• Exploring the SEPs
  • Practice Brainstorm and Sort
  • Practices Brainstorm and Sort
  • Comparing Science and Engineering Practices
  • Asking questions
  • Practices Circus
  • Comparing Science and Engineering Practices
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What do scientists and engineers do? Explore this question and help teachers get comfortable with the Science and Engineering Practices. This dimension of the NGSS engages students in actively doing science and thinking like a scientist. These introductory activities help teachers build familiarity with the eight Practices, consider what they might look like in the classroom, and see how engineering fits in.

About these activities
Science and Engineering Practices wordmark
  • These materials are designed to help you facilitate successful NGSS training for a team of educators.
  • On each activity page, you will find a short video overview of the activity and a fully detailed lesson plan.
  • These three introductory activities about the Science and Engineering Practices will give your educators a strong foundation to build on as they prepare for implementation.
  • Each activity can stand alone, and you can mix and match with your own materials.
  • They also fit together well as a progression, starting with a basic introduction in the Practices Brainstorm and Sort, digging a little deeper in the Practices Circus, then exploring the engineering aspect in Comparing Science and Engineering.
Activity: Practices Brainstorm and Sort
brainstorm and sort

The Practices Brainstorm and Sort introduces the Science and Engineering Practices and helps educators connect their prior knowledge about science and engineering to this new conceptual framework. Participants will work together to sort their own words into the eight practices, filling posters to form a collective definition of each practice. Whole-group discussions will pull out key ideas about the practices as a concept and about particular practices.

Professional learning for: K-12 educators
Estimated time: 35 minutes
Learning modes: small group work, interactive, group discussion

 

 

 

Activity: Practices Circus
stations

The Practices Circus is an introductory activity that builds familiarity with the Science and Engineering Practices of the NGSS. Participants will visit hands-on stations with sample activities and try to identify the main practice highlighted in each one. Group discussion will draw out key messages such as the interconnection of the practices and the idea of intentionality.

Professional learning for: K-12 educators
Estimated time: 50 minutes, or two 30-minute sessions
Learning modes: interactive, hands-on stations, group discussion

Activity: Comparing Science and Engineering
comparison poster

Comparing the Science and Engineering Practices explores how the practices are used in these two fields. Participants will work in groups to compare and contrast the practices in a science versus engineering context. Each group will create a poster and share key points in a brief presentation. Participants leave this activity feeling more comfortable with the idea of bringing aspects of engineering into their science teaching.

Professional learning for: K-12 educators
Estimated time: 50 minutes, or two 30-minute sessions
Learning modes: small group work, interactive, group discussion