Initial Publication Date: October 4, 2017

Overall alignment of InTeGrate materials with the NGSS

Although InTeGrate materials were not designed to meet the Next Generation Science Standards, both our materials and the NGSS were developed based on some of the same foundational research on learning and community consensus documents around Earth literacy. As a result, our materials are well-aligned with the NGSS at the project level, which you can read about here by exploring our guiding principles and the standards that are strongest throughout our materials.

Alignment of guiding principles

The guiding principles are one section of the rubric that all curricular materials had to pass in order to be published. The five guiding principles listed below are explicit and pervasive throughout all of our materials. You can click on the links to see how these align with the cross-cutting concepts, science and engineering practices, and disciplinary core ideas of the NGSS. The strong alignment of all three dimensions of the NGSS supports the integrations and development of performance expectations.

All curricular materials developed through the InTeGrate project must...

...address one or more Earth-related grand challenges facing society

...develop student ability to address interdisciplinary problems

...improve students' geoscientific thinking skills

...make use of authentic and credible geoscience data

...incorporate systems thinking

Strongest cross-cutting concepts in InTeGrate materials

InTeGrate materials address all of the cross-cutting concepts to some extent. Some concepts are emphasized more that others, however, particularly those that are part of geoscientific thinking and systems thinking. These include:


  • Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data.
  • Empirical evidence is needed to identify patterns.
  • Different patterns may be observed at each of the scales at which a system is studied and can provide evidence for causality in explanations of phenomena

Cause and effect

  • Cause and effect relationships can be suggested and predicted for complex natural and human designed systems by examining what is known about smaller scale mechanisms within the system.

Systems and system models

  • Systems may interact with other systems; they may have sub-systems and be a part of larger complex systems.

Strongest science and engineering practices in InTeGrate materials

InTeGrate materials address all of the practices to some extent. Some practices are emphasized more that others, however, particularly those related to the use of authentic data and solving complex real-world problems. These are:

Developing and using models

  • Develop, revise, and/or use a model based on evidence to illustrate and/or predict the relationships between systems or between components of a system.
  • Develop and/or use a model (including mathematical and computational) to generate data to support explanations, predict phenomena, analyze systems, and/or solve problems.

Analyzing and interpreting data

  • Construct, analyze, and/or interpret graphical displays of data and/or large data sets to identify linear and nonlinear relationships.
  • Use graphical displays (e.g., maps, charts, graphs, and/or tables) of large data sets to identify temporal and spatial relationships.

Constructing explanations and designing solutions

  • Design, evaluate, and/or refine a solution to a complex real-world problem, based on scientific knowledge, student-generated sources of evidence, prioritized criteria, and tradeoff considerations.

Strongest disciplinary core ideas in InTeGrate materials

InTeGrate materials cover a subset of the disciplinary core ideas in the Earth and space sciences, as well as a few DCIs in life science, physical science, and engineering design. As designed into the project from the start, InTeGrate materials are especially strong in the DCIs that incorporate how Earth impacts human activities and how humans impact the Earth, as well as in Earth systems.

ESS2.A Earth's materials and systems

  • Earth's systems, being dynamic and interacting, cause feedback effects that can increase or decrease the original changes.
  • All Earth processes are the result of energy flowing and matter cycling within and among the planet's systems. This energy is derived from the sun and Earth's hot interior. The energy that flows and matter that cycles produce chemical and physical changes in Earth's materials and living organisms.

ESS2.C The role of water in Earth surface processes

  • Water continually cycles among land, ocean, and atmosphere via transpiration, evaporation, condensation and crystallization, and precipitation, as well as downhill flows on land.

ESS3.A Natural resources

  • All forms of energy production and other resource extraction have associated economic, social, environmental, and geopolitical costs and risks as well as benefits. New technologies and social regulations can change the balance of these factors.

ESS3.B Natural hazards

  • Mapping the history of natural hazards in a region, combined with an understanding of related geologic forces can help forecast the locations and likelihoods of future events.

ESS3.C Human impacts on Earth systems

  • The sustainability of human societies and the biodiversity that supports them requires responsible management of natural resources.

Strongest performance expectations in InTeGrate materials

Virtually all InTeGrate materials include at least one element from each dimension of the NGSS, so it is possible to create a nearly infinite variety of performance expectations that are similar to the published PEs and can help diversify your teaching. Some materials do specifically address particular performance expectations, however, especially those that address systems and human impacts.

ESS2 Earth's systems

  • Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth's surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.

ESS3 Earth and human activity

  • Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
  • Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.