Next Gen Science Standards

  • The Cold Spring Harbor Elementary Science Curriculum is a student-centered, problem-solving approach consistent with the New York State Elementary Science Core Curriculum document and the approaches in the National Science Education Standards and the National Academy of Sciences.

    Alongside the newly adopted Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics, we are currently revising our curricula in anticipating the Revised K-12 Science Standards. These standards are being developed by the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Achieve.  New York State has been a lead partner in the effort to draft and develop the Next Generation Science Standards .  This process will produce a set of high quality, college- and career-ready K–12 Next Generation Science Standards ready for state adoption. More information may be accessed at

    The standards and the curricula will be published on this website when they are completed with guidance from NYSED.

    Next Gen for Kindergarten scientists:

    Kindergarten students explore patterns in the natural and designed world in order to provide a structure for organizing scientific and technical information. Students explore patterns in weather, observable physical properties of matter, and plants and animals. Patterns are used in first grade as a means to identify cause and effect relationships.

    K. Weather and Climate

    Students explore patterns and variations in local weather and its effect on their lives, creating a foundation for the understanding of climate and the impacts of weather related hazards in third grade. This topic lends itself to observations and investigations that allow kindergartners to acquire skills in analyzing and interpreting data using simple charts and diagrams to discover patterns. In addition, kindergartners share information gathered through investigation or research with others and use that information, as well as tools, to design a solution to a problem. Kindergarten students learn about cause and effect and ask what might be causing the patterns they observe, which is a focus in first grade. Students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of the weather typical of their local area, including severe weather and how forecasts allow people to prepare for weather events. In addition, kindergartners are expected to demonstrate understanding of how information learned in science is shared and used by people to improve their lives.

    K. Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems: Animals, Plants, and Their Environment

    The needs of plants and animals is introduced in kindergarten, and provides a foundation for learning about the interdependence of organisms and their surroundings in second grade, about the effect of changes in their environment on organisms in third grade, and about matter and energy in ecosystems in fifth grade. This topic lends itself to combining both direct observation of plants and animals and their surroundings, and obtaining additional information through use of other media (e.g., films, books) to construct explanations. The crosscutting concept of systems is introduced in this topic. Students engineer ways to reduce the impact of human use of resources to meet their needs. Students are expected to demonstrate understanding that plants and animals have particular needs and live in places where their needs are met.

    K. Structure and Properties of Matter

    Observable properties of materials are introduced in kindergarten and create a foundation for second grade in which students measure physical properties of matter. This topic lends itself to kindergartners’ innate curiosity by having them ask questions and investigate. There are many types of patterns in science and this is an introduction to one type of pattern, that of using similarities and differences for classification. This is the first time students are made consciously aware of the relationship between the natural and designed world through observation. Students deepen their understanding of this relationship throughout their education. Students observe and investigate the world around them to find answers to their questions. Students are expected to demonstrate understanding that properties of matter can be observed.