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Patterns

Observed patterns of forms and events guide organization and classification, and they prompt questions about relationships and the factors that influence them.

Cause & Effect

Mechanism and explanation. Events have causes, sometimes simple, sometimes multifaceted. A major activity of science is investigating and explaining causal relationships and the mechanisms by which they are mediated. Such mechanisms can then be tested across given contexts and used to predict and explain events in new contexts.

Scale, proportion, & quantity

In considering phenomena, it is critical to recognize what is relevant at different measures of size, time, and energy and to recognize how changes in scale, proportion, or quantity affect a system’s structure or performance.

Systems & system models

Defining the system under study—specifying its boundaries and making explicit a model of that system—provides tools for understanding and testing ideas that are applicable throughout science and engineering.

Energy & Matter

Flows, cycles, and conservation. Tracking fluxes of energy and matter into, out of, and within systems helps one understand the systems’ possibilities and limitations.

Structure & Function

The way in which an object or living thing is shaped and its substructure determine many of its properties and functions.

Stability & change

For natural and built systems alike, conditions of stability and determinants of rates of change or evolution of a system are critical elements of study.

Crosscutting Concepts

Crosscutting concepts have application across all domains of science. As such, they are a way of linking the different domains of science. They include: Patterns, similarity, and diversity; Cause and effect; Scale, proportion and quantity; Systems and system models; Energy and matter; Structure and function; Stability and change. The Framework emphasizes that these concepts need to be made explicit for students because they provide an organizational schema for interrelating knowledge from various science fields into a coherent and scientifically-based view of the world.

All About Crosscutting Concepts

Increase Science Literacy with the Crosscutting Concepts of NGSS

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Our services for Crosscutting Concepts include providing curriculum, STEM activities, reading and resources to help promote science literacy and STEM education in the United States. We also offer a variety of other services to help support our mission of promoting STEM literacy and education.

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Search for Lesson related Crosscutting concepts

Looking for more ways to help your students learn about crosscutting concepts in STEM? Check out our related reading section for books and articles that can help. Whether you're looking for ways to improve science literacy or ways to make STEM education more engaging, we've got you covered.

Related STEM Activities for Crosscutting Concept Learning

Looking for ways to help your students connect what they're learning in class to the real world? Check out our list of related STEM activities for crosscutting concept learning. From designing their own bridges to exploring the science of sound, your students will be engaged and excited to apply their knowledge in new and innovative ways.

Related Reading for Crosscutting Concepts

Looking for more ways to help your students learn about crosscutting concepts in STEM? Check out our related reading section for books and articles that can help. Whether you're looking for ways to improve science literacy or ways to make STEM education more engaging, we've got you covered.

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