Alignment to National and State Standards

Alignment to US National Standards

eUnits 1 – 8 of the Exploring Physics Curriculum App are aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) high school physical science standards performance expectations, disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices and cross-cutting concepts. The curriculum is also aligned to high school Mathematics Common Core State Standards. These alignments are available below.

Alignment Overview

NGSS and Math CCSS alignment was conducted by the Biological Sciences Curricular Study (BSCS) in 2014. Below are excerpts of the alignment report.

This alignment study focused on one subject area taught during one year of high school, and compared it to all of high school physical science ideas and practices as well as all the high school math standards and practices. No single curriculum is intended to engage students thoroughly in all aspects of the disciplinary core ideas, science practices, math standards and math practices at once. Rather, with this alignment study, BSCS highlighted standards that are most closely connected and supported by the curriculum. It is assumed that other ideas, practices, and standards that are not aligned to or emphasized by this curriculum are more appropriately covered in other subjects and grade levels during high school (i.e., trigonometry, geometry, chemistry).

NGSS: Disciplinary Core Ideas

The closest connections between the curriculum and the NGSS came within three of the four domains in Physical Science: PS2: Forces and Interactions, PS3: Energy, and PS4: Waves. There were very brief connections to PS1: Matter and Its Interactions, as these DCIs tend to be more traditionally taught within a chemistry course.

  • All DCIs for PS2: Forces and Interactions were addressed within the curriculum.
  • Almost all DCIs for PS3: Energy were addressed within the curriculum. The two DCIs not addressed were about 1) availability of energy limits what can occur in a system, and 2) solar cells are human-made devices that captures sun’s energy.
  • Almost all DCIs for PS4: Waves (addressed in an upcoming eUnit). The three DCIs not addressed include: 1) information can be digitized, stored in a computer system, and sent over long distances via pulse waves, 2) photoelectric materials, and 3) information technologies.

NGSS: Science and Engineering Practices

All Science and Engineering practices (SP) were well supported in the curriculum and seen in all eUnits.

The curriculum is written so that students are consistently engaging in SP2 (Developing and Using Models), SP4 (Analyzing and Interpreting Data), SP5 (Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking), and SP6 (Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions).

Classroom implementation of the curriculum as recommended in the teacher guides will support SP1 (Asking Questions and Defining Problems), SP3 (Planning and Carrying Out Investigations) and SP7 (Engaging in Argument from Evidence).

NGSS: Cross-Cutting Concepts

Cross-cutting concepts, by nature, are those concepts that are intended to cut across topic areas, units of study, grade levels, and disciplines. As such, the evidence for cross-cutting concepts at minimum needed to have been found across the curriculum, rather than in just one or two examples. There was evidence of the following cross-cutting concepts being well-integrated into the curriculum (some to more or lesser extents):

  • Patterns
  • Cause and Effect
  • Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
  • Systems and System Models
  • Energy and Matter

There was not enough evidence to find a link between the following two cross-cutting concepts:

  • Structure and Function
  • Stability and Change

NGSS: Performance Expectations

Alignment to NGSS performance expectations included both full and partial alignment to these important assessment measures. Full alignment indicates that students can successfully complete the Performance Expectations as a result of the DCIs and Practices evident in the curriculum. Partial alignment indicates that students could partially complete the Performance Expectations as a result of the curriculum.

Full Alignment was found on the following Performance Expectations:

  • HS-PS2-1. Analyze data to support the claim that Newton’s second law of motion describes the mathematical relationship among the net force on a macroscopic object, its mass, and its acceleration.
  • HS-PS2-2. Use mathematical representations to support the claim that the total momentum of a system of objects is conserved when there is no net force on the system.
  • HS-PS3-1 Create a computational model to calculate the change in the energy of one component in a system when the change in energy of the other component(s) and energy flows in and out of the system are known.
  • HS-PS3-4.Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that the transfer of thermal energy when two components of different temperature are combined within a closed system results in a more uniform energy distribution among the components in the system (second law of thermodynamics).
  • HS-PS4-1. (refers to upcoming eUnit on Waves) Use mathematical representations to support a claim regarding relationships among the frequency, wavelength, and speed of waves traveling in various media.

Partial Alignment was found to the following Performance Expectations:

  • HS-PS2-4. Use mathematical representations of Newton’s Law of Gravitation and Coulomb’s Law to describe and predict the gravitational and electrostatic forces between objects.
  • HS-PS3-2. Develop and use models to illustrate that energy at the macroscopic scale can be accounted for as a combination of energy associated with the motions of particles (objects) and energy associated with the relative positions of particles (objects).
  • HS-PS3-5.Develop and use a model of two objects interacting through electric or magnetic fields to illustrate the forces between objects and the changes in energy of the objects due to the interaction.

  • Alignment by eUnit: NGSS DCI (pdf)
  • Alignment by eUnit: NGSS Science Practices (pdf)
  • Alignment by eUnit: Common Core Math Practices (pdf)
  • Alignment by activity in each eUnit: NGSS DCI, Practices, Math Practices (pdf)

Alignment to Individual State Standards

Missouri State Standards alignment of Exploring Physics Curriculum App eUnits 1 through 8.
This document lists alignment by activity with high school physical science Missouri State Standards. This work was conducted by Sara S. Torres, STEM Education Consultant and Executive Director of the Arizona Science Teachers Association, Tuscson, AZ. She is also the former Curriculum Director at Columbia Public Schools, Columbia MO.

Alignment to International Standards

Republic of South Africa Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) alignment for Strand: Energy and Change, grades 8 and 9.
Selected units in the Exploring Physics Curriculum App were aligned by activity. Alignment conducted by Meera Chandrasekhar and Douglas Steinhoff.