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Unleashing the Power of NGSS and STEM (3-5)

Have you been trying to find a way to incorporate the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) into your STEM classroom using a more hands-on approach to learning? This online course takes teachers of grades 3-5 through a step-by-step explanation of the standards and includes examples and suggestions of how to incorporate them into their science lessons. The course also guides teachers through how to interpret the science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas contained within the NGSS. Teachers will be introduced to various instructional models for learning, including the 5Es of inquiry, the 4E x 2 model, and Universal Design for Learning. Teachers will learn how to create an active learner-centered classroom so that various STEM strategies can be used to connect the design and implementation of NGSS-based science lessons, labs, and stations. Teachers will be introduced to an overview of assessment and how it applies to the Next Generation Science Standards, as well as a brief overview of how to blend technology and flip a science classroom to make it more student-centered. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units from UC San Diego Extension. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"Great information provided in text, printed materials, and websites included. I feel I gave gained much from the multitude of resources. Thanks!" - Melissa Anthony


Enrollment Options

Register] Course Registration Only $112 with the discount

Register]Course Plus Credit from UC San Diego Extension Only $284


Required Resource Book: This course has a modestly-priced required resource book (available in both new and used versions) that can be purchased through Amazon using the following link. Note that you can begin and participate in your course before the book arrives.

20 Strategies for STEM Instruction” by William N. Bender

If you are registering for multiple courses, use the following link to access the book list for all PDI courses with direct purchase links through Amazon. PDI Course Resource Book List


Topical Outline / Click here to request a copy of the detailed syllabus

PDI Course Number: 4T02

UCSD Course Number: EDUC40122

Unit One

  • Guided Inquiry-Based Learning
  • Work Smarter, Not Harder
  • What is STEM?
  • NGSS: An Overview
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1

Unit Two

  • Learner-Centered Teaching Strategies
  • Instructional Models for Learning
  • Universal Design for Learning
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2

Unit Three

  • Translating Standards to Curriculum and Instruction
  • Dimension 1: Scientific and Engineering Practices
  • Dimension 2: Crosscutting Concepts
  • Assignment #3: Respond to a classmate
  • Test #3

Unit Four

  • Dimension 3: Disciplinary Core Ideas — Physical Sciences
  • Dimension 3: Disciplinary Core Ideas — Life Sciences
  • Test #4

Unit Five

  • Dimension 3: Disciplinary Core Ideas — Earth and Space Sciences
  • Dimension 3: Disciplinary Core Ideas — Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science
  • Test #5

Unit Six

  • Active Learning in the Science Classroom
  • Blending Technology into the Science Classroom
  • Science Stations
  • Assessing the Science Classroom
  • Assignment #4: Create hands-on science activities
  • Assignment #5: Reading/Learning Log (Based on required resource book)