NGSS and the Heart Activity SPARKlab

Just one example of how PASCO can provide the tools to successfully implement Next Generation Science Standards.

PASCO scientific believes that all students should have the opportunity to be engaged in meaningful hands-on experiences within all the sciences. This fits naturally with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which position student inquiry at the forefront and ask students to plan and carry out investigations, analyze and interpret data, and use mathematics and computational thinking.  

PASCO’s probeware and laboratory investigations move students from the low-level task of memorizing science facts to higher-level tasks of data analysis, concept construction, and application. And hands-on, technology-based laboratory experiences serve to bridge the gap between abstract science concepts and real-world science investigations.

When students engage in the Heart Activity investigation, they will gain the necessary experience to meet the Performance Expectations at right. They will also gain experience to help them meet the following Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts. 

Science & Engineering Practices


Develop and use a model based on evidence to illustrate the relationships between systems or between components of a system. (HS-LS1-2)


Plan and conduct an investigation individually and collaboratively to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence. In the design: decide on types, how much, and accuracy of data needed to produce reliable measurements, and consider limitations on the precision of the data (e.g., number of trials, cost, risk, time), and refine the design accordingly. (HS-LS1-3)

Disciplinary Core Ideas


Multicellular organisms have a hierarchical structural organization in which any one system is made up of numerous parts and is itself a component of the next level. (HS-LS1-2)

Crosscutting Concepts


Models (e.g., physical, mathematical, computer models) can be used to simulate systems and interactions—including energy, matter, and information flows—within and between systems at different scales. (HS-LS1-2)


High School/Life Science/1 • From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes


HS-LS1-2 Develop and use a model to illustrate the hierarchical organization of interacting systems that provide specific functions within multicellular organisms. Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on functions at the organism system level such as nutrient uptake, water delivery, and organism movement in response to neural stimuli. An example of an interacting system could be an artery depending on the proper function of elastic tissue and smooth muscle to regulate and deliver the proper amount of blood within the circulatory system. Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include interactions and functions at the molecular or chemical reaction level.


HS-LS1-3 Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that feedback mechanisms maintain homeostasis. Clarification Statement: Examples of investigations could include heart rate response to exercise, stomate response to moisture and temperature, and root development in response to water levels. Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include the cellular processes involved in the feedback mechanism.