Teaching and Learning in Three Dimensions

KnowAtom professional development helps your school implement the three dimensions of the Next Generation Science Standards, giving teachers the background they need to confidently and successfully teach science, technology, engineering, and math.

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KnowAtom Brings the Three Dimensions of NGSS to Life

Professional development that explores the relationship between STEM practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas.

Dimension 1: STEM Practices

Explore how to teach the eight science and engineering knowledge skills with a focus on higher-order thinking and real-world application. We link achievement of Common Core ELA and Common Core Math goals to STEM practices. The eight practices are:


Asking questions (science) and defining problems (engineering)


Developing and using models


Planning and carrying out investigations


Analyzing and interpreting data


Using mathematics and computational thinking


Constructing explanations (science) and   designing  solutions (engineering)


Engaging in argument from evidence


Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Dimension 2: Crosscutting Concepts

Leverage the links between all of the different domains of science. These concepts highlight relationships in the way elements of a system behave, giving students a structure by which to make sense of content and understand each system’s behavior. The systems are divided into the following seven categories: 



2Cause & effect

3Scale, proportion & quantity

4Systems & system models

5Energy & matter

6Structure & function

7Stability & change

Dimension 3: Disciplinary Core Ideas

Focus on the four disciplinary core ideas of the Next Generation Science Standards as context for learning:

Engineering, Technology, & Applications of Science

Physical Sciences


Earth & Space Sciences

Life Sciences

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