• Cross-cutting Concepts (CCC): The big ideas of science that cut across disciplinary boundaries. CCC include patterns, similarity, and diversity; scale; systems; cause and effect; energy and matter; structure and function; and stability and change (see also Three-dimensional science learning and Next Generation Science Standards).
  • Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI): Important ideas, principles, and theories that constitute the conceptual bases of science disciplines (e.g., physical sciences, life sciences, Earth and space sciences, and engineering). DCI tend to have broad importance, provide key tools for understanding more complex ideas, relate to interests of students or connect to societal concerns, and be teachable and learnable over multiple grades (see also Three-dimensional science learning and Next Generation Science Standards).
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS): Science education standards released in 2013 designed to with the goal of advancing 3D science learning for all students (see also Three-dimensional science learning).
  • Relevant Issues: Societal issues of relevance and importance. The idea behind the [RI]² approach is to feature issues that will likely matter to students (see also Socio-scientific issues).
  • Rigorous Investigations: Learner engagement with the science associated with issues featured in the [RI]² approach. [RI]² learning experiences should feature opportunities for students to collect, analyze, represent, and/or explain scientific evidence central to the negotiation of the underlying issue.
  • Socio-Scientific Issues (SSI): Societally relevant issues with conceptual, procedural and/or technical connections to science.
  • Scientific and Engineering Practices (SEP): The knowledge building activities and behaviors inherent to doing science and inquiry. Practices include asking questions, developing and using models, planning and carrying out investigations, analyzing data, using computational thinking, constructing explanations, engaging in argument, and evaluating and communicating information (see also Three-dimensional science learning and Next Generation Science Standards).
  • Three-dimensional (3D) science learning: The vision for science learning advanced by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). 3D science learning highlights the necessary integration of students’ understandings of and abilities to use disciplinary core ideas, cross-cutting concepts, and scientific and engineering practices (see also Disciplinary Core Ideas, Cross-cutting Concepts, Scientific and Engineering Practices, and Next Generation Science Standards).