What are the Crosscutting Concepts in the NGSS?

An overview of the Crosscutting Concepts and how they help students apply and understand science knowledge.

What Are The Crosscutting Concepts (CCC) of the NGSS?

The Crosscutting Concepts of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are a set of seven concepts that help students to understand the interconnectedness of all scientific disciplines. These concepts are embedded within each domain in NGSS, but can be integrated into any science curriculum. The seven crosscutting concepts are:

Patterns: This concept helps students to recognize and identify patterns in natural phenomena. By recognizing and analyzing these patterns, students learn to make predictions based on observed trends and explore ideas related to cause-and-effect relationships.

Cause and Effect: This concept encourages students to explore how different forces interact with one another and how changes in these forces lead to specific outcomes. By exploring causal relationships among different systems, they gain insight into the complexity of natural systems.

Scale, Proportion, & Quantity: This concept allows students to analyze data across different scales—from particles to planets—and understand how a change in scale impacts phenomena at other scales. They also learn how different units can be used to describe quantities or sizes.

Systems & System Models: Students learn about the components of various systems—both natural and man-made—and use models to explore the interactions between these components. They also study feedback loops within a system as well as energy flow from one component of a system to another.

Energy & Matter: Students explore the behavior and transfer of energy and matter within a system, as well as their influence on one another when interacting in an environment. They also learn about conservation laws that govern energy and matter at various scales.

Structure & Function: Students examine both physical structures and biological systems for evidence of adaptation or design at multiple levels, such as molecules, cells, organisms, ecosystems, etc., which helps them gain an understanding of how individual parts work together towards a larger goal/functioning system.

Stability & Change: Finally, this concept focuses on understanding changes within natural systems over time―whether it be long-term or short-term―and explaining why certain factors remain consistent while others vary or change completely over time.

Where to Find the CCC in the Propello Platform? 

The Propello curriculum indicates the applicable CCC in the Teacher's Guide of every chapter in the platform.  The brief video below will walk you through where to find them and how to apply them to the activities in a given topic within Propello. 

In Summary

The CCCs are the link that ties the Disciplinary Core Ideas (science topics) together with the Science and Engineering Practices (the application of science and design) to create a holistic, total approach to learning, understanding and applying knowledge to various scenarios and situations.

For assistance in how Propello can help teachers incorporate the CCCs in classroom practice, feel free to reach out to our crew via the support page.