6th Grade Science
In this course students will explore the concepts of matter and energy. In the first semester, students will investigate what matter is, what matter is made up of and how matter can change forms when energy is added or removed from a material. In addition, students will learn how matter can change from one substance to another during chemical reactions. In the second semester, students explore the concept of energy more in depth, looking at the different forms of energy and how energy interacts with matter to cause forces and motion. The year ends, with students conducting experiments to investigate how energy moves in the form of waves and how waves can interact with matter resulting in phenomena such as sound, light, color, etc.
7th Grade Science
In this course students will explore the aspects of Life Science. Students will start the year looking at what makes something living vs. nonliving. Students will then move on to the exploration of cells. During this unit students will utilize microscopes to view many different types of cells to determine why all cells are not exactly alike. Students will also explore the difference between unicellular and multicellular organisms as well as the difference between plant and animal cells. After studying cells students will move into our Body Systems unit. Students will explore all the different systems that work together to allow an organism to function. Most of the ideas students explore will lead to an understanding of how all the systems are connected. In doing this, students will use their own bodies through lab activities to collect data on these connections. For example, students will exercise to test heart rate and respiratory rate and make inferences on how these systems are connected. The next unit of study will be Reproduction and Heredity. During this unit, students will explore how traits are passed down from parents to offspring both during sexual and asexual reproduction. Students will utilize probability to determine the chances of two parents giving certain traits to their offspring. Once students finish the Reproduction and Heredity unit they will move on to our Evolution unit. During this unit, students will study how organisms can change over time. Students will study certain traits that may increase or decrease an organism's chances of survival and reproduction given specific environments. Students will also study the fossil record to analyze current species and their relationships to past organisms. Our last unit of study is Ecology. During this unit, students will learn about the living and nonliving pieces of an ecosystem and how they are connected. Students will look at all aspects of an ecosystem and determine what effects may take place anytime there is a change in species populations or environment. Throughout each unit students will be using hands-on activities to explore and analyze each topic.
8th Grade Science
In this course students will explore the impact humans have on the world around us and how the Earth's systems can affect humans. In the first unit, students will investigate human impact on land use and water quality and how we can lessen our impact and conserve these natural resources. In the second unit, students discover how Earth processes such as plate tectonics can create earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis and rift valleys and how these phenomena can be predicted and mitigate the effects of these phenomena. In the third unit, students study our Solar System, learning how the relationship between the Sun, Moon and Earth and other solar system bodies can create seasons, eclipses, etc. In the fourth unit, students explore weather and climate, learning how to read a weather map, forecast future weather, understand pressure systems and fronts, and how the oceans and general location determine our climate.