Sustainable Urban Design: Educator’s Toolkit for Project-Based Learning, page 8 of 20

A student examines habitat survey data
A student examines habitat survey data at Chamblee Middle School in Atlanta, GA. © Nick Burchell/TNC

Introduction: Connecting to the Standards

The following science standards may apply to any of the sustainable urban design projects described in this toolkit. View all of the Next Generation Science Standards online.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

  • LS2.C Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience
  • LS4.D Biodiversity and Humans
  • ESS3.C Human Impacts on Earth Systems
  • ETS1.A Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems
  • ETS1.B Developing Possible Solutions
  • ETS1.C Optimizing the Design Solution

Science and Engineering Practices

  • Asking Questions and Defining Problems
  • Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
  • Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
  • Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
  • Engaging in Argument from Evidence

Crosscutting Concepts

  • Cause and Effect
  • Stability and Change
  • Systems and Models

Performance Expectations

Elementary School

  • K-ESS3-3 Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.
  • K-2-ETS1-1 Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
  • K-2-ETS1-2Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.
  • K-2-ETS1-3 Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.
  • 5-ESS3-1 Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.

Middle School

  • MS-LS2-5 Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing human impact on the environment.
  • MS-ETS1-1 Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
  • MS-ETS1-2 Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
  • MS-ETS1-3 Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.

High School

  • HS-LS2-7 Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
  • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
  • HS-ETS1-1 Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
  • HS-ETS1-2 Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
  • HS-ETS1-3 Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.