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What Makes Active Physical Science Different?

A full-year, NSF-funded curriculum that embraces the three-dimensional learning of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for ALL students.


Three-Dimensional, Project-Based Learning

  • Science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas are seamlessly integrated.
  • Each chapter is anchored in an interesting and meaningful challenge.
  • Students use their new chemistry knowledge to creatively solve their Chapter Challenges.

Students Learn Like Scientists and Engineers

  • Students develop important 21st-century skills as they work collaboratively in groups and engage in scientific discourse.
  • Students engage in the Engineering Design Cycle as they iteratively work towards completing the Chapter Challenge.
  • The program is based on cognitive science research encapsulated in the 7E Instructional Model.

Total Support for Teachers

  • Student Edition and a comprehensive Teacher’s Edition are available in print and digital formats.
  • Our Learning Community provides teachers with resources to prepare lessons as well as share and compare with other teachers in an online community.
  • Online resources include daily lesson plans, pre-quizzes, student misconceptions, differentiation strategies, as well as support videos.
  • Professional Learning to ensure teachers are prepared for successful implementation.


Active Physical Science fosters scientifically literate students who will be prepared for the workforce, able to make informed decisions and contribute as productive citizens in the 21st century.

Active Physical Science is research-based.
Active Physical Science was supported through National Science Foundation funding and consequently produced through rigorous, iterative, research-based development cycles. It is based on the latest research from the cognitive sciences on how students learn.

Active Physical Science students develop communication and collaboration skills.
In Active Physical Science, students develop a community of practice and a culture of collaboration and communication. The presentations of the Chapter Challenges provide students with opportunities to engage in scientific arguments using evidence and science knowledge and promote a deeper understanding through public practice.

Active Physical Science fits your standards.
The program reflects the full scope of physical science content standards for high school—those identified as the Disciplinary Core Ideas in A Framework for K-12 Science Education and those of individual states and districts.


Meet the Active Physical Science Author

Dr. Arthur Eisenkraft
University of Massachusetts

Dr. Arthur Eisenkraft has taught high school physics for over 28 years. He is currently the Distinguished Professor of Science Education, Professor of Physics and Founding Director of the Center of Science and Math in Context (COSMIC) at the University of Massachusetts Boston.  Dr. Eisenkraft is the author of numerous science and educational publications and holds a patent for a Laser Vision testing system, which tests visual acuity for spatial frequency.

Dr. Eisenkraft has been recognized with numerous awards for his teaching, scholarship and service including:  the National Science Board Public Service Award, 2017; the NSTA’s most prestigious award, the Robert H. Carleton Award for “making outstanding contributions to and providing leadership in science education at the national level,” 2010; the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Robert A. Millikan Medal for “notable and creative contributions in physics education,” 2009; Honorary Doctorate of Science, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1993; Disney American Teacher Award for Science Teacher of the Year, 1991; the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching from President Ronald Reagan, 1986.

In 1999, Dr, Eisenkraft was elected to a three-year cycle as the President Elect, President, and Retiring President of the NSTA, the world’s largest organization of science teachers.  He has served on numerous committees of the National Academy of Science, including the content committee that has helped author the National Science Education Standards and the Framework for K-2 Science Education, and in 2003 he was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of science (AAAS).  Dr. Eisenkraft has been involved with several projects and chaired many notable competitions, including the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVisions Awards (1991 to present), which he co-created; the Toyota TAPESTRY Grants (1990 to 2005); and the Duracell/NSTA Scholarship Competition (1984 to 2000).  In 1993, he served as Executive Director for the XXIV International Physics Olympiad after being Academic Director for the United States team for six years.

Dr. Eisenkraft’s presently leads the Wipro Science Education Fellowship program which is bringing sustainable change to over 35 school districts across seven states.  He has recently been supporting novel educational initiatives in Thailand and India.  His current research projects include a study of professional development choices that teachers make when facing a large-scale curriculum change, assessing the technological literacy of K-12 students and investigating how teachers can become leaders without leaving the classroom.  Dr. Eisenkraft is a frequent presenter and keynote speaker.  He has published over 100 articles and presented over 200 papers and workshops.  Quantoons, written with L. Kirkpatrick and featuring illustrations by Tomas Bunk, led to an art exhibition at the New York Hall of Science.

Dr. Eisenkraft has been featured in articles in The New York Times, Education week, Physics Today, Scientific American, Science, the American Journal of Physics, and The Physics Teacher.  He has testified before the United States Congress, appeared on the NBC’s The Today Show, National Public Radio, and many other radio and television broadcasts, including serving as the science consultant to ESPN’s Sports Figures.



This document charts the alignment between Active Physical Science® and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Click here to view the document.

NGSS Alignment Badge - Practices, Content, Crosscutting