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Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy. HS-PS3-3

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

A Peformance Expectation (PE) is what a student should be able to do to show mastery of a concept. Some PEs include a Clarification Statement and/or an Assessment Boundary. These can be found by clicking the PE for "More Info." By hovering over a PE, its corresponding pieces from the Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts will be highlighted.

Science and Engineering Practices

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 9–12 builds on K–8 experiences and progresses to explanations and designs that are supported by multiple and independent student-generated sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories.

By clicking on a specific Science and Engineering Practice, Disciplinary Core Idea, or Crosscutting Concept, you can find out more information on it. By hovering over one you can find its corresponding elements in the PEs.

Planning Curriculum

Common Core State Standards Connections


  • WHST.11-12.7 - Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. (HS-PS3-3)


  • HSN-Q.A.1 - Use units as a way to understand problems and to guide the solution of multi-step problems; choose and interpret units consistently in formulas; choose and interpret the scale and the origin in graphs and data displays. (HS-PS3-3)
  • HSN-Q.A.2 - Define appropriate quantities for the purpose of descriptive modeling. (HS-PS3-3)
  • HSN-Q.A.3 - Choose a level of accuracy appropriate to limitations on measurement when reporting quantities. (HS-PS3-3)
  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (HS-PS3-3)
  • MP.4 - Model with mathematics. (HS-PS3-3)

Model Course Mapping

First Time Visitors

Resources & Lesson Plans

  • More resources added each week!
    A team of teacher curators is working to find, review, and vet online resources that support the standards. Check back often, as NSTA continues to add more targeted resources.
  • This resource has students performing an inquiry lab to design a parallel electrical circuit to keep bulbs lit even when one in another branch is removed (burns out). The activity requires students to draw their circuits and to keep making changes, i ...

  • This resource has students construct a solar water heater. The resource includes background information, instructions for constructing and testing the solar water heater designs, as well as pre and post-lab questions to aid the teacher with assessmen ...

  • This resource provides background information about photovoltaic cells, has class discussion and assessment materials, and then incorporates all of those components into a laboratory activity in which the students determine the optimal angle of a ref ...

  • This resource provides the instructor with a video clip illustrating conservation of energy in a circus routine. Along with the video clip are questions that the teacher can use to hold a class discussion to help students understand how one form of e ...

  • This resource provides background information about semiconductors and photovoltaic cells. Then it has three parts to the lab activity: (1) solar cell(s) and small electric fan, (2) Lifting small masses with an electric motor, and (3) Powering a ligh ...

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Planning Curriculum gives connections to other areas of study for easier curriculum creation.