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Dimension 1: Practices

Planning and carrying out investigations

Scientists and engineers plan and carry out investigations in the field or laboratory, working collaboratively as well as individually. Their investigations are systematic and require clarifying what counts as data and identifying variables or parameters.

Progression of the Science and Engineering Practice of Planning and Carrying Out Investigations: 1. Asking Questions: Students learn to ask scientific questions that can be investigated through empirical evidence. They develop an understanding of the importance of asking clear and testable questions. 2. Planning Investigations: Students learn to plan investigations by identifying relevant variables, determining appropriate methods, and selecting appropriate tools and techniques. They develop skills in designing fair tests and controlling variables. 3. Conducting Investigations: Students learn to carry out investigations systematically, following the plans they have developed. They develop skills in collecting and recording data accurately and making observations. 4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data: Students learn to analyze and interpret data collected during investigations. They develop skills in organizing data, identifying patterns, and making evidence-based claims. 5. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking: Students learn to use mathematical and computational thinking to analyze and interpret data. They develop skills in using mathematical models, making calculations, and using computer simulations. 6. Constructing Explanations: Students learn to construct explanations and develop models based on evidence from investigations. They develop skills in using evidence to support claims and reasoning scientifically. 7. Engaging in Argument from Evidence: Students learn to engage in argumentation based on evidence from investigations. They develop skills in defending their claims, critiquing the claims of others, and revising their explanations based on evidence. Performance Expectations that utilize the Science and Engineering Practice of Planning and Carrying Out Investigations: 1. MS-PS1-3: Gather and make sense of information to describe that synthetic materials come from natural resources and impact society. 2. HS-LS2-1: Use mathematical and/or computational representations to support explanations of factors that affect carrying capacity of ecosystems at different scales. 3. HS-LS2-4: Use mathematical representations to support claims for the cycling of matter and flow of energy among organisms in an ecosystem. 4. MS-ESS2-1: Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth's materials and the flow of energy that drives this process. 5. HS-PS1-2: Construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties. These Performance Expectations provide specific examples of how the Science and Engineering Practice of Planning and Carrying Out Investigations can be applied across different grade levels and scientific concepts. They highlight the importance of students engaging in hands-on investigations to develop their scientific skills and understanding.
Engineers employ investigation as a means to acquire crucial data for establishing design criteria or parameters, as well as to evaluate the performance of their designs. In a manner similar to scientists, engineers identify pertinent variables, determine suitable measurement methods, and gather data for analysis. Through these investigations, they ascertain the efficacy, efficiency, and durability of their designs across various circumstances.

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) recognize and emphasize the importance of three main dimensions for learning science. These dimensions are essential components in forming each standard—or performance expectation. When taken together, they allow students a chance to gain a more cohesive understanding of science concepts as they progress through their courses.

Science Education

Three Dimensional Learning

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Kids Corner

Discover engaging NGSS-aligned lessons, activities, and resources designed to ignite curiosity and foster critical thinking in young minds. Explore hands-on experiments, interactive projects, and real-world applications that bring science and engineering practices to life for kids. Start inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers today!

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