NSCAS Science

NSCAS Science for general assessment is administered to students in grades 5 & 8.   Science assessment will transition to College and Career Ready in 2021-2022.

If a student is taking the Science Alternate Assessment please go to the  NSCAS Alternate Summative Assessment Page.

NSCAS Science Window

March 21 – Apr. 29, 2022

Make-up Testing Only

May 2, 2021 – May 6, 2022

Science Classroom Formative Task Repository

A repository of classroom formative tasks aligned to the indicator level of the standards. Tasks were developed by NE educators and cover the breadth of the standards giving students an opportunity to provide evidence of what they can know and can do related to that standard.


Click on the link below and enter the password to access the repository.

Formative Task Repository Page

If you are a NE educator and are needing the password, email the Statewide Assessment at nde.stateassessment@nebraska.gov

NSCAS Science Test Design

This recording explains the NSCAS Science test design including information about:

  • Field testing 2021
  • Blueprint and test design
  • NCCRS-S language and connections to the blueprint
  • Resources

NSCAS Science Test Design Recording
Time: 32:23
NSCAS Science Test Design PowerPoint 

NSCAS Science DRAFT Blueprint
This document is an overview of the design of the NSCAS Science test.

NSCAS Science DRAFT Blueprint Breakdown

This document breaks down the Science DRAFT blueprint and shows the connections to the Nebraska College and Career Ready Standards.

Draft NSCAS General Science Achievement Level Descriptors (ALDs)  were developed by NE science educators prior to the development of NSCAS science summative tasks. These draft ALDs are derived from the Nebraska College and Career Ready Standards for Science and will be finalized in the summer of 2021. Achievement level descriptors (ALDs) describe the knowledge, skills, and processes that students demonstrate on state tests at pre-determined levels of achievement for each tested grade level, 5th & 8th . These science ALDs are intended to describe the performance exhibited by students at the Developing, On-Track, and College and Career Ready levels on the state science assessment. ALDs can enhance understanding of a student’s academic strengths and weaknesses and guide educators in planning.

NSCAS Science Summative ALDs

Science Resources

About SIPS:

  • Stackable, Instructionally-embedded, Portable Science (SIPS) Assessments
  • Funded by the US Department of Education’s Competitive Grants for State Assessments Program, announced in September 2020
  • Three-year timeline (September 2020 – September 2023)
  • Collaborative partnership including eight states, five organizations, and 10 expert panel members
  • Nebraska is the grantee and lead state; Alaska, Alabama, Montana, New Mexico, New York, South Carolina, and Wyoming are partner states

SIPS Project Goals:

  • Create a bank of instructionally-embedded science assessment tasks aligned with an actionable performance scale
  • Build state and local educators’ capacity to offer high-quality science instruction, evaluate students’ learning, and make data-based instructional decisions
  • Engage educators, students, and parents in a partnership for student success across a range of circumstances

SIPS Website


This website houses tools, information, and resources developed as part of the Strengthening Claims-based Interpretations and Uses of Local and Large-scale Science Assessment Scores (SCILLSS) project. We pronounce that just like the word “skills”!

SCILLSS brings together a consortium of three states – Nebraska, Montana, and Wyoming – with a team of researchers and a panel of experts on validity theory, principled-design, psychometrics, and STEM education to establish a foundation for creating enhanced science assessments. Such assessments would yield scores with strong validity evidence to support score interpretation and use.

SCILLSS is funded for a 48-month period from 2017 through 2020 by an Enhanced Assessment Grant from the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the US Department of Education, awarded to the Nebraska Department of Education


Developing Classroom Tasks using tools from SCILLSS project

This PowerPoint is a quick introduction to the process and tools for developing a valid 3D classroom science task. It describes the steps and templates to help teachers with this development.

A-Guide-to-Develop-Classroom-based Interpretations and Uses of Local and Large Scale Science Assessment Scores provides more detail about the process and includes the templates for use and examples of completed tasks using the tools.

Administrators’ Days 2019 – 7.29.20

Administrators’ Days 2019 – 7.31.19


For more information on the NSCAS Science Assessment Transition please contact the individuals below:

Rhonda True, Enhanced Education Grant Coordinator

Audrey Webb, Science Education Specialist

To access the NDE Science Education Page, please click the link below.

Updated October 19, 2021 1:00pm