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STEM Ed Today: Exploring NGSS Elementary Science Standard 4-PS3-4

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) were created to improve science education in the United States by providing a coherent and comprehensive set of science standards that reflect current research and practices in science education. Standard 4-PS3-4 is one of the elementary school standards in the Physical Science Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs) that focuses on energy. In this article, we will explore what this standard is, what it asks students to learn, how lessons can be implemented in the classroom, how the standard can be assessed, and information on the company that created the standards.

What is the standard and what is it asking for students to learn?

Standard 4-PS3-4 asks students to apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another. This means that students will have to understand the concept of energy and how it can be transformed from one form to another. They will also have to apply this knowledge to design a device that can perform this transformation. This standard provides an opportunity for students to develop and apply engineering practices by designing and building their own devices.

What kind of lessons can be implemented in the classroom to teach the standard?

Teachers can use a variety of lessons to teach this standard. For example, they can start by introducing the concept of energy and its different forms (kinetic, potential, thermal, electrical, etc.). Then, they can provide examples of devices that convert energy from one form to another, such as electric circuits that convert electrical energy into motion energy of a vehicle, light, or sound, or a passive solar heater that converts light into heat. Students can work in groups to design and build their own devices, taking into account the constraints such as materials, cost, and time.

Another approach is to use a project-based learning (PBL) approach where students work on a longer-term project that involves designing, building, testing, and refining a device that converts energy from one form to another. This approach provides an opportunity for students to develop problem-solving skills, collaboration, and creativity. It also allows them to work on a real-world problem and apply their knowledge to solve it.

How can the standard be assessed?

Assessment of this standard can be done through various means. For example, teachers can assess students' understanding of energy and its transformation through formative assessments such as quizzes, worksheets, or exit tickets. They can also assess students' engineering skills by evaluating their designs, testing their devices, and providing feedback for improvement. Finally, teachers can assess students' collaboration skills through group work and presentations.

What company or nonprofit made the standards?

The NGSS were developed by a consortium of 26 states, including science educators, scientists, and engineers, led by Achieve, a nonprofit organization focused on improving student outcomes in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The standards were released in 2013 and have since been adopted by 44 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories.

How can you learn more about the standard?

To learn more about the NGSS and the specific standard 4-PS3-4, you can visit the NGSS website at The website provides detailed information on the standards, including the DCIs, Science and Engineering Practices, and Crosscutting Concepts. It also offers resources for teachers, including lesson plans, assessments, and professional development opportunities. In addition, the website provides information on the NGSS implementation and adoption across the country.

STEM Ed Today 4-PS3-4 Curriculum

STEM Ed Today has created curriculum based on Bloom's Taxonomy, the 7 Step Learning Framework. This framework integrates seven distinct learning strategies designed to guide the selection of appropriate learning activities and assessment methods for each stage of the learning process.

Bringing together different educational frameworks into one modern approach, such as the Seven Step Modern Framework, allows for a more comprehensive and holistic way to teach modern students. Each framework brings its own strengths and areas of focus, but by combining them, educators can provide a more well-rounded approach that addresses multiple aspects of learning. Additionally, this approach can help to meet the diverse needs of students by providing multiple methods of instruction and assessment. By using a modern framework, educators can ensure that they are keeping up with the latest research and best practices in education, while also providing a consistent and structured approach that is easy for both students and teachers to understand and follow.

Follow the link below to begin STEM Ed Today Lesson for 4-PS3-4.


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