Launching NGS Navigators Podcast!

Right Click to download the first episode!

Have you heard (literally)?! 


Okay,  okay--the first few episodes, well let's just say, I'm still trying to find my podcasting voice...but it's a start.

Each month we'll talk all things NGSS K-8 related: tips, strategies, resources, wins, struggles...

And, my favorite part, 

interviews with NGSS Experts, Actual Living Scientists, and Real K-8 teachers!

Look at some of the talented people we have lined up: 

NGSS Experts

  • Members of  the NGSS writing team: Jen Gutierrez, Dr. Cary Sneider, Kenneth Huff
  • Storylines and Driving Question Board expert: Holly Hereau 
  • iExplore Science founder: Nicole VanTassel 
  • Assistant professor of Science Education, Boston University: Dr. Eve Manz


    • Dr. Melissa Braaten (Ambitious Science Teaching) 


  • Vince Mancuso (Phenomena Driven Inquiry)


    • Larry Ferlazzo (The ELL Teacher's Toolbox)


  • Jay McTighe and Dr. Judy Willis: Understanding by Design Meets Neuroscience scheduled for release in April 2019.

(* denotes affiliate links and only from products that I own and found useful.)


  • Cody Machler: Aeorospace Mechanical Engineer
  • Pawandeep Jandir: former particle physicist who  worked on the Large Hadron Collider 
  • Samantha YammineHer doctoral research focuses on brain development and stem cell biology
  • Melissa Marquez: Marine biologist

And this just gets us to March 2019...

What questions do you have? 

Join our FREE Facebook Group: NGS Navigators and:

  • Submit and vote on questions to ask our guests.
  • Suggest future topics and guests.
  • Participate in discussions about our podcasts episodes.
  • Be interviewed on our show! If you have a resource, strategy, or struggle we'd love for you to share on our show. Email [email protected] and we'll schedule a time to talk.
  • Join our NGSS challenges (coming Spring 2019).
  • *All active participants are entered in our monthly give away.*

There will be at least 1-2 interviews a month featuring: 

  • An NGSS expert -to dive deeper into a specific NGSS topic.
  • An actual living scientist-to dive deeper into content,
  • A current K-8 teacher-to dive deeper into what’s working right now (or not) in an actual classroom.

 If you’re not into Facebook, email us at


Episode 1 Show Notes

What are the NGSS?

NGSS stands for Next Generation Science Standards. They identify science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas in science that all children should master from K-12.

NGSS designed teaching and learning empowers our students with skills to make sense of the world around them and problem solving mindsets that are necessary for any life path. 

Instead of memorization of disconnected facts, NGSS focuses on developing a connected understanding of four core science disciplines: Life Science, Physical Science, Earth & Space Science, and Engineering and Technology and the Application of Science using science and engineering practices and linking them with cross cutting concepts.

NGSS: the Who, When, and Where

The story begins, on a dark foggy night (maybe), in 2010 when the National Academy of  ScienceAchieve, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Science Teacher Association started a 2 step process of developing the Next Generation Science Standards.

First, the National Research Council (the functional staffing arm of the National Academy of Sciences) created a committee of 18 individuals who are nationally and internationally known in their respective fields including practicing scientists, two Nobel laureates, cognitive scientists, science education researchers, and science education standards & policy experts. They developed what became to be known as Framework for K-12 Science Education

There were also four design teams in physical science, life science, earth/space science, and engineering, who developed the Framework sections.

We will be interviewing a member of the engineering design team, Dr. Cary Sneider, in February--submit your questions for him in our Facebook group.

Research on how students learn science effectively has been NRC’s long-term interest and have they have published such books as How People LearnHow Students LearnTaking Science to School, and Education for Life and Work.

This cognitive science research was used in the Framework for K-12 Science Education and was central to the development of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

 After releasing a public draft in July of 2010, the NRC reviewed comments and considered all feedback prior to releasing the final 2011 Framework release.

This was a critical first step because it identified the science all K–12 students should know and its grounding in the most current research on science and scientific learning,

 The NRC Framework became the foundation of the second step in the NGSS development process.  This development was led by 26 states and 40 writers, in a process managed by Achieve. The 40 member writing team included teachers, working scientists, and education researchers.

 Each of the 26 lead states had a broad based committee review the standards and provide feedback.

 5 more review periods followed composed of a team of hundreds including k-12 educators, administrators, higher ed faculty, scientists, engineers, business leaders, policy makers, and key organizations.

 Then, 2 public reviews which received comments from more than 10,000 individuals!

 Finally, in April of 2013, the NGSS were released for states to consider adoption.

I think it’s important to know how the NGSS were developed because it is reassuring to know that they are high quality—internationally benchmarked, rigorous, research-based and aligned with expectations for college and careers.

 As of November 201719 states and Washington, DC have adopted the NGSS standards: Arkansas,California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

 20 states have developed their own standards based on the Framework:  Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.


2010: lots of smart people who know their stuff in science and science education started a 2 step process of developing the NGSS.

2011: Framework for K-12 Science Education was released--evidence-based foundation of the NGSS.

2011-2013: 26 lead states with 40 writers ( teachers, working scientists, and education researchers) created first draft. Multiple review periods with over 10,000 individuals commenting resulted in a April 2013 NGSS release.

 2017:  as of November 2017 19 states, along with the District of Columbia (D.C.), have adopted the standards.

 Twenty states have developed their own standards based on recommendations in the NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education.

Related Resources:

( *Starred products are affiliate links.)

  • Parent Guides: The parent guides are available for Grades K-2, Grade 3-5, Grades 6-8, and Grades 9-12 in English and Spanish. Perfect for Open House and Report Card Conferences.
  •  Messaging Card This resource can be printed as portable 8 x 4 inch cards on cardstock and perfect for events like Open House or Report Card conferences.  
  • More resources from NGSS for parents here
  • Download a PDF version of The Framework for K-12 Science or buy a printed copy.


  • Download the NGSS Standards here or buy a printed copy here:


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Our Spring 5 day challenge kicks off March 24th. More details coming soon...In the meantime, join our Facebook community and let us know your NGSS professional development needs.

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