Nevada Academic Content Standards for Science (NVACSS)

The purpose of science education is to provide students with positive learning experiences enhanced over time by a deeper understanding of science content and the provision of tools students need in order to research, predict, hypothesize, investigate, analyze, conclude, and start the process all over. This is why we do science instead of sliding into rigid, unchanging roles in the education process. As science educators, we are all teachers, we are all learners and we are all scientists. And we educate with the understanding that the educational opportunities created by this process are available to our students. The goal: Our students research problems, predict outcomes, analyze results and make conclusions understanding this is only the beginning of the life-long learning process.

With this purpose in mind, Nevada's K-12 science education stakeholders, the Nevada Board of Education and the Nevada Department of Education collaborated and adopted our current Nevada State Academic Content Standards for Science (2014) based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  This adopted regulation is in response to the call for science educators to progress science standards in order to make our Nevada students college and career ready.  In response, Nevada science educators collaborated and decided that science standards based on A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts and Core Ideas findings would best serve Nevada's students.  This adopted regulation embraces rigorous goals for all students, provides a greater opportunity for Nevada's educators to foster the development of a scientifically literate society via its alignment to other K-12 disciplines and the inclusion of the 21st Century Skills and reflects the real world interconnections in science.  This adopted regulation was developed based on current and relevant science research in order to meet the diverse needs of all our students through its emphasis of the following:

Disciplinary Core Ideas

1)      Earth & Space Science
2)      Engineering Design
3)      Life Science
4)      Physical Science

Crosscutting Concepts

1)      Patterns
2)      Cause and Effect:  Mechanism and Explanation
3)      Scale, Proportion, & Quantity
4)      Systems & System Models
5)      Energy & Matter: Flows, Cycles, & Conservation
6)      Structure & Function
7)      Stability & Change

Science & Engineering Practices

1)      Asking questions (for science) and defining problems
         (for engineering)
2)      Developing and using models
3)      Planning and carrying out investigations
4)      Analyzing and interpreting data
5)      Using mathematics and computational thinking
6)      Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
7)      Engaging in argument from evidence
8)      Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Please refer to Appendices on the Next Generation Science Standards webpage (listed under websites) for more information regarding the practices as well as implementation of Nevada current science standards.  

    Science Education in Nevada…MOVING FORWARD: NVACSS Implementation

    Nevada's school districts have the opportunity to help decide how we move forward and have done well with the collaborative opportunity. Currently, Nevada science education stakeholders are continuing to collaborate on the implementation of our current science standards. District NVACSS (2014) Implementation teams have been working with their science community to prepare for the 2015-2016 classroom implementation of the NVACSS.

    Please work closely with your district teams as we continue to move forward in the science standard implementation process. Your district implementation team has been asked to provide feedback as we work toward district implementation of the Nevada State Academic Content Standards for Science (2014) for the 2014-15 school year. Classroom implementation will begin during the 2015-2016 school year. Please contact your points of contact (click here for the contact list) for more information regarding NVACSS-2014 implementation.

    If you have questions, please contact André DeLeón, K-12 Science Education Programs Professional of the Nevada Department of Education, at or (775) 687-9184.