KnowAtom's Blog

New Research Results on NGSS Curriculum Effects on Students and Teachers

Jun 21, 2021 by Raquel Jenks

A new era of learning has arrived. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for K-12 has dramatically transformed the way students learn, leading to a deeper level of understanding of critical scientific concepts. The eight fundamental science practices of the NGSS are designed to generate curricula that nurtures students’ capacity to think critically about key scientific theories, utilize skills learned in other areas of study to communicate their findings, and collaborate with their peers to work towards common goals.

Continue reading

Topics: Professional Development, Middle School Science Curriculum, NGSS-Designed Curriculum, Evaluating Curriculum

Research-Based Science Instruction Adds up to Better Classroom Results

Jun 6, 2021 by Megan Powers

Science education is changing for the better.

According to recent research, schools that adopt Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) through the KnowAtom curriculum achieve better results through robust support and education for teachers. These research-based instructional practices give teachers a shared platform for NGSS best practices and create a dynamic partnership that brings together teachers, administrators, and curriculum and professional development providers.

All of this adds up to a clear path to putting research into effective everyday practice – and a clear win for students as well.

NGSS Curriculum Supports Teachers with Shared Platform for Professional Development and Best Practices

Continue reading

Topics: student results, Professional Development, STEM schools, Case Studies, Evaluating Curriculum, NGSS-Aligned Curriculum

3 Key Takeaways from Achieve’s New Alignment Claims Resource

May 3, 2018 by Sara Goodman

Achieve has recently published a new resource aimed at helping educators begin to evaluate common claims made by curriculum providers about how their materials relate to the Next Generation Science Standards.

We asked our curriculum content specialists to review the document, and they came up with 3 key takeaways.

Continue reading

Topics: Evaluating Curriculum, NGSS-Aligned Curriculum

What Student Science Test Data Represents

Mar 29, 2016 by Francis Vigeant


Data can tell us a lot about how students are performing and in what areas they still need work. However, to uncover this kind of information, we need to be able to  assess the data based on what it actually represents. In this post, we’ll cover some of the clues that data can tell us and how you can use these clues to improve your students' scores. 

Continue reading

Topics: Evaluating Curriculum

Resources for Alignment: Primary Evaluation of Essential Criteria (PEEC) and EQuIP Rubric

Mar 23, 2016 by Maryellen deLacy

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) mark an innovation in science and engineering instruction. By extension, this means that there needs to be an innovation in classroom resources as well, to stay aligned to NGSS.  

Continue reading

Topics: EQuIP, Evaluating Curriculum

Acheiving True Next Gen Science Resource Alignment

Mar 22, 2016 by Francis Vigeant

Curriculum, professional development, and hands-on materials are the  key components that make an effective STEM learning environment possible. So, you might be wondering, how does KnowAtom work to transform STEM education? 

Here’s our basic model: We take everything a student needs to experience and make it the totality of a school’s curriculum. The experiences are developed from the Next Generation Science Standards so this doubles as a quick and easy way for schools to engage students, achieve performance on science standardized testing, and align the science and engineering instruction to NGSS.

We change the way educators interpret STEM through professional development. 

Continue reading

Topics: Next Generation Science Standards, Evaluating Curriculum

Traditional vs. Next Generation Models of Instruction

Mar 20, 2016 by Francis Vigeant

Updated on November 10, 2023.

It's important to understand the the difference between traditional models of instruction and the mode of inquiry NGSS is built on. This post looks at the transition from the widely-used traditional model of teacher as a sage who distributes knowledge and students as sponges who recall that knowledge, to a next generation model where teachers act as coaches, and students as scientists and engineers in their own right.

Continue reading

Topics: Next Generation Science Standards, Evaluating Curriculum

The Innovation of STEM Readiness Levels

Mar 15, 2016 by Francis Vigeant

Readiness levels speak to where a student is in terms of being able to access and work with curriculum content.

Awareness ready means they are mindful that the subject exists and of what scientists and engineers do; knowledge readiness means they have a framework of understanding about it; performance ready means they can interact with the material in the same context they've already learned; and mastery ready means they can take that material and use it creatively, evaluatively and analytically in any context. 

Continue reading

Topics: Next Generation Science Standards, STEM, Readiness Levels, Evaluating Curriculum

NGSS as a Hallmark Innovation in Science Instruction

Mar 13, 2016 by Francis Vigeant

It is crucial to understand that the NGSS represent a true innovation in science standards. Innovations aren’t iterations; they don’t simply make an existing model a little better. These innovations change science teaching and learning. 

Continue reading

Topics: Next Generation Science Standards, System-Level Alignment, Evaluating Curriculum

16 Questions You Should Always Ask Before Buying a STEM Curriculum

Apr 9, 2015 by Maryellen deLacy

When you’re searching for new STEM curriculum, it can be hard to know what to look for. Many traditional curricula focus on student awareness, knowledge, and performance, but not mastery. Awareness-ready resources, like those offered by science museums and other public venues, are good at exposing students to what STEM is, while knowledge-ready resources, like textbooks, introduce students to scientific facts and figures. Performance-ready resources, like your typical science kits, enable students to recognize and apply specific skills to specific well-defined tasks by following a task booklet or drawing. None of these approaches, however, develop true mastery.

Continue reading

Topics: Evaluating Curriculum

Teach to Transform with Free Next Generation Science PD Sessions. Learn More!

Posts by Topic

see all

Stay Up to Date With Our Latest Posts

Pick How Often: