Next Generation Physics and Everyday Thinking

Principle Personnel: Fred Goldberg and Michael McKean, San Diego State University; Stephen Robinson, Tennessee Technological University; Edward Price, California State University at San Marcos; Danielle Harlow, University of California at Santa Barbara; Julie Andrew, University of Colorado at Boulder; and Cary Sneider, Portland State University.  Funded by Chevron Corporation, by way of a subcontract from the California State University Chancellor’s Office as part of the 100Kin10 national project, $350,000, 2014 – 2016.

Project website:

Project description: The two main goals of the project are to complete the development of the NextGenPET set of curriculum materials and to begin disseminating it to other universities in the CSU System and to other colleges an universities nationwide that are part of the 100Kin10 network of supporters.

NextGenPET consists of five content modules that focus on helping prospective and practicing elementary teachers learn the physical science core ideas of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) while engaging in the scientific and engineering practices.  Engineering design activities are embedded in all the content modules.  There is also an extensive set of teaching and learning activities coordinated with the content activities that help the prospective and practicing teachers make explicit connections between their own learning, the teaching and learning of elementary children, and the NGSS. 

To provide versatility in implementation, there are two versions of every activity. One version is intended for small class structures, where students spend the entire class time in groups discussing ideas, engaging in experimentation, and sharing ideas with the whole class. The other version is intended for large, lecture style structures, where the instructor guides classroom activity using PowerPoint slides, but shows videos of experiments and demonstrations so students can still base the development of their science ideas on experimental evidence.