension 1: Practices

Science and Engineering Practices allow students to explore, analyze, and explain the natural world. The practices enable learners to demonstrate cognitive, social, and physical skills as they create meaningful connections between core ideas and crosscutting concepts. These skills provide insight into what scientists do to investigate and what engineers do to design systems. Engaging in the practices allows students to develop and enhance their understanding of their subject material while building key competencies.

The National Research Council notes that scientific investigation and engineering design both require special skills specific to each practice. They differ in that scientific inquiry is focused on answering questions through investigation, whereas engineering design involves solving problems through the construction of systems and models. To highlight the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) for students, efforts are being made to strengthen the engineering aspects of Next Generation Science Standards. This encourages students to see how many aspects of life can be improved with a thorough understanding of these practices