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Science is central to the lives of all Americans, preparing them to be informed citizens in a democracy and knowledgeable consumers.

Wadding Elementary School
Waddington Elementary School, East Providence
Teacher Donna Long with students testing water quality

There is no doubt that science — and therefore, science education — is central to the lives of all Americans. Never before has our world been so complex and scientific literacy is critical to making sense of it all. Science is also at the heart of America's ability to continue innovating, leading, and creating jobs for the future. That’s why all students, regardless of whether they pursue college or STEM careers, should have access to high-quality K–12 science education (NGSS.org., 2013). 

The goal of the K–12 Framework is to provide all students with experiences in the science and engineering practices to gain knowledge and an appreciation of the natural world and be able to engage in public discussion on related topics; to foster critical consumers of scientific and technological information in the world they live in; prepare a foundation for pursuing STEM careers; and to continue to learn about science outside of school regardless of the career paths they choose (National Research Council, 2012). 

RIDE creates conditions for every Rhode Island student to think critically and collaboratively, and act as a creative, self-motivated, culturally and globally competent learner. Rhode Island students are prepared to lead fulfilling and productive lives, succeed in academic and employment settings, and contribute meaningfully to society (RIDE Strategic Plan, 2021). 

Science Curriculum Frameworks

The Science Curriculum Framework provides guidance around the implementation of the standards, particularly as it relates to the design and use of curriculum materials, instruction, and assessment.

The frameworks streamline a vertical application of standards and assessment across the K–12 continuum within Tier 1 of a Multi-Tier System of Support (MTSS), increase opportunities for all students, including multilingual learners and differently-abled, to meaningfully engage in grade-level work and tasks, and ultimately support educators and families in making decisions that prioritize the student experience. These uses of the curriculum frameworks align with RIDE’s overarching commitment to ensuring all students have access to high-quality curriculum and instruction that prepares students to meet their postsecondary goals.

View the Frameworks online.

NGSS Information and Resources

Next Generation Science Standards

Since Rhode Island's adoption of The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in 2013, Rhode Island public schools have been working toward full implementation by aligning their curriculum and instruction to the three-dimensional model of science teaching and learning reflected in the NGSS. 

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) were released on April 9, 2013 thus completing a two-step process for their development through the partnership of the National Research Council (NRC), the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Achieve. The first step of the process was been led by The National Academies of Science, a non-governmental organization commissioned in 1863 to advise the nation on scientific and engineering issues. The National Research Council (NRC), the functional staffing arm of the National Academies of Science, developed the Framework for K-12 Science Education. The Framework is grounded in the most current research on science and science learning and has identified the science all K–12 students should know.

In step two, managed by Achieve, Rhode Island and 26 other states led the development of the NGSS which are designed to actively engage students in scientific and engineering practices by applying crosscutting concepts to deepen their understanding of the core ideas in science. The Rhode Island Department of Education is proud to have been a Lead State Partner in the development of NGSS. Working as a Lead State, Rhode Island, which was the first state to adopt the NGSS in the spring of 2013, provided leadership and input to the writers of the NGSS as the standards moved through the development process.

NGSS Basics

Foundations of NGSS

NGSS Appendices

Supporting Publications/Articles





Professional Development

Curriculum Development


Course Mapping

NGSS Alignment Tools and High Quality Instructional Materials


Integration of Technology


Reports and Articles

Sample NGSS Assessments

STEM Teaching Tools on Assessment

Common Core Connections

Diversity and Equity

Instructional Resources

Science Community of Practice