Science

Middle School science is based on in-depth investigations of the natural world. Students participate in inquiry-based units of study where they ask questions, make hypotheses, gather evidence, and share their findings. These investigations create a foundation of science knowledge that students will build upon in high school and beyond. Students explore topics within the core fields of earth, life, physical and chemical sciences, and engage in activities that spark curiosity and promote their interests. Taking on authentic problems, students will interpret data and use evidence to support their scientific conclusions. By the time students leave Middle School, they will be able to create and conduct scientific experiments independently, including analyzing their data and presenting their discoveries.

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS

  • How does water shape our world? What causes changes in weather?
  • How is the Earth transforming over time?
  • What do all organisms need to live? How does the human body function?
  • What can affect the traits of an organism?

6th Grade
With an overall focus on earth science, 6th graders study water cycles and rock formations and the connection between them. They closely examine weather patterns and the global climate, as well as the processes that shape the earth, such as plate tectonics, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. They also explore topics in chemistry, studying particles, elements, atoms, and molecules.

7th Grade
A study of life science explores the components that are essential to all life. Students examine cells, organ systems, and their functions to understand how human bodies work and change. Another component of this study is genetics and inherited traits. Taking a broader look at living things, students learn about natural selection and the impact of environmental change on organisms. Students continue learning chemistry through an investigation of the properties of matter and chemical reactions.

8th Grade
The primary topic in 8th grade is physical science. Students start by exploring light, its movement, its effect on matter, and how it is perceived by the human eye. Later, classes focus on energy: the different types, how energy flows and transforms. Once they understand the basic concept of energy types such as thermal, kinetic, and elastic, 8th graders delve into an investigation of force, motion, and friction. As a culmination of the Middle School chemistry strand, 8th graders look at food as an energy source and explore its chemical makeup.