Life Science - Grade 6

The Life Science course emphasizes a more complex understanding of change, cycles, patterns, and relationships in the living world. Students build on basic principles related to these concepts by exploring the cellular organization and the classification of organisms; the dynamic relationships among organisms, populations, communities and ecosystems; and change as a result of the transmission of genetic information from generation to generation. Inquiry skills at this level include organization and mathematical analysis of data, manipulating variables in experimentation, and identifying sources of experimental error. Science process skills and experimentation are emphasized. Students are required to conduct group and/or class projects that are experimental in nature.

Earth Science - Grade 7

The Earth Science course connects the study of Earth’s composition, structure, processes, and history; its atmosphere, fresh water, and oceans; and its environment in space. The course emphasizes historical contributions in the development of scientific thought about Earth and space. Earth Science stresses the interpretation of maps, charts, tables, and profiles; the use of technology to collect, analyze, and report data; and science skills in systematic investigation. Problem solving and decision making are an integral part of the course, especially as they relate to the costs and benefits of utilizing Earth’s resources. Major topics of study include plate tectonics, the rock cycle, Earth history, the oceans, the atmosphere, weather and climate, and the solar system and universe. Students are expected to use the scientific method to discover scientific principles. Students are required to submit written laboratory reports and to design an independent research project that is experimental in nature and that will be completed in the eighth grade.

Physical Science - Grade 8

The Physical Science course stresses a more in-depth understanding of the nature and structure of matter and the characteristics of energy. The course places considerable emphasis on the technological application of physical science principles. Major areas covered include: the periodic table; physical and chemical changes; nuclear reactions; temperature and heat; sound; light; electricity and magnetism; and work, force, and motion. The Physical Science course continues to build on skills of systematic investigation with a clear focus on variables and repeated trials. Validating conclusions using evidence and data becomes increasingly important in this course. Students will plan and conduct research involving both classroom experimentation and literature reviews from written and electronic resources. Research methods and skills highlight practical problems and questions. Students will share their work using written reports and other presentations. Students are required to submit written laboratory reports and to conduct an independent research project that is experimental in nature. This project is a continuation of research started in Earth Science - Grade 7.

Environmental Science - Grade 6, 7 and 8

Like other sciences, environmental science is a process of studying why things are the way they are and how things happen the way they do. In this course you might find the answer to such questions as: How can frogs give us clues about the quality of our environment? How can recycling help us save fossil fuels? How can the extinction of an insect cause severe damage to the rain forest? How can watering the lawn affect the water quality of a nearby stream? If you are interested in the environment in which you live and how you can help protect it, then this is the course for you. NOTE: Students should pair this course with another middle school semester course.

Weather Science - Grade 6, 7 and 8

The weather is something we all experience every day. What causes wind? Why it is so hard to predict the weather? How do clouds form? Why does the weather in the United States movemostly from west to the east? What makes a rainbow? How do tornadoes form? Why is the sky blue? Why is it hot in the summer and cold in the winter? How can computers help us make accurate weather predictions? Why are farmers so good at making accurate weather predictions? If you want to know the answers to these questions and many more, this is the course for you. NOTE: Students should pair this course with another middle school semester course.