Information and Instructional Resources for

Dimension One: Science and Engineering Practices

Engaging in the practices of science helps students understand how scientific knowledge develops; such direct involvement gives them an appreciation of the wide range of approaches that are used to investigate, model, and explain the world. Engaging in the practices of engineering likewise helps students understand the work of engineers, as well as the links between engineering and science. (NRC Framework, 2012, pg. 42-43)


Guiding Principles for Dimension One:

  • Students in grades K-12 should engage in all eight practices over each grade band.
  • Practices grow in complexity and sophistication across the grades.
  • Each practice may reflect science or engineering.


A good resource for an explanation of Dimension One is found in the National Academy Press Open Book. The entire book may be downloaded from this site. 


Eight Science and Engineering Practices: 

Link to RESA pages on the practices for more information and resources. 

Practice One: Asking Questions and Defining Problems

Practice Two: Developing and Using Models

Practice Three: Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

Practice Four: Analyzing and Interpreting Data

Practice Five: Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking

Practice Six: Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Practice Seven: Engaging in Argument from Evidence

Practice Eight: Obtaining, Evaluating & Communicating Information  


The Eight Science and Engineering Practices have much in common with work that is already being done in ELA and Mathematics in the Common Core State Standards. Click here to see how these practices are related. 


The Eight Science and Engineering Practices will change how instruction is delivered in our classrooms. The STEM Tool Briefs are short articles that outline what some of these shifts will be like. Each tool is focused on a specific issue and leverages the best knowledge from research and practice. Click below to read Brief #3:

Practices should not stand alone: How to sequence practices in a cascade to support student investigations