Course M460/M461 GRADE 6 SCIENCE Full Year
Sixth Grade science is centered on student-based inquiry learning and problem solving. As much as possible we like to get kids doing things with their hands, experiencing science directly. We work to instill scientific thinking processes and basic engineering/design principles in our students as we build things and explore the world around us.
Following the engineering design process, we will build instruments, boats, and windmills as we study the nature and properties of matter and energy transformation. Measurement of scale, proportion, and quality are applied to both engineering design and chemical reactions of matter. Weather and the environment as studied as systems, both driven by energy flows originating from the sun.
Reading and writing are also important skills that we try to emphasize in science (all classes are English class!). We will learn the importance of communicating ideas in science by writing several lab reports throughout the year, culminating in a Design-Your-Own-Lab project in the 4th quarter.
Building upon the study of the environment at the end of Grade 6 Science, students in Grade 7 focus primarily on the study of the biological world around them, its change over time, and its interconnection with earth's long history.
Central areas of study and investigation include classification and the six kingdoms of living organisms( based on both physical structures and genetic patterns); the study of cells and their function as a system of interacting organelles, genetics and heredity; and biological evolution. This is connected to its basis in changes in the earth over deep time, created by the energy flows and convection currents which drive plate tectonics. Mathematical concepts such as scale, proportion, modeling, and exponents are woven throughout, applied to such areas as deep time, growth of organisms and populations, and levels of biological organization from atoms to ecosystems.
Significant skill-based learning goals for this course include teamwork in lab, effective note taking, personal organization, study and test taking skills, and meaningful participation in class and lab. Content and skills are developed through a variety of approaches including technology-based activities, inquiry labs, and regular assessments.
Course M480/M481 GRADE 8 SCIENCE Full Year
In Grade 8 science the study of systems is a recurring theme. Students study the earth as a system driven by energy flows, including plate tectonics, interactions of matter, atmospheric science, and climate change, as well as the earth's place in space as a component of the larger solar system. Systems on a more personal scale are studied as well, through the exploration of the interacting organ systems of the human body. Forces on objects, and their resulting motions are investigated, both qualitatively and as through application of Grade 8 algebra, illustrating the cross-cutting concept of cause and effect. Students culminate the year by using the engineering design process to model, develop and implement a design for a bottle rocket, analyzed as a system which includes guidance, propellant, and engine subsystems.
Major emphasis will be placed on the application of organizational skills, continued acquisition of study skills, discovery by inquiry and critical thinking, data collection and presentation of experimental information.
Note: Technology/Engineering courses are scheduled as part of Arts Rotation electives.
Course M876 GRADE 7 DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION Quarter Year
Other projects are possible with advance planning and additional work sessios.
Course M890 ROBOTICS AND MAKING
Students will also have the opportunity to explore the basics of vector imaging using Adobe Illustrator, which will be used to laser-engraver both artistic and mechanical projects, as well as creating works with the 3D printer.
While this course does not require any specific prior knowledge, it does require a willingness to problem-solve, take artistic risks, and learn independently.
Grade 7 Design-Construction: Paper Columns