• Teachers earning certificates
  • NGSS worksheets
  • Asking questions and defining problems
  • Planning and carrying out investigations
  • Teachers engaging in an NGSS workshop
  • Science and Engineering Practices

Since 2013, we've been recognized for professional development around the Next Generation Science Standards. Our introductory and intermediate courses have served more than 600 teachers, many of whom lead training for school teams.

Our History Delivering NGSS Professional Development

Since California adopted the new science standards in September 2013, the Academy has been hard at work delivering direct service support for teachers around the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). So far, we've developed beginner’s-level introductions, intermediate-level explorations, and an advanced-level training for professional development facilitators.

Our team is constantly developing our own knowledge of the NGSS to stay on the cutting edge of the field, and has crafted all of our trainings based on best practices for delivering impactful professional development. 


By the Numbers

Since the Academy's NGSS workshop series began in summer 2013:

  • More than a thousand educators have participated in our direct-service NGSS workshops.
  • Over a quarter of follow-up survey respondents have led professional development for other teachers using our materials; our conservative estimate is that from 2013-2015, approximately 4,000 teachers have been indirectly served by our NGSS materials.
  • 75% of our workshop attendees have been classroom teachers, with the remainder including department chairs, science coaches, PD facilitators, school district administrators, curriculum developers, and informal science educators.
  • 65% of attendees have already used what they've learned to make changes to how they teach science.
  • We've provided customized support for districts around the Bay Area, including but not limited to San Francisco Unified, KIPP Bay Area, Benicia Unified, Convent of the Sacred Heart, Palo Alto Unified, and Teach for America. 
  • We've served teachers in all 9 Bay Area counties, as well as more distant parts of California, and even hosted educators from as far away as St Paul, Minnesota, and Calgary, Canada.

NGSS Demystified: A Toolkit for Training Teachers

NGSS Demystified wordmark

NGSS Demystified is a professional development toolkit sharing what we’ve learned during three years of running NGSS trainings for hundreds of teachers throughout the Bay Area. We encourage PD providers, teacher leaders, and school coaches to draw from our library of well-tested activities that will give your participants a strong foundation for understanding and implementing the NGSS. All of our training resources are free and available online, anytime.


Our Menu of NGSS Trainings

We've developed six NGSS courses so far:

Beginner's Level

  • Introduction to the NGSS (grades K-12)

Intermediate Level

  • NGSS Spotlight: Unlocking the Science and Engineering Practices (grades K - 12)
  • NGSS Spotlight: Connecting with the Crosscutting Concepts (grades K-12)
  • Digging into the Disciplinary Core Ideas: Exploring Heredity (grades 3-5)
  • Digging into the Disciplinary Core Ideas: Exploring Ecosystems (grades 6-8)

Advanced Level

  • Unit Redesign Challenge (K-12 teachers)
  • Preparing Your Team for the NGSS (PD Providers)

These courses are offered regularly at the Academy during the summer, spring, and fall. 


Teacher Testimonials

teachers do cartesian diver activity

Attending the NGSS workshops designed by the Academy of Sciences has allowed me to become a leader at my school as we transition to the new science standards.

The Academy is keeping teachers ahead of the game, even before districts are ready to start working with the new standards. As a result, it allows teacher to have a voice in district decisions and also feel empowered to make the transition and spread that empowerment to colleagues.

The NGSS teacher workshops are by far the best PD that I have ever experienced!

Please continue with your workshops! The format and content are very teacher-friendly. I enjoy the pace and mixture of demonstrations, lecture, and hands-on.

I very much appreciated the passion, understanding, and empathy of the staff about our different levels of understanding in science as we moved through the explanations of the NGSS.

The NGSS teacher workshops at the Academy of Sciences have been very helpful in understanding and beginning to transition to the new standards. The workshops are a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with with other professionals and to gain knowledge from experts at the Academy.

Each course enables me to grow as an educator in order to better support my students. Their instructors are knowledgeable and excellent educators themselves. In fact, what keeps me coming back to courses at the Academy is the instructors. Teaching seminars from other organizations often forget to use pedagogy when teaching adults and can be monotonous; the Academy's instructors are skilled at keeping adult learners engaged and modeling good teaching practices that we can even use in our own classrooms.

The Academy is doing a great job by taking upon themselves to be at the forefront of the NGSS implementation.

Their research & expertise help educate educators about the NGSS beast & give excellent examples on how to implement in the classroom—what all science teachers need! Thank you Cal Academy of Science!!

It was helpful to receive an overview of NGSS. I brought what I learned back to my school, and I now work for the county office of education, so what I learned has influenced training all over the county.

Highly effective, organized and thoughtful training that aims to prepare science instructors of all levels to begin thinking about how to teach science better, in the style of NGSS​.

The staff and the content and perspective from the Academy has been the most helpful in terms of digesting the meaning and application of NGSS in the classroom. The staff are thoroughly knowledgeable, and have a way of breaking down the NGSS in manageable, understandable segments. I absolutely love the two conferences I have completed here and have signed up for another 3-day this summer on the CCCs. I recommend Academy workshops to every science teacher I know!


Training Informal Educators

From 2014-2015, the Academy served as one of the primary providers of the three-part Next Generation Science Standards through an Environmental Education Lens workshop series delivered to representatives from dozens of Bay Area organizations, providing them with tools to make changes to their curriculum and teaching.

Marin Environmental Literacy Learning Collaborative (MELLC)
Following the ChangeScale workshop, staff from the Academy and CREEC designed a two-part PD series in fall 2015 guiding program providers in examining and altering student programs to better exemplify NGSS, as they developed a pilot pathway of environmental education opportunities for third grade students.


Special Projects

Staff from the California Academy of Sciences have served on state committees and been awarded prestigious grants at the state and national level. We've also worked closely with local school districts on specific NGSS-related pilots.

CaMSP Grant Partner

As part of Cohort 13 of the California Math and Science Partnership grant program (CaMSP), we're working with Shoreline Unified School District in Marin County from 2015-2017 to deepen secondary teachers' understanding of the new standards.

NSF DRK-12 Project

From 2013-2015, our Teacher Institute (TISS) partnered with Stanford's SCALE program and SRI International, completing a National Science Foundation-funded Discovery Research K-12 project involving the NGSS practices.

Environmental Literacy

Academy leaders served on a committee that wrote this call-to-action for California's school districts. NGSS implementation has the potential to simultaneously improve environmental literacy instruction.

Conference Participation

Academy educators are invited each year to design a series of shorter workshops for teacher audiences attending CSTA and NSTA, among other smaller local conferences.

Curriculum Pilots

The San Francisco Unified School District hired us as a consultant to help teachers craft new unites integrating Environmental Literacy principles with the NGSS, hoping to scale units across the district.

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What are the NGSS?

The Next Generations Science Standards (NGSS) are the nation's new K–12 science standards, rich in content and practice. The NGSS are arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines to provide all students an internationally-benchmarked science education.