A New Vision for Science Education

HCPSS has adopted a new model for science education, aligned to the pre-K–12 Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), to develop scientifically literate citizens who are well prepared to pursue college and 21st-century careers.

NGSS combines and emphasizes the practices of real scientists and engineers; core ideas from the three major scientific disciplines: earth/space, life and physical science, as well as engineering; and crosscutting concepts that share broad importance across scientific disciplines.

“The most important thing about the NGSS standards is making sure students are actually doing science and not just learning about science,” said Wilde Lake High School science teacher Allison Kipping.

HCPSS has transitioned to the NGSS-aligned curriculum in elementary and middle school, and its new high school curriculum will be fully aligned by the 2018–19 school year. All high school students will take core courses across the three major science disciplines to gain broad, deep science literacy and the core knowledge needed for ongoing science learning. The new program provides flexibility to meet students’ individual interests and goals, and gives every student the opportunity to pursue advanced-level (GT or AP) science coursework.

Maryland adopted the NGSS as the Maryland Science Standards for pre-K–12 science education in 2013. The Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (MISA) is Maryland’s new NGSS-aligned standardized science assessment. MISA replaces the MSA Science and HSA Biology tests and started getting phased in last school year.

Learn more about the NGSS-aligned curriculum →