Fifth-grade science focuses on the basic skills and concepts that provide a foundation for sixth-grade science and beyond. Class discussions and readings emphasize science as a method and explore the nature of scientific inquiry. Lab activities help students develop new science process skills. Students demonstrate their understanding of concepts and skills through written and oral reports and an independent project.
Introduction to physics. Through projects, labs, readings and class discussion, students explore their physical world. Sixth-grade science is a hands-on-project-oriented physical science curriculum that is the foundation for later studies of physics in high school. Each unit has a two- or three-week in-class project that students work on with a lab partner in class. There are chapter tests for each unit and nightly homework from the textbook. The textbook is an “e-text” that students can access from any computer to watch videos and take practice quizzes to supplement the printed text.
Introduction to botany/ecology. Through outdoor explorations, projects, lab experiments, readings and class discussion, students will investigate the interconnections between the biotic and abiotic factors making up an ecosystem. From researching major biomes to examining our own middle school campus, students will learn about the structure and function of plants, the cycling of matter, the flow of energy through food chains and webs, the basic requirements for healthy soils, healthy plant communities and therefore healthy ecosystems. We will conclude the year with a field experience tying together the major components our year’s work.
The eighth-grade curriculum focuses on earth science. Topics covered are properties of water, ocean motions (waves, tides and currents), coastal geology and ecology and the relationship between oceans, weather and climate. Eighth grade is a critical time to refine and enhance independent thinking, research and project development skills. To facilitate and guide this growth, each student devises an independent study and experimental design project. Eighth-grade science thus continues to develop the practices of scientific methods presented in earlier grades culminating in a comprehensive multi-faceted independent project demonstrating science inquiry and process skills.