What is NGSS? (science standards)

Nature-based learning really supports NGSS!  These standards shift the focus to having students understand and do science and engineering, giving them a deeper understanding of key concepts and building critical thinking for their future in the knowledge- and technology-driven global society. There are three dimensions (scientific and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas) that combine to form student performance expectations.

NatureRubric (pdf) is a rubric that was developed for nature-based learning in San Diego.  It outlines indirect, direct, and action-oriented nature experiences to develop a sense of place and local nature, and to investigate nature using Science and Engineering Practices and Crosscutting Concepts.

A learning community has formed, to understand and apply the NGSS to nature-and local-based learning. Workshops have been held since fall 2013 to explore the NGSS elements and how they fit together. Workshops are co-sponsored by and held at SDSU-Center for Research on Math and Science Education (CRMSE), 6475 Alvarado Road, San Diego, second floor, parking free.

The Next Generation Science Standards framework is posted at http://nextgenscience.org/get-to-know.  Much of the nature-based learning relates to these Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs):

  • Life Sciences LS2.A. Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems: How do organisms interact with the living and nonliving environments to obtain matter and energy?
  • Life Sciences LS4.D.  Biodiversity and Humans: Why do individuals of the same species vary in how they look, function, and behave?
  • Earth and Space Science ESS2.D. Weather and Climate:  What regulates Weather and Climate?
  • Earth and Space Science ESS3.C. Human Impacts on Earth Systems. How do humans change the planet?

Other resources: