The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) will be based on the Framework for K-12 Science Education developed by the National Research Council. The bipartisan, non-profit organization Achieve coordinated the development of the NGSS. Through a collaborative, state-led process, new K-12 science standards were developed that are rich in content and practice, arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades in order to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education. The Next Generation Science Standards Phase 3 launch is step 6 in a 9-step process to develop, review, revise, and publish the new national science education standards.
NGSS has hundreds of standards and complex pieces of content, therefore Synaxis and Achieve sifted through countless options for not only presenting the data but also the method in which the site users could find what they were looking for. The NGSS resources are of very high interest to educators, administrators, and state officials as well as a large segment of the public. Thus, setting up a stable hosting environment was a key component to phase three.
Using a Drupal 7 website, Synaxis developed several methods of searching and filtering the content. For the NGSS hosting we implemented two reverse proxies and multiple load balanced web servers that would maintain performance even during heavy loads of traffic. In the first week of release, the site served 55,000 unique visitors and 500,000 page views. The depth of content produced over 6 pages per visit and an average time of over 6 minutes on the site. This was accomplished while serving up to 1,000 concurrent users with under 500ms site loading time. In order to keep performance high during peak activity, Synaxis maintained a cluster of load-balanced web servers including a reverse proxy (Varnish) and a Content Delivery Network (CDN), Cloudflare.
You can visit the NGSS website at http://www.nextgenscience.org/.