2018 Grants Challenge
🎉 Winner

Next Generation Science Standards: Empowering Teachers to Empower Students for the Future of STEM

We empower teachers to prepare and inspire students for the future of STEM through dynamic training and mentoring on the state adopted, industry recognized Next Generation Science Standards.


Please describe the activation your organization seeks to launch.

We seek to empower teachers to prepare and inspire students for the future of STEM through dynamic training and mentoring on the state adopted, industry recognized Next Generation Science Standards.

Which of the LEARN metrics will your activation impact?​

College and community college completion rates

College matriculation rates

Students’ immersion in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math content

Will your proposal impact any other LA2050 goal categories?​

LA is the best place to CREATE

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?​

Central LA

South LA

South Bay


How will your activation mobilize Angelenos?​

Trainings and/or in-person engagements

Connect Angelenos with impactful volunteer opportunities

Describe in greater detail how your activation will make LA the best place to LEARN?​

In 2013, the California Board of Education adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for K-12 public schools. Those standards were developed by 26 lead states in collaboration with key stakeholders in science, science education, higher education, and industry, based upon the new Framework for K-12 Science Education developed by the National Academy of Sciences. NGSS emphasizes “three-dimensional learning”: disciplinary core ideas, crosscutting concepts, and science and engineering practices. NGSS aligns with Common Core State Standards to prepare students for college and careers.

NGSS adoption in California was critical. It had been 15 years since standards were revised, despite numerous advances in the field of science and the innovation driven economy. However, implementation has been uneven with limited teacher training. LA simply cannot be the best place to learn if our science teachers are not given the skills to prepare our students for the future of STEM. Students will not be prepared for college, careers and citizenship unless teachers set the right expectations and goals. Improved science standards will inspire students to pursue STEM in higher education and prepare them for the rigors of college, lifting our higher education completion rates and time to completion. In turn, employers can hire workers with strong science-based skills—including specific content areas but also skills such as critical thinking and inquiry-based problem solving.

To address the urgent need for training, our activation is an NGSS training that includes a dynamic combination of classroom training, real-time feedback, and group collaboration. It will be rolled out to teachers in LAUSD-Local District South (includes San Pedro, Lomita, Gardena, South LA, South Central LA) and Compton USD. We will train two cohorts of 50 teachers (100 total) in two years. The program will be rolled out according to the following timeline each year:

_Months 1-2:_ Teacher Selection - CISE will collaborate with superintendents and STEM coordinators to identify which schools will most benefit from training. Principals at selected schools will recommend 2-3 K-9 teachers.

_Months 3-4:_ 3 Days of NGSS Classroom Training - Teachers will be trained on the conceptual and instructional shifts from the current standards. They will learn the 3 dimensions of NGSS, analyze lesson plans, and break down the new performance expectations.

_Months 5-6:_ Classroom Observations - 1) An NGSS expert and teacher will meet in advance to agree on the observation focus and review the lesson plan; 2) The NGSS expert will observe and document evidence of good teaching practices; 3) Formal feedback will be provided.

_Months 7-10:_ Lesson Study Cycles - Teams of teacher trainees will engage in collaborative planning-teaching-observation of learning, followed by lesson evaluation and refinement.

_Months 1-12:_ Training Evaluation and Revision - Will occur on an ongoing basis (details in #12).

How will your activation engage Angelenos to make LA the best place to LEARN​

Our activation focuses on schools in LAUSD-Local District South and Compton USD. These districts were selected because implementation has been limited and because the largest achievement gaps in science among student groups are defined by race and income. LAUSD enrollment is 90% students of color and 80% are socioeconomically disadvantaged. Compton USD enrolls almost 100% students of color and 87% are socioeconomically disadvantaged.

We will engage directly with teacher trainees, totaling 100 over 2 years. In turn, these teachers will engage their students as they become more effective and inspiring teachers. CISE will also give our teacher trainees strategies and tools to engage parents. Examples include at a minimum keeping parents informed about the shift to NGSS and at most enlisting parents to volunteer in and outside of the classroom to help with NGSS-based science projects.

CISE will enlist the 50 trainees in our current pilot and the 100 additional trainees to become NGSS experts at their schools that mentor fellow teachers. NGSS experts will provide guidance to these 150 teachers as they help their fellow teachers learn the new standards.

The 150 trainees we engage will represent 50 schools averaging 1,000 students. With those trainees engaging their fellow teachers on the new standards, 50,000 students will be touched directly or indirectly by our effort. With our push to keep all parents informed at a minimum, we will touch well over 100,000 Angelenos.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your activation.​

Success is defined by the impact participating teachers have on student learning. This will be measured based upon 1) Participant Surveys: Participating teachers will complete a survey at the end of each training day and at the end of each lesson study cycle assessing training effectiveness; 2) Expert Observations & Evidence: NGSS training team members (experts) will participate in lesson study cycle as observers and will gather evidence based upon an instrument used for teacher observations by the district to evaluate performance; 3) Expert Review of Developed NGSS Lessons: Training team experts will review lesson plans developed by participating teachers for the lesson study cycles to assess quality based upon NGSS standards; 4) Consistent Attendance: Tracking attendance for all components of the training (in-person training, lesson study cycles, etc.).

Where do you hope this activation or your organization will be in five years?

Our goal is to train a minimum of 3-5 teachers from each school within our service area who will serve as the NGSS experts at their schools and districts, offering their students a more engaging and inspiring STEM instructional experience. We expect our effort to translate into stronger results on the National Assessment of Education Progress in science, a narrowing of the achievement gap among student groups defined by race/ethnicity and family income, and more students enrolling and persisting in postsecondary STEM programs.