Unleashing the Power of NGSS and STEM

(Grades 3-5) / Flex Course

PDI Course Number: 4T02 / UCSD Course Number: EDUC40122

Course Description

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 (50 hours of training) 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

Course Only


Course with Credit from UCSD Extension


This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units or 5 quarter units of graduate-level credit from UC San Diego.

You have up to one year from the date you are enrolled to complete a flex course.

Print our customized course approval form to share with your school district.

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: Share your expertise
  • 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: Course Reflection

Click here to request a copy of the detailed syllabus

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