VEEP Programs & NGSS Themes by Grade Level

Click on a grade level below to view a list of VEEP programs for that grade, as well as the NGSS storylines and big ideas that relate to energy and VEEP’s work.

WHAT’S THE NGSS VEEP STORYLINE?
As part of their exploration of weather, students investigate the sun’s warming effect and design and test a structure to reduce the warming effect of sunlight on earth’s surface.  Students engineer ways to reduce the impact of human use of resources to meet their needs (for example, reduce, reuse, and recycle).

WHAT’S THE BIG ENERGY IDEA?
The sun warms the earth.

VEEP PROGRAMS FOR KINDERGARTEN

WHAT’S THE NGSS VEEP STORYLINE?
Students investigate basic properties of light through cause and effect.  They learn that light needs to be available to see objects.  They also explore the ways that different materials interact with light.  (Students learn that some materials allow almost all light to pass through, some allow a little light to pass through, and some block the light and create a shadow.  They also see that mirrors can be used to redirect a light beam.)   No attempt to teach about shadow direction, or properties of light should be attempted.  Rather, student experiences with light are intended to help them internalize the understanding that light travels from place to place.

WHAT’S THE BIG ENERGY IDEA?
Light travels from place to place and can be redirected or blocked.

VEEP PROGRAMS FOR FIRST GRADE

NGSS does not contain energy-related themes in the 2nd grade.

VEEP PROGRAMS FOR SECOND GRADE

WHAT’S THE NGSS VEEP STORYLINE?
Students are introduced to the term ‘force’, and investigate balanced and unbalanced forces.  They investigate the effect of contact and non-contact forces on objects (such as magnetism and electricity). Students learn that objects not in contact can produce forces on one another (electricity and magnetism), and students learn to define a simple design problem that can be solved by applying scientific ideas about magnets.

WHAT’S THE BIG ENERGY IDEA?
Forces can be balanced or unbalanced.  Some forces act on one another when the objects are in contact.  Other forces do not require contact (e.g. magnets and static electricity).

VEEP PROGRAMS FOR THIRD GRADE

WHAT’S THE NGSS VEEP STORYLINE?
Students begin to develop an operational definition of energy.  (No attempt to give a complete definition of energy is expected.)  They come to recognize that energy can be moved from place to place by moving objects (collisions), light, sound, or by electricity.  They also witness that there is energy in motion, heat, light, sound, and electrical currents. They learn how people have used technological design to move, store, transport, and transform energy.  Students design, test and refine a device that transforms energy from one form to another, such as a passive solar device that converts sunlight to heat energy, or converts electricity to motion.

WHAT’S THE BIG ENERGY IDEA?
Energy can be transferred in various ways between objects.

VEEP PROGRAMS FOR FOURTH GRADE

WHAT’S THE NGSS VEEP STORYLINE?
Students consider how matter and energy cycle through ecosystems.   They explore how earth’s geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere interact. They also investigate how length and direction of shadows and relative length of day and night change from day to day.  Transfer of matter and energy in ecosystems is a big focus.

WHAT’S THE BIG ENERGY IDEA?
Energy flows and matter cycles through earth’s systems.

VEEP PROGRAMS FOR FIFTH GRADE

WHAT’S THE NGSS VEEP STORYLINE?
Students seek answers to the question, “How can energy be transferred from one object or system to another?”  They explore and develop the understanding that the interactions of objects can be explained and predicted using the concept of transfer of energy from one object or system of objects to another.  They learn through experiences with materials that objects can exert forces on one another even when they are not in contact.  Also, students learn that the total change in energy in any system is always equal to the total energy transferred into or out of the system.  Students apply an understanding of design to the process of energy transfer.  Students begin to understand the significant and complex issues surrounding human uses of land, energy, mineral and water resources and they also begin to understand the causes and repercussions of global climate change.

WHAT’S THE BIG ENERGY IDEA?
Energy can be transferred between objects and between systems.  Total change in energy within any system is equal to the total energy transferred into or out of that system.

VEEP PROGRAMS FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL

VEEP PROGRAMS FOR HIGH SCHOOL

The Performance Expectations associated with the topic Energy help students formulate an answer to the question, “How is energy transferred and conserved?” The disciplinary core idea expressed in the Framework for PS3-Energy is broken down into four sub-core ideas:
• Definitions of Energy
• Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer
• The Relationship between Energy and Forces
• Energy in Chemical Process and Everyday Life.

Energy is understood as quantitative property of a system that depends on the motion and interactions of matter and radiation within that system, and the total change of energy in any system is always equal to the total energy transferred into or out of the system. Students develop an understanding that energy at both the macroscopic and the atomic scale can be accounted for as either motions of particles or energy associated with the configuration (relative positions) of particles. In some cases, the energy associated with the configuration of particles can be thought of as stored in fields.

Students also demonstrate their understanding of engineering principles when they design, build, and refine devices associated with the conversion of energy. The following crosscutting concepts of cause and effect are further developed in the performance expectations associated with PS3-Energy:
• systems and system models
• energy and matter
• the influence of science, engineering, and technology on society and the natural world

Performance expectations: Students are expected to demonstrate proficiency and to use these practices to demonstrate understanding of the core energy ideas:
• developing and using models
• planning and carry out investigations
• using computational thinking
• designing solutions

The Performance Expectations associated with the topic Waves and Electromagnetic Radiation are critical to understand how many new technologies work. As such, this disciplinary core idea helps students answer the question, “How are waves used to transfer energy [and send and store information]?”** The disciplinary core idea in PS4 is broken down into Wave Properties, Electromagnetic Radiation, and Information Technologies and Instrumentation. Students are able to apply understanding of how wave properties and the interactions of electromagnetic radiation with matter can transfer information across long distances, store information, and investigate nature on many scales. Models of electromagnetic radiation as either a wave of changing electric and magnetic fields or as particles are developed and used. Students understand that combining waves of different frequencies can make a wide variety of patterns and thereby encode and transmit information. Students also demonstrate their understanding of engineering ideas by presenting information about how technological devices use the principles of wave behavior and wave interactions with matter to transmit and capture information and energy.

The following crosscutting concepts are highlighted as organizing concepts for these disciplinary core ideas:
• cause and effect
• systems and system models
• stability and change
• interdependence of science, engineering, and technology
• the influence of engineering, technology, and science on society and the natural world

In the Waves and Electromagnetic Radiation performance expectations (PS4) students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in:
• asking questions
• using mathematical thinking
• engaging in argument from evidence
• obtaining, evaluating and communicating information
and to use these practices to demonstrate understanding of the core ideas.

* This entire text was extracted directly from the NGSS storyline at http://nextgenscience.org.

** Text inside brackets is part of the standard but is not covered in VEEP materials.