About Us


States and districts continue to ask important questions about the new roadmap for science learning and teaching presented in the National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). How should professional learning (PD) and preservice education change to support this new roadmap? How do we get started? What does 3Dimensional teaching and learning look like in a classroom?

We, Sarah Michaels (Clark University), Jean Moon (Tidemark Institute), and Brian J. Reiser (Northwestern University), with talented help from our NGSX team, are responding. In 2013 with funding from the National Science Foundation we created the initial pilot pathway in the Next Generation Science Exemplar (NGSX) system for professional learning.  We did so because of the questions noted above and many more like them. NGSX, as a blended model of professional learning, makes this new vision of science teaching and learning visible, accessible and coherent, with tools, tasks, video cases and proven learning resources to help teachers, districts, and states build capacity to take this new vision to scale. Today the NGSX system is composed of 17 unique professional learning pathways focusing on three-dimensional science teaching and learning.

NGSX combines face-to-face work in a study group format, between 20 and 25 members. Study group participants, along with the guidance of an NGSX facilitator, draw on resources in a web-based environment. This web-based learning environment provides multiple learning pathways for K-12 teacher, pre-service faculty, out of school science educators, as well as instructional leaders and science coaches. Our model enables study group participants to engage in and analyze three-dimensional (3D) science learning—learning that draws on the three major dimensions of the NRC Framework and NGSS—core ideas of science, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts. NGSX provides participants with guided practice in adapting curricular materials to reflect designated NGSS-based student performance expectations.  

Part of the NGSX learning system includes a pathway dedicated to building district- and state-based facilitator capacity to form and lead NGSX study groups. It is comprised of mutually reinforcing chapters to prepare local teachers-leaders to become skilled NGSX study group facilitators.

The NGSX project has a user fee and licensing arrangement that is available to districts and states interested in forming study groups, preparing district- or state-based facilitators including an apprentice program to support new facilitators as they work with local study groups. User fees (per participant cost) are calculated to reflect the costs incurred by the NGSX project for an individual NGSX participant. NGSX is based on a nonprofit model where revenue from user fees is supports the real costs of a web-based platform, administrative oversight and requisite learning system development.

NGSX Founders, Design and Research Leadership Team


NGSX Designers, National Facilitators, and Researchers


Renee Affolter

Vermont Science Initiative; U. Mass, Amherst

Lead Facilitator; Design Team: Facilitator Pathway, Introduction to 3D Learning 2.1 pathway

Deanna Bailey

Vermont Science Initiative

Lead Facilitator; Design Team: Facilitator Pathway, Introduction to 3D Learning 2.1 pathway

Catherine O'Conner

Boston University

Design Team: Facilitator Pathway, Introduction to 3D Learning Unit 4

Tejaswini Dalvi

Clark University

Design Team: Modeling Matter 1.0 pathway

Leslie Duhaylongsod

Clark University

Post-Doctoral Researcher

T.J. McKenna

Connecticut Science Center; UConn

Lead Facilitator; Design Team: Introduction to 3D Learning 2.1 pathway

Tara A. W. McGill

Northwestern University

Lead Facilitator; Design Team: Introduction to 3D Learning 2.1 pathway

Dawn Novak

Maple School, Northbrook, IL

Research Associate; Lead Facilitator

Michael Novak

Park View School, Morton Grove, IL; Northwestern University

Lead Facilitator, Design Team: Introduction to 3D Learning 2.1 pathway

Aimee Park

Lisle Junior High School

Lead Facilitator, Design Team: Introduction to 3D Learning 2.0, Unit 7

Cindy Passmore

Univ of Calif, Davis

Design Team: Introduction to 3D Learning 2.0

Richard Sohmer

Investigators Club, Clark University

Design Team: Modeling Matter 1.0 pathway

Roger Tobin

Tufts University

Design Team: Modeling Matter 1.0 Pathway

Kate Cook Whitt

Thomas College

Research Associate; Lead Facilitator; Design Team: Introduction to 3D Learning 2.1

Mark Windschitl

University of Washington

Design Team: Modeling Matter pathway, Unit 6