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Archive: Preparing for NGSS: Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions, November 20, 2012

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.


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.

View the Archive Video

To view the presentation slides from the web seminar and related resources, visit the resource collection. Continue discussing this topic in the community forums.

Below are comments from individuals who attended the seminar:

  • ""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.""
  • ""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.""

A certificate of attendance was deposited into participants' account page for completing the evaluation form at the end of the program.

For more information contact: webseminars@nsta.org

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