Next Generation Science Standards
Preparing for the Next Generation Science Standards—Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
NGSS @ NSTA - View the series

This web seminar took place on November 20, 2012, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The presenters were Katherine McNeill of Boston College and Leema Berland of the University of Texas in Austin. This program was the sixth in a series of eight web seminars focused on the major practices contained in A Framework for K–12 Science Education, the document that will inform the Next Generation Science Standards, due out in spring 2013.

The PowerPoint, related resources from the NSTA Learning Center, and web links from the presentation are now contained in the above resource collection. Clicking on the collection link will place it in your Learning Center, My Library, neatly organized under the My Resource Collections tab.

In this web seminar Dr. McNeill and Dr. Berland talked about the sixth scientific and engineering practice contained in A Framework for K–12 Science Education: constructing explanations and designing solutions. First, Dr. McNeill discussed the importance of explanations and solutions and explained the links between this practice and the seven other practices. Then she and Dr. Berland provided examples of constructing explanations and designing solutions at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels. Finally, the presenters shared strategies for supporting students as they learn to use this practice in the classroom. Ted Willard, director of NSTA’s efforts surrounding the Next Generation Science Standards, shared resources that can help teachers prepare for the implementation of the standards.

Seminar participants received an NSTA SciGuide. A certificate of attendance was deposited into participants' My PD Record and Certificates area in the NSTA Learning Center for completing the evaluation form at the end of the program.

Graduate Credit Available
Shippensburg University will offer one (1) graduate credit to individuals who have successfully completed NSTA’s Preparing for the Next Generation Science Standards - Practices webinar series. The total cost is $165. For information on the course requirements, as well as registration and payment information visit

Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:

  • "I really appreciated the practical applications shared in this presentation! I will absolutely use the scaffolding suggestions and will share the charts about questioning."
  • "This was one of the best. It broke down the practice conceptually, fit it in with the others (the diagram helped a lot), and provided specific examples for implementation."
  • "I loved the examples, color-coded of students giving explanations backed by evidence. Also I needed the formative assessment example of the knex car with the sail."

Thanks to the participants and the presenter for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done!

See when other Preparing for the Next Generation Science Standards Web Seminars are Scheduled.

For more information contact

Underwritten by the Carnegie Corporation of New York