Three-Dimensional Learning

Three-Dimensional Learning: Ultimate Guide

The fundamental aim of the introduction of 3-D science standards was to change science teaching as we knew it. The way that we used to teach science was not a reflection of how science is used in the real world—the scientists and engineers of today approach science in a practical, proactive way on a day-to-day basis.

Instead of focusing on rote memorization, 3-D science standards highlight important skills such as research, communication, and analytical thinking. While content knowledge is still part of the standards, the focus is on teaching students how to engage with new knowledge, answer questions and solve problems, and make connections between the different scientific disciplines—as well as relating science to the real world. This is where three-dimensional learning comes into play.

Explore Each of the Three Dimensions

Twig Science On… 3-D Science Podcast

In this episode of Twig Education On…, Dr. Kim Mueller talks to Lauren Stoll, an assessment and curriculum designer for Stanford’s SCALE (The Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity) team. Listen as they discuss the partnership between Twig Science and the SCALE team, 3-D science standards, and what it really means to take a student-centered approach when teaching science.

3-D Learning Blog Series

Our series of blog posts takes a look at every facet of 3-D learning—breaking each dimension down and exploring how to effectively implement them in your teaching.

The Importance of 3-D Science Standards

What are the Three Dimensions of 3-D Science?

What are Crosscutting Concepts?

What are Science and Engineering Practices?

What are Disciplinary Core Ideas?

Printable Poster Series

Download our free printable posters to remind your students that Crosscutting Concepts, Science and Engineering Practices, and Disciplinary Core Ideas are an important part of the process of scientific investigations.

Practical Approaches to 3-D Science: A White Paper

Download our white paper to learn more about Three-Dimensional Science, Crosscutting Concepts, Science and Engineering Practices, and Disciplinary Core Ideas.

Explore Three-Dimensional Learning with a Dedicated 3-D Science Program

To ensure that you hit the three dimensions, you need the support of a good 3-D science program. Twig Science Next Gen is a phenomena-based science program for Grades PK/TK–8 created specifically to ensure that all students have an interwoven understanding of Crosscutting Concepts, Science and Engineering Practices, and Disciplinary Core Ideas. 

In Twig Science Next Gen, students experience dozens of different STEM roles as they become creative problem solvers, making sense of engaging, real-world phenomena. To learn more about how Twig Science Next Gen can help you incorporate the crosscutting concepts into your curriculum, contact us today.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is 3-D learning?

Three-dimensional learning is an approach to science teaching that focuses on disciplinary core ideas, crosscutting concepts and scientific practices examining phenomena. 3-D learning helps students build their research, communication, and analytical thinking skills.

How many states have adopted 3-D science standards?

Today, 44 states have adopted some version of 3-D science standards—either the NGSS or their own version. As a result, 71% of students in the US receive a science education that follows the NRC Framework.

Learn more about Real-World Phenomena with

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