Dimension 3: Disciplinary Core Ideas


Physical Sciences

PS 1: Matter and its interactions

PS 2: Motion and stability: Forces and interactions

PS 3: Energy

PS 4: Waves and their applications in technologies for information transfer

Life Sciences

LS 1: From molecules to organisms: Structures and processes

LS 2: Ecosystems: Interactions, energy, and dynamics

LS 3: Heredity: Inheritance and variation of traits

LS 4: Biological Evolution: Unity and diversity

Earth and Space Sciences

ESS 1: Earth's place in the universe

ESS 2: Earth's systems

ESS 3: Earth and human activity

Engineering, Technology, and the Applications of Science

ETS 1: Engineering design

ETS 2: Links among engineering, technology, science, and society

The framework includes core ideas for the physical sciences, life sciences, and earth and space sciences
because these are the disciplines typically included in science education in K-12 schools. Engineering
and technology are featured alongside these disciplines for two critical reasons: to reflect the importance
of understanding the human-built world and to recognize the value of better integrating the teaching and
learning of science, engineering, and technology. The focus on a limited number of core ideas in science and engineering is designed to allow sufficient time for teachers and students to explore each idea in depth and thus with understanding.

The full report provides detailed descriptions of each core idea, as well as descriptions of what aspects
of each idea should be learned by the end of grades 2, 5, 8 and 12. Establishing limits for what is to be
learned about each core idea for each grade band clarifies the most important ideas that students should

(This short excerpt is from A Framework for K-12 Science Standards: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas Report Brief)

Short Introduction to Dimension 3 Classroom teacher Paul Anderson gives a short video overview of the Disciplinary Core Ideas found in these four domains. 

  1. Physical Sciene,
  2. Life Science,
  3. Earth/Space Science
  4. Engineering, Technology, and the Applications of Science

The videos are not totally complete yet but it's worth a look!!

Course Mapping. This video by Eric Brunsell from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh describes possible course sequences in middle and high school.