Twentynine Palms Junior High School
Cottrell, Jim
Science Teacher/GATE Liaison
Luke, Ted
Educator: Science & Personal Finance & Team Olympian Academic Head Coach
Schmit, Jason
Science Department Chairperson/AVID Coordinator



On this page, you will find links to science content area wiki's. Click on the content area desired and you will be directed to a Content Wiki where you will find articles in PDF format and links to online articles, videos, & simulations.

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Science Department

Science Locker

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Where Science is Heading...

Common Core (CCSS), STEM, and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Common Core (CCSS)

       The CCSS for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects identify the literacy skills required for college and career readiness. The CCSS call for scientific investigations that promote reading to learn and reflective writing. Students must assess reasoning, evaluate data, construct arguments, and cite evidence.

       Students can build literacy in the science classroom by writing explanations about a nature investigation. They can further develop their literacy skills by reading articles on the topic that they are investigating.

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM)

The Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM) initiative is a program to raise awareness of the importance of STEM fields in the global economy. Students will apply science and math learning as they engage in real-world applications with engineering and technology tasks. For example, what if a class assignment asked students to engineer a new shoe tread? They would explore science concepts like friction, surface area, and mass, and they could use computers to create their designs.

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

     The NGSS create science learning expectations that develop, deepen, and progress over time. Students learn how science and engineering pertain to real-world problems, which prepares them for college and careers.

     The standards shift the science classroom from brief coverage of many topics to deep understanding of key ideas. To achieve this, the NGSS framework is based on three interrelated dimensions: scientific and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas.

Science and Engineering Practices

  • Science and engineering practices include asking questions, defining problems, developing models, interpreting data, constructing explanations, and engaging in arguments based on evidence.
  • Students will gain experience with the methods of scientific inquiry (explain natural phenomena) and engineering design (solving human needs) that drive progress in our world.

Crosscutting Concepts

  • Crosscutting concepts are ideas that span across all sciences and engineering. Some examples include patterns, cause and effect, scale, system models, cycle, stability, and change. These connections will add relevance to what students learn in the classroom and give them a deeper understanding of the world.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

  • Disciplinary core ideas progress through the K-12. The K-12 science curriculum focuses on these domains:  the physical sciences; the life science; the earth and space sciences; and engineering, technology, and applications of science.
  • Although the topics of the core ideas remain constant, the ideas themselves expand and deepen from year to year. They are tied to performance expectations that outline what students should know and be able to do at each step. Students will be able to build their own understanding of science concepts from beginning to end.

What can you do to help your child at home?

What can you do to help your child with technology?

  • Have your children ask questions.
  • Have them refine the questions to make them better.
  • Have them design solutions (brainstorm as many as possible). Solutions can be ideas as well as models.
  • Have them choose the best solution and test it.
  • Have them refine their solution and retest.
  • Provide time to practice keyboarding skills (find free keyboarding games online).
  • Provide time to watch science & engineering type videos online and respond to what they see.
  • Provide time to work on online science & engineering simulations (like at
  • Provide time to explore sites like tinkercad, scratch, and other engineering and computer-aided drafting sites.

7th Grade Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

7th Grade



Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms.



Develop ...more

8th Grade Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

8th Grade


Natural Selection/Genetics

Develop and use a model to describe why structural changes to genes (mutations) located on chromosomes may affect proteins and may result in harmful, ...more