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At NSTA, our mission is to transform science education to benefit all through professional learning, partnerships and advocacy.


When students-as-scientists have authentic, relevant opportunities to actively make sense of the world and beyond - what we call sensemaking -  science learning becomes engaging, accessible and important to ALL students.

What are the attributes of sensemaking?

NSTA describes four critical attributes of sensemaking: phenomena, science and engineering practices, student ideas and science ideas (grade-appropriate disciplinary core ideas). The highest-quality lesson plans exhibit all four of these attributes. Lesson plans that leverage one or more of these attributes are considered quality works-in-progress. Below you’ll find curated collections of resources for each of the four attributes of sensemaking. Whether you are a novice or expert in sensemaking, we believe you’ll find what you need to support you in implementing or revising existing lesson plans and designing your own lessons. We also suggest using the NSTA  Sensemaking Tool for Equity to vet lessons, provide colleagues with feedback or suggestions for improving lessons, and/or guide lesson revisions and design.

Sensemaking Wheel

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