Mar 26-May 18, 2018
Credit: 0 graduate
Tuition & Fees: $99.00 The cost includes either 48 OPI Renewal Units or 4.8 Continuing Education Units (CEU's) upon successfully completing all of the course requirements.
Instructor(s): Gerry Wheeler and Molly Ward

Course Description

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is a very comprehensive document, created by literally thousands of educators and scientists. But standards are not curriculum: They don’t guide science teachers on how to implement those standards in their classrooms. When schools adopt the NGSS, the work is just beginning. And, that work falls on the shoulders of curriculum developers and classroom teachers.

This online course for K-8 in-service teachers focuses on fundamental challenge of building specific classroom activities that align to NGSS. Participants will use grade-specific NGSS unit maps from NGSS bundles that group appropriate Performance Expectations (from the NGSS standards pages) to help them develop classroom activities for their particular classroom.

Participants will first learn how to “read” NGSS standards for their grade level and how to use the 5Es curriculum-building model to create their individual classroom experiences. The second part of the course will be building science classroom activities specially for their grade level teaching assignment. Teachers will be able to work individually or with small groups of teachers from the same grade level. The final product for this course is a usable 3-D NGSS classroom unit.

Meeting Place and Times

Teachers log into the course at a time of day that best fits their schedule. While the course is in session it will be necessary to login at least 3 times per week. Typically participants will spend 5-7 hours each week either online or offline working on course-related assignments to stay current and successfully complete this course.


Gerry Wheeler, PhD. Gerry Wheeler is emeritus professor of physics, Montana State University, and emeritus executive director, National Science Teachers Association. He has served on advisory boards for Discovery Communications’ Science Channel and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) as well as many other science and engineering-related organizations. He has also served as a consultant for nationally broadcast children’s STEM programming, including 3-2-1 Contact and Walt Disney Educational Media Productions. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.

Molly Ward, MS. Molly Ward, has nearly 20 years of experience working in informal science education, curriculum development and teacher professional learning. Molly's passion lies in helping others find creative and exciting ways to engage with science and keep their spark for learning, communicating and keeping science alive and active throughout their lives. Since early 2014 Molly has been operating Mountain Goat Instructional Design, LLC, a consulting company dealing in designing instruction (online and elsewhere) for science education, and specializing in the NGSS. Molly's work in teacher education expanded in Fall 2016 as an instructor for the K-8 Science Methods course for the MSU Education Department. Prior to starting her own business, Molly worked for the Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) Foundation, the Museum of the Rockies, Yellowstone National Park and Montana Outdoor Science School. Molly also holds a BS in Geology degree. Molly is a native Bozemanite and can be found (along with her dog) in her free time hiking, running, biking and kayaking in the local mountains.

Target Audience

Teachers and other educators with an interest in NGSS.

Time Commitment:

5-7 hours per week. If you are unfamiliar with this field of study and/or method of delivery, you may require more time.

Tuition and Fees


The cost includes either 48 OPI Renewal Units or 4.8 Continuing Education Units (CEU's) upon successfully completing all of the course requirements.

Required Books/Materials

  • Materials will be provided in Brightspace LE, our learning management system, or on the Internet for free.

Computer Requirements:

  • Internet access
  • A device and browser that pass the system check for Brightspace LE, MSU's learning management system.

This course uses a learning management system. You will learn more closer to the course start date.

For More Information

Contact Gerry Wheeler at for questions regarding course content, or Kelly Boyce at for questions about registration policies.

How to Register

Register Online