Under NGSS, engineering will become more the rule than the exception," says Ted Willard, NSTA's director of NGSS.
The hands-on expectations also mean giving students more laboratory time, says Rodger Bybee, co-chair of the NGSS life science team.
NGSS, by contrast, would be implemented statewide wherever it's adopted.
If a state adopts NGSS, it will be up to its state department of education, in conjunction with its districts, to come up with the learning materials, activities, and assessments that would fulfill those expectations, Bybee and others say.
Interactive programs from educational publishers should help, says Bess, although she adds that most have had to wait for the final version of NGSS, now released, before starting to develop those programs.
In March, Mimio launched an interactive set of lessons called MimioScience and based them on the next-to-last draft of NGSS released earlier this year.
In a recent poll, he says about 80 percent stated that NGSS "would have a huge impact on the way they teach, although there are concerns on their part about adequate professional development.
For all the promise of NGSS, the road to training teachers to fulfill its standards will be bumpy--particularly the task of getting science teachers to drop a longstanding mindset of teaching facts and formulas and to focus on student performance expectations.
I think we're ahead of most, but we're not there yet," Fritz said, adding that fully implementing NGSS for the district's nearly 650 middle and high school science teachers might mean adding days to the summer workshops.
Using the expertise she developed as an NGSS writer, Olson is helping them develop the questions and problems that students will solve as part of the NGSS performance expectations.