STEM Gauge formative assessment resources now available to support science instruction for elementary grades K–5.

STEM Gauge® is a new formative assessment resource that supports classroom instruction in transition to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)*. The NGSS represent an innovative approach to science education that supports a child’s learning from kindergarten through high school. These rigorous new standards integrate three-dimensional learning, explanations of phenomena and design solutions, coherent learning progressions from kindergarten through high school, and connections to English language arts and mathematics.

“Elementary teachers can use STEM Gauge to help support their transition to NGSS and to gain a deeper understanding of the standards,” says Justine Hargreaves, Director of Product Management and Marketing. “This new resource builds on our expertise of creating high-quality science assessments designed to NGSS and tailors it for K–5 students. STEM Gauge gives teachers the formative feedback they need to adjust instruction as learning is happening.”

STEM Gauge provides students with opportunities to demonstrate understanding of the three dimensions of performance expectations (PEs) as instruction occurs. STEM Gauge Elementary includes:

  • 15 topic-based item sets—each with 20–25 assessment questions—built to NGSS performance expectations (PEs).
  • A Teacher’s Guide with instructional strategies for gathering evidence of student learning.
  • Formative Support Tools to help teachers integrate the NGSS into classroom instruction and assessment.
  • A Scoring Guide that includes answer keys, distractor rationales, rubrics, and scoring notes.
  • Item-level suggestions for connections to Common Core State Standards to reinforce an integrated approach to learning.
  • An ELA Connection item set to provide additional topic-related reading content.
  • Developmentally-appropriate activities—for kindergarten and first grade—designed to engage students in three-dimensional learning at the classroom, small group, and individual levels.

“The assessment questions—or items—in STEM Gauge Elementary are designed to provide evidence of learning, so educators can modify their instruction in real time to address weaknesses in understanding or misconceptions among students,” explains Janet Dykstra, STEM Gauge content developer and NSTA curator. “We use actual scientific data for our items and look for ways to connect students with the real world around them.”

STEM Gauge Elementary is available to schools and districts as a QTI package for online delivery through a district’s current assessment platform, or as PDF files that can be downloaded and printed on demand.

District administrators and teachers can try STEM Gauge Elementary in their classrooms by downloading one of the free topic-based item sets:

  • Grade 3: Inheritance and Variation of Traits: Life Cycles and Traits
  • Grade 4: Waves: Waves and Information
  • Grade 5: Space Systems: Stars and the Solar System

Educators for grades 6–8 can use STEM Gauge Middle School for instructional support in the transition to NGSS. STEM Gauge for high school is expected to be available later in 2017.

Download a FREE topic-based item set


*NGSS is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and do not endorse it.