NYS Standard 4 (Science): Physical Setting - 4.2 – Observe the way one form of energy can be transferred into another form of energy present in common situations (e.g., mechanical to heat energy, mechanical to electrical energy, chemical to heat energy).
NGSS Standard Grade 4: Energy - 4-PS3-4: Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another.* [Clarification Statement: Examples of devices could include electric circuits that convert electrical energy into motion energy of a vehicle, light, or sound; and, a passive solar heater that converts light into heat. Examples of constraints could include the materials, cost, or time to design the device.] [Assessment Boundary: Devices should be limited to those that convert motion energy to electric energy or use stored energy to cause motion or produce light or sound.]
For example, NGSS is broken up according to grade levels for grades K-5 instead of in grade bands as our current standards are organized. This means teachers will have specific topics to teach in each grade level. In addition, NGSS includes engineering standards embedded within the science standards as indicated with an asterisk (*). Below is just one example of how a current K-4 NY State standard compares to that of a Grade 4 NGSS standard.
While this may be overwhelming, it’s easy to see the emphasis on content and application. According to the Next Generation Science Standards, “In the real world, science and engineering is always a combination of content and practice. Coupling practice with content gives the learning context, whereas practices alone are activities and content alone is memorization.”
Additionally, NGSS provides Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts along with connections to Common Core State Standards for each standard. Looking more closely, we see an emphasis on hands-on learning.
For more information about the Next Generation Science Standards, the Science and Engineering Practices, and the Crosscutting Concepts, visit www.nextgenscience.org.
By: Kristen Keenan, CA BOCES Learning Resources