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Next Generation Science Standards: Kindergarten

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Wondering what activities you can do to meet the Next Generation Science Standards for Kindergarten? Unpack the standards and find simple NGSS experiments for Kindergarten here!

Teaching the Next Generation Science Standards for Kindergarten can be tricky! Unpack the standards and start your NGSS Kindergarten lesson plans here. #stemeducation #ngss #stemactivities #stemed #scienceexperiments #kindergarten #iteachscience #scienceteacher #science

The Next Generation Science Standards for Kindergarten (often called kindergarten NGSS) offer a buildable framework for teaching science from the first year of school that continue to build through high school.

However, understanding NGS standards can be tricky, and finding NGSS kindergarten experiments can be even trickier.

Learn a little more about the NGSS kindergarten standards and some simple experiments you can use in your classroom here!

What are Next Generation Science Standards?

Are you familiar with Next Generation Science Standards? NGSS for short (just don’t say NGSS standards!).

NGS standards were created and approved in 2013 as a new way to teach science and STEM as a comprehensive subject designed to supplement the common core science standards for kindergarten that builds on 3 dimensions:

  • Core ideas (things to learn)
  • Practices (how to do it)
  • NGSS crosscutting concepts (how it fits in with other learning goals)

You can read more about NGSS and Next Generation Science Standrds by grade level here.

Next Generation Science Standards for Kindergarten

The NGS Standards for Kindergarten are a series of topics that include four main topics of study, and an overreaching umbrella of engineering and design concepts.

The units are meant to be completed throughout an entire school year. However, NGSS doesn’t provide tons of insight into what sort of science experiments will work with NGSS kindergarten standards.

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You’re probably already familair with the kindergarten standards if you’ve landed here, but here they are in a recap, just in case:

  • K-PS2-1 Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
    • Plan and conduct an investigation to compare the effects of different strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls on the motion of an object.
  • K-PS2-2 Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
    • Analyze data to determine if a design solution works as intended to change the speed or direction of an object with a push or a pull.
  • K-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
    • Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.
  • K-ESS2-1 Earth’s Systems
    • Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time.
  • K-ESS2-2 Earth’s Systems
    • Construct an argument supported by evidence for how plants and animals (including humans) can change the environment to meet their needs.
  • K-ESS3-1 Earth and Human Activity
    • Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants and animals (including humans) and the places they live.
  • K-ESS3-2 Earth and Human Activity
    • Ask questions to obtain information about the purpose of weather forecasting to prepare for, and respond to, severe weather.
  • K-ESS3-3 Earth and Human Activity
    • Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.
  • K-2-ETS1-1 Engineering Design
    • Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
  • K-2-ETS1-2 Engineering Design
    • Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.
  • K-2-ETS1-3 Engineering Design
    • Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.

What is the Next Generation Science Standard Kindergarten Breakdown?

Basically, a kindergarten student covers:

  1. the pushes and pulls of an object to study cause and effect
  2. what animals and humans need to survive and how they can change their environments (adaptations and such)
  3. how to forecast weather and how to prepare for severe weather
  4. what changes humans can make to reduce the impact of humans on the environment

With this simplified breakdown, it’s easy to see what sort of actual science and STEM experiments kindergarten students should cover.

Remember, that while conducting these experiments, kindergarden students also should include the engineering design elements that include designing solutions with tools, making models, and analyzing data from each experiment to see which version worked the best.

NGSS Kindergarten Lesson Plans

Below is a list of kindergarten science experiments that cover the requirements for each of the major elements of NGSS kindergarten standards.

Topics covered include physics science experiments, weather science experiments, animal adaptation science experiments, environmental science experiments to complete the requirements for the Next Generation Science Standards for kindergarten.

Pushes and Pulls

The very most basic area of physics is forces and motion. In the Next Generation Science Standards for Kindergarten, students learn about pushes and pulls.

3 Ways to Move a Lion

Toy Car Forces and Motion

What Plants Need to Survive

Teach kindergarten students about the plant life cycle and what plants need to survive.

Egg Shell Gardens

How Do Trees Breathe?

What Plants Need to Survive

What Humans Need to Survive

Kindergarten students learn all about what they need to survive and remain healthy.

What Do I Need to Live?

Healthy vs Unhealthy Food Sort

What Animals Need to Survive

Animals need specific things to survive. In this NGSS unit, kindergarten students learn what the needs of animals are.

Animal Diet Classification

Worm Farm Science Experiment

Types of Animal Diets

Tracking Weather Patterns

In kindergarten, students learn to identify and track weather patterns throughout the year.

Identifying Cloud Types

Simple Weather Chart

Animal and Human Environment Adaptations

Animals and humans adapt to their environment to make it more suitable for their needs. Kindergarten children can build models and test variables under this theme.

Bird Beak Adaptations

Make a Dam

The relationship between the needs of plants and where they live

Just like animals, plants adapt too! This unit focuses on how what a plant does changes with what environment it is in.

Seed Pod Adaptations

The relationship between the needs of animals (including humans) and where they live

This teaches children how the needs of an animal are shaped by their environment, and how animals and humans adapt to whatever environment they are a part of.

Building Animal Habitats

Preparing for Severe Weather

Here, kindergarten students learn how to use tools to prepare for severe weather.

Using Clouds to Predict the Weather

Make a Tornado in a Jar

Improving the Environment

The goal of this unit is to build models and demonstrations to illustrate how changes in human actions can improve the environment.

Oil Spill Clean Up

Water Pollution Experiment

Can’t get enough NGSS science experiments? Check out the full list of Next Generation Science standards by grade level.

You can find more STEM activities for kindergarten here.

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