Evaluation of Amplify Science Middle School Curriculum | SRI International

Toggle Menu

Evaluation of Amplify Science Middle School Curriculum

SRI is conducting a study on the benefits of a new middle school curriculum for helping teachers and students meet the Next Generation Science Standards.


The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) put forth a new vision for K-12 science classrooms that recasts science proficiency as not only what students know, but also how they can use and apply what they know. This knowledge-in-use perspective represents a different way of thinking about science learning: disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts should work together to enable students to reason with evidence, make sense of phenomena, and design solutions to problems.

Implementing this vision is likely to require substantive changes to how teachers teach, how students learn, and how students are assessed. Teachers will need high-quality curriculum materials to help them create compelling instructional experiences that motivate and deeply engage their students in this new form of learning. Because the NGSS are so vastly different from previous standards, many developers are now creating the next generation of science curriculum materials. However, few curriculum materials have been designed from the ground up for the NGSS, and thus there is limited evidence-based research on the efficacy of NGSS designed curricula.

SRI International has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to design and conduct a large-scale efficacy study to examine the impact of the Amplify Science Middle School (ASMS) curriculum on teaching and learning. Designed by the Lawrence Hall of Science in collaboration with Amplify Education Inc., ASMS is the Hall’s first comprehensive curriculum program designed to meet the vision of the NGSS and address the NGSS performance expectations. The materials provide students in grades 6-8 with opportunities to engage with core ideas and crosscutting concepts in the context of science and engineering practices over time, so that they strengthen their science proficiency.

Education researchers from SRI are leading the study and are working closely with Rand Corporation, Lawrence Hall of Science, and participating school districts to design and conduct the study in middle school science classrooms. This one-year efficacy study is a randomized controlled trial that will compare classrooms that receive the ASMS curriculum materials and professional development support with classrooms in a “business as usual” (control) condition in several large school districts. Teachers in both conditions will receive professional development on the NGSS.

The research team is currently inviting school districts to participate in the study that will take place during the 2018 - 2019 school year. Learn more about how school districts can participate here. You may also explore our district FAQ list. If you have additional questions or may be interested in arranging to be a district partner in the study, please contact the research team at ASMS_CurriculumStudy [at] sri.com.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1720514. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.