Our goal in middle school is to engage students and share our passion for science in a nurturing environment that guides them to realize that learning can be exciting. Teachers share knowledge from all core classes so students can understand how science is weaved throughout their everyday lives. They also provide real-world projects and opportunities to work on complex science texts that prepare our students for deeper understanding of topics in Earth Space, Physical and Life Sciences as well as Engineering. Experiments allow students to use the scientific method and learn the process of writing a proper lab report. Students build a strong foundation for science and are well prepared to enter high school to tackle the curriculum at the next level.
This year the foundations for Earth Space, Life, and Physical Science are established in order to prepare students for future years. Several units covered include: constellations, potential/kinetic energy, seasons, solids/liquids/gasses, elements, and plant growth. There are many exciting labs for each unit such as: making root beer floats during the solids/liquids/gases unit, constructing gumdrop molecules during the unit on matter, and creating clay models for the landforms unit. All labs are conducted following the scientific method.
Earth/Space Science is designed to teach students to interpret and understand the world around them. In order to do so, students will investigate and study the interactions between the four major Earth’s spheres, including the geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere in order to explain Earth’s formation, processes, history, landscapes, and the how and why Earth changes over time. Students learn about mapping Earth’s surface, fossils, minerals, rocks, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, geologic time, and meteorology. As students move into the second semester they will learn about the solar system and universe. Some topics covered will be the moon’s effect on Earth, the sun, formation and scaling of our solar system, stars and galaxies, the big bang theory, and space exploration. Students will participate in laboratory exercises, small group activities, web based investigations, class discussions, projects, and research.
Life Science is an introductory level course designed to enable students to explore basic biological concepts in a laboratory setting. Students begin the year with a unit on ecology that relates the interdependence of living with each other and the environment. Students continue their study of living organisms through investigations into cell structure, biochemical make-up, adaptations and genetics. As students move into the second semester, the focus is on the diversity of life. They will classify the many different species of living organisms into kingdoms and other classification categories. Students will investigate each of the kingdoms in depth throughout the remainder of the year.
Physical Science is an introductory level course into the worlds of Chemistry and Physics. Students begin the year with the scientific theory and move into Chemistry to explore its basic principles. Students discuss the atomic theory and the atomic structure. They learn the basics of the periodic table and the ins-and-outs of chemical reactions. The second half of the course is an intro into Physics. Students will discover Newton’s laws and will have a chance to build trebuchets for our medieval festival we have in collaboration with the Social Studies department. Along with this, students will learn the basics of electricity and magnetism. The goal of the Physical Science curriculum is to prepare students for the concepts and rigor they will encounter at the high school level.