Webinar Series: Making Sense of Three-Dimensional Science

by Carolina Staff

Join us for series of webinars that will help you teach and assess new science standards.

More than a decade after the release of A Framework for K-12 Science Education, there is still confusion and misunderstanding about three-dimensional learning and assessment that is the foundation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)*.

The Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) is offering a free four-part webinar series designed to provide educators with information and examples of the three dimensions and how they are used to teach and assess students.

If you are adopting NGSS or three-dimensional standards based on the Framework, these webinars will help you make sense of the new science standards.

Register today for one or all the sessions. All registered participants will receive handouts and a recording of the sessions to share with colleagues.

Decoding Three-Dimensional Teaching and Learning

One major shift associated with the introduction of the Next Generation Science Standards is that all students will develop and use authentic practices to support their learning about rigorous content and concepts that cut across all science and engineering disciplines. This webinar decodes what this means for your teaching.

Presenter: Dr. Carol O’Donnell, SSEC Director


SSEC Decoding Three-Dimensional Teaching

The Power of a Good Story

A strong storyline drives student-centered learning to develop understanding of concepts and proficiency in skills. In this webinar, hear from curriculum developers about how they deconstruct performance expectations to create learning progressions through engaging phenomena and problems.

Presenter: Laurie Rosatone, SSEC Division Director–Curriculum, Digital Media, and Communications


Problems with Problems

Smithsonian Telling a STEM Story

The Power of a Good Story

Using Phenomena in NGSS

Making Sense of Phenomena and Problems

The process of sensemaking includes building and revising explanations for phenomena or working to solve problems. This webinar supports teachers in leveraging the wealth of knowledge that students bring to the classroom to figure out phenomena and to solve problems.

Presenter: Beth Short, SSEC Science Curriculum Developer

Teaching for Student Sensemaking

Everyday Three-Dimensional Assessment

Assessment of three-dimensional science needs to target more than just core ideas and concepts. Teachers also need to assess proficiency in practices and understanding of crosscutting concepts. In this webinar, learn how to use three-dimensional tasks for both formative and summative assessments.

Presenter: Dr. Sarah Glassman, SSEC Team Lead and Senior Science Curriculum Developer (Smithsonian Science for the Classroom program)


Everyday Assessment

Building Thinkers through Science

Kids Cup Summative Assessment Table

Roof Design Formative Assessment Table

Sponsored in partnership with

*Next Generation Science Standards® is a registered trademark of WestEd. Neither WestEd nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and do not endorse it.


The Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) aims to transform and improve the teaching and learning of science for K—12 students by fully addressing science standards. It developed the grades K—5 Smithsonian Science for the Classroom™ (SSftC) phenomena- and problem-based modules and the grades 6—8 Science and Technology Concepts™ Middle School (STCMS) practice-based units to engage students in three-dimensional, hands-on learning that incorporates science and engineering practices.


Carolina Biological Supply Company is a leading supplier of science teaching materials. Headquartered in Burlington, North Carolina, it serves customers worldwide, including teachers, professors, homeschool educators, and professionals in health- and science-related fields. Carolina is the developer of Building Blocks of Science® 3D curriculum for grades K—5 as well as the Carolina Kits 3D® and Carolina Kits 3D® Flex programs for grades 9—12. Carolina is also the exclusive distributor of Smithsonian Science for grades K-8.

To learn more about Smithsonian Science for grades K-8, please visit smithsonianstc.com

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