Next Generation Science Standards

California’s state board of education adopted the NGSS in September 2013.  These progressive, research-based standards are not expected to go into full effect in classrooms until 2018.  However, during the week students spend at San Joaquin Outdoor Education, many of these new standards will be taught and reinforced.  We believe that the outdoor environment in which our naturalists teach lends itself to a more conceptual, real world vision for science that NGSS envisions.  Our outdoor classroom also provides authentic opportunities for observation, explanation, and argumentation, all of which are central to NGSS.


At SJOE, we are working with BEETLES (Better Environmental Education Teaching Learning Education Strategies), a program run by the Lawrence Hall Science, to update our curriculum.  Historically, our place-based system of education is already in many ways encouraging the kind of thinking that the new standards advocate for.  The BEETLES program is providing us with new up-to-date, researched student-centered and inquiry based techniques and activities.  Through these activities, we are working hard to even further align our curriculum with the Next Generation Standards.  For more information about the BEETLES program, please visit their website at beetlesproject.org.


For the complete Next Generation Science Standards and more information on how the new standards and the old standards differ, please visit the NGSS website at nextgenscience.org.  We have copied the standards most applicable to our program below.  Be advised that a given student who attends Outdoor School will not likely have lessons and activities that cover all of the standards below, but rather a well-rounded sampling.


5th Grade Standards Covered by Our Curriculum

Physical Sciences:

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

5-PS2-1. Support an argument that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down. 

5.PS3-1. Use models to describe that energy in animals’ food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun. 


Life Sciences:  

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

5-LS1-1. Support an argument that plants get the materials they need for growth chiefly from air and water. 

5-LS2-1. Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment. 

 

Earth and Space Sciences:

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

5-ESS1-1. Support an argument that differences in the apparent brightness of the sun compared to other stars is due to their relative distances from the Earth.

5-ESS1-2. Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky.

5-ESS2-1. Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact. 

5-ESS2-2. Describe and graph the amounts and percentages of water and freshwater in various reservoirs to provide evidence about the distribution of water on Earth. 

5-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment. 

 

Middle School (6-8th grade) Standards Covered by Our Curriculum

Physical Science:

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

MS-PS1-3. Gather and make sense of information to describe that synthetic materials come from natural resources and impact society.

 

Life Science:

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

MS-LS1-1. Conduct an investigation to provide evidence that living things are made of cells; either one cell or many different number and types of cells. 

MS-LS1-4. Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively. 

MS-LS1-5. Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms. 

MS-LS1-6. Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms. 

MS-LS1-7. Develop a model to describe how food is rearranged through chemical reactions forming new molecules that support growth and/or release energy as this matter moves through an organism. 

MS-LS2-1. Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem. 

MS-LS2-2. Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.

MS-LS2-3. Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem. 

MS-LS2-4. Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.

MS-LS2-5. Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.

 

Earth and Space Sciences:

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

MS-ESS1-1. Develop and use a model of the Earth-sun-moon system to describe the cyclic patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons.

MS-ESS1-2. Develop and use a model to describe the role of gravity in the motions within galaxies and the solar system. 

MS-ESS1-3. Analyze and interpret data to determine scale properties of objects in the solar system. 

MS-ESS1-4. Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence from rock strata for how the geologic time scale is used to organize Earth’s 4.6-billion-year-old history. 

MS-ESS2-1. Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth’s materials and the flow of energy that drives this process. 

MS-ESS2-2. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth’s surface at varying time and spatial scales. 

MS-ESS2-3. Analyze and interpret data on the distribution of fossils and rocks, continental shapes, and seafloor structures to provide evidence of the past plate motions. 

MS-ESS2-4. Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth’s systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity. 

MS-ESS2-5. Collect data to provide evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses results in changes in weather conditions. 

MS-ESS2-6. Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates. 

MS-ESS3-1. Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how the uneven distributions of Earth’s mineral, energy, and groundwater resources are the result of past and current geoscience processes. 

MS-ESS3-2. Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects. 

MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.

MS-ESS3-4. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capital consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems. 

MS-ESS3-5. Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.  

beach-binoculars.jpg































studentjournaling.JPG