Physical Science

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NGSS: High School Physical Sciences


Students in high school continue to develop their understanding of the four core ideas in the
physical sciences. These ideas include the most fundamental concepts from chemistry and
physics, but are intended to leave room for expanded study in upper-level high school courses.
The high school performance expectations in Physical Science build on the middle school ideas
and skills and allow high school students to explain more in-depth phenomena central not only
to the physical sciences, but to life and earth and space sciences as well. These performance
expectations blend the core ideas with scientific and engineering practices and crosscutting
concepts to support students in developing useable knowledge to explain ideas across the
science disciplines. In the physical science performance expectations at the high school level,
there is a focus on several scientific practices. These include developing and using models,
planning and conducting investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, using mathematical
and computational thinking, and constructing explanations; and to use these practices to
demonstrate understanding of the core ideas. Students are also expected to demonstrate
understanding of several engineering practices, including design and evaluation.