Science

Children are natural-born investigators. They love to ask questions, experiment, and explore the outdoors. New York City children have a unique opportunity to discover how nature adapts and interacts with a wide variety of phenomena in a very distinct urban setting.

New York City Science educators are tasked to engage all students in learning using new technologies, conducting investigations in and out of the classroom, learning to protect the living environment in their community. The New Vision for Science Education raises the bar for all students to become STEM leaders in New York City.

The New York State Science Learning Standards

The  New York State P-12 Science Learning Standards (NYSSLS)  provides all students with a springboard to develop their inner scientist. The Standards set innovative and challenging expectations for all children by: 

  •  promoting the development of science and engineering practices
  •  building their knowledge of science
  •  connecting the different disciplines of science 
  •  helping them make meaning of the natural world 

The NYSSLS are an adaptation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which are grounded in the Framework for K-12 Science Education. All instructional materials related to the use of the NGSS are useful for exploring our new state standards, and in understanding how the planning of lessons transforms student learning in innovative ways.

NGSS Appendices

The NGSS appendices are great tools that help teachers make sense of changes in the content, process, and teaching practices that are necessary to help students achieve their maximum potential in science classrooms. These are grouped into three distinct categories to benefit all teachers while they explore the NYSSLS.

Pedagogical and Conceptual Knowledge of the Standards

Learning Progressions

The Integration of Science and Other Content Areas

Teacher Resources

Standards, or Performance Expectations, are carefully designed to integrate all three dimensions, describing what students should be able to do with all scientific knowledge and understanding they gain as part of three-dimensional learning. Three-Dimensional Learning, as visualized in A Framework for K-12 Science Education, consists of three cornerstones:

  • Science and engineering practices: the abilities students use to explore, investigate and discover conceptual ideas in science
  • Crosscutting concepts: the general ideas students develop to connect different science disciplines to areas such as mathematics, technology, and the arts
  • Disciplinary Core Ideas: the foundational concepts for understanding how the natural world is designed and works.

New NYC PK-8 Science Scope & Sequence 2018

Designing a STEM-centric curriculum, as articulated in the STEM Framework, requires that disciplinary content is seamlessly integrated, and presented through a meaningful blending of

  • proper use of technology
  • application of mathematics at the grade level, and
  • project-based learning.

During the transition and first years of the implementation of the NYSSLS, it is important to emphasize the use of resources like the NYC Science Scope and Sequences to guide instructional decisions and planning.

  • 2015 NYC Science Scope & Sequence, Grades 6 - 12: instructional guidance for grade 8 Accelerated Courses - Living Environment and Earth Science, as well as all High School Regent Science courses
  • 2018 NYC PK - 8 Science Scope & Sequence: instructional guidance for elementary schools as well as intermediate science.

Advanced Literacies: Strengthening the Science Core Instruction

Standards, or Performance Expectations, require students to engage in developing Advanced Literacies for Academic Success in science. Students should constantly engage in learning science while learning to communicate their understanding within their community of learners, whether engaging in science discourse or writing. The development of literacy through science promotes that students read for understanding and gathering evidence; make their thinking visible through writing tasks, or articulate their ideas while engaging in student discussions. 

The development of advanced literacy skills serves the achievement of science standards while

The NYCDOE Educator’s Guide to Disciplinary Literacy presents ideas and evidence about the importance of the promotion of literacy in the context of science instruction in its unique way, developing communication skills as secondary school scientists.

Young science apprentices in elementary schools can benefit from developing their science and engineering practices through the use of notebooks while conducting investigations. The Science Notebook Guiding Document is a tool for elementary school teachers to integrate the use of notebooks within science instruction.

Evidence Statements

Evidence statements articulate what students should be able to do while learning NYSSLS – based science. Each performance expectation is described through evidence statements in sentences that provide teachers with clear benchmarks of what to look for while observing students when they are,

  • developing science and engineering practices
  • articulating their understanding of core ideas, and
  • making connections within science and other content areas through the crosscutting concepts.

Science Leadership Teams in New York City created evidence statements for those performance expectations added by the Board of Regents in the NYSSLS. The NGSS provides a detailed explanation of the purpose, structure, usage, and limitations of the Evidence Statements.

While planning lessons, teachers should use the Evidence Statements to formatively assess students. These statements may be useful for students as well while they reflect on their own learning, since science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts are developed over time.

Elementary Science Evidence Statements

Middle School Science Evidence Statements

High School Science Evidence Statements