Next Generation Physical Science and Everyday Thinking


Next Gen PET is intended primarily for university courses in physics or physical science for prospective elementary teachers. There is sufficient material for a one-semester course or a two-semester sequence. Next Gen PET is also appropriate for general education courses on conceptual physics or physical science, science methods courses, or workshops for in-service teachers.

Next Gen PET materials are flexible and modular, and instructors can use them in a variety of ways, depending on the audience, time, and learning objectives.

Available as a package or
for individual purchase






Professional Learning

icon - learning


A guided-inquiry physical science curriculum for pre-service and in-service K-5 teachers.


Unique Learning about Learning Component

Students directly engage in metacognitive activities that allow them to explore how they as students learn science.

icon - support

Total Support
for Instructors

In person and online support, educational webinars, lesson modeling, and much more is available from our Professional Learning Team. 

Need more info to decide if this the right curriculum for your district or school?

Curriculum Details

Studio Style Version vs. Lecture Style Version

Each module has two versions, one for small, Studio-Style classes that are able to accommodate extensive laboratory work and discussion, and one for large, Lecture-Style classes.

Both versions use the same extensive set of online tutorial-style homework assignments, called Extensions. Instructors can choose which modules to include, whether or not to include Engineering Design activities, whether or not to include Teaching and Learning activities, and which instructional format to use. This allows instructors to tailor their course to match their content focus, meeting time, classroom setting, and students’ interests.

Research-Based and Proven

Next Gen PET has been developed over the past ten years by a team of scientists and science educators using design principles based on research on science learning. Preliminary data from learning impact studies suggest that both the Studio-style Class and Lecture-style Class versions of Next Gen PET promote significant growth in students’ conceptual understanding. Studies of the earlier versions of Next Gen PET found significant gains in students’ conceptual understanding of core ideas from physical science and significant positive shifts in their attitudes and beliefs about the nature of science and their learning of science.

NGSS Aligned

NGSS-aligned for teachers to learn disciplinary core ideas, crosscutting concepts, and science and engineering practices.


Next Gen PET uses a proven, guided-inquiry approach that engages future teachers in many of the practices of science while developing a deep understanding of core ideas of physics or physical science (physics and chemistry).

Unique Learning about Learning Component

Included Teaching and Learning activities help students make explicit connections between their own learning, the learning and teaching of children in elementary school, and the core ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts of the NGSS. These can be used optionally, as desired.

Ideal for Small, Lab-Based Courses

  • 10 Studio-Style Units
  • For courses that meet 5 hours per week in a lab or workroom
  • Students perform group experiments
  • They make predictions, discuss their ideas, and draw conclusions

Perfect for Large, Lecture-Style Courses

  • 10 Lecture-Style Units
  • For courses that meet 3 hours per week in lecture style classrooms
  • A guided-inquiry approach
  • Simple desktop experiments and videos of experiments
  • PowerPoint slides for the instructor align with student materials

Integrated Engineering Design Activities

Each of the five content modules includes two Engineering Design Activities requiring the application of the module’s physical science content.

In the first unit, students iteratively propose, test, and revise models for magnetism. They ultimately arrive at the “alignment model," which can explain all the class observations (the alignment model is similar to the domain model, but simpler). The second unit engages students in a similar process for static electric phenomena. Developing these explanatory models engages students in several practices of the Next Generation Science Standards, notably developing and using models, and promotes the crosscutting concept cause and effect: mechanism and explanation.

Next Generation PET
Authors & Developers

Fred Goldberg, San Diego State University
Steve Robinson, Tennessee Technological University
Ed Price, California State University San Marcos
Danielle Harlow, University of California, Santa Barbara
Julie Andrew, University of Colorado at Boulder
Michael McKean, San Diego State University