Boys’ natural curiosity leads them to ask, “How does this work?”
The passion for answers to that question begins with mixing chemicals for a plaster of paris volcano and catching frogs, but it moves over time toward periodic tables and dissection. Today’s globally interdependent, scientifically-driven world requires a level of scientific literacy significantly more advanced than periodic tables and dissection, however. From atmospheric warming challenges to newly-discovered, genetically-based medical advances, the increasingly complex issues demand the study of not only the scientific facts and processes of each discrete area of biology, chemistry, and physics, but also of the connections to real life applications and scenarios.
Once boys have the necessary foundations in scientific vocabulary, questioning, research, and analysis, they engage in using these skills to address questions at the heart of today’s world dilemmas, such as: How do we develop low-cost, highly effective drugs to combat the social destruction caused by AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa? What are the possible ecosystem harms from the move to genetically modified corn and soybeans in the nation’s food supply?
Real world relevance of the material, authentic application of data and skills, and active engagement are all cornerstones of each science course. Though the exact progression through the courses may be different for each student, the end goal is the same: to not only understand and function in today’s world but to be motivated to engage and improve it.
- Science 610 - 6th Grade Environmental Science
- Science 710 - 7th Grade Life Science
- Science 810 - 8th Grade Physical Science
- Science 820 - 8th Grade Intro to Physics
Sixth Grade Science is a science overview based on learning the scientific method through understanding the environment. Students will explore topics through the lens of the environmental scientists. The units will be: the world's water cycle and the many issues which surround the use of that water, the incredible diversity of life on this planet and the importance of biodiversity, the role of decomposers in an ecosystem, a comprehensive overview of ecosystems and biomes, the production and use of energy in our world today, the use of land and soil as resources, and the six kingdoms of life, with a concentration on the plant and animal kingdoms. Intertwined in each of the units will be many labs/activities, which will focus understanding of the tangible aspect of each broad subject. The labs/activities will integrate physics, chemistry, earth and life sciences, giving students an introduction to all subjects. A key focus of the course is the impact of humans on the environment and how we can come to a more sustainable balance within it. Grade: 6
- Students will demonstrate an understanding of scientific principles and the nature of scientific inquiry as applied to biological and physical sciences.
- Students will demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of life on our planet and the interconnectedness of each life form.
- Students will demonstrate an understatnding of data analysis and drawing conclusions from the data.
- Students will demonstrate the ability to read and take notes with a level of comprehension that allows them to understand concepts and retain information.
- Students will demonstrate the ability to express themselves, through writing and speaking, in a clear and logical manner.
- Students will demonstrate the ability to respond appropriately to a variety of assessment instruments.
- Students will demonstrate good organizational skills.
- Students will demonstrate the ability to manage their time productively and efficiently.
- Students will demonstrate that they value both collaborative and independent learning.
- Students will develop personal, civic, and social resopnsibility.
- Students will recognize global interdependence in our daily lives.
- Students will demonstrate a joyful curiosity for our natural world.
- Students will be responsible for taking notes from their reading using an outline format.
- Students will continually use previously studied material within current activities and discussions.
- Students will have to answer homework and test questions using complete sentences that are clear and logical.
- Students will orally present their completed homework and classwork to the entire class.
- Students will participate in class discussions that address environmental issues to experience the difficulty of actually working through some of these controversial issues.
- Students will be asked to recall and present their understanding of information through quizzes, tests, lab reports, homework questions, and class discussions.
- Students will travel to Wesley Woods and participate in their environmental education program for 3 days.
- Through class activities and labs, students will work cooperatively with a partner and in a small group.
- Students' daily assignments are evaluated with the considerstions of being turned in on time, thoroughness, and organization.
- Student work that is written in complete sentences and paragraphs is assessed for grammatical correctness, logical progression, and clarity of descriptions.
- Students are observed and assessed daily for the extent of their personal cooperation and effort during class.
- Students are given unannaounced quizzes to assess their daily comprehension and understanding of material. Quiz questions are sometimes asked verbally to practice listening skills, and other times they are asked in a more traditional written format.
Life Science is designed to teach students by thinking, talking, and writing about what they do and discover. The course uses a hands on and minds on approach. A variety of thought-provoking activities have been designed to challenge thinking skills as the students are introduced to methods of science that are real and meaningful. Since students learn by doing, labs are used to enhance the traditional lecture method. The class structure emphasizes problem solving and mastery of important thinking skills. Grade: 7
- Students will understand the concept of how to obtain and record data acquired from experiments, classroom exercises, and discovery activities.
- Students will become proficient in graphing data obtained from specified exercises.
- Students will become familiar with scientific principles and inquiry skills as applied to biological sciences.
- Students will become familiar with how to maintain and promote personal and physical health, such as understanding the value of vitamin C and D in diets and knowing how to read the nutritional facts on food labels.
- Students will learn the ways that food provides energy for the body and how this energy is distributed to all cells.
- Students will write clearly and logically in daily exercises, class notes, lab reports, and essays.
- Students will retain and recall information from lectures and reading.
- Students will collect and interpret scientific data in labs and for long-term projects.
- Students will make thoughtful use of technology, especially with research projects.
- Students will develop individual talents and interests through tackling a rich variety of assignments and assessing their own results.
- Students will demonstrate joyful curiosity about the material by responding to and manipulating a variety of classroom artifacts (human skeleton, microscopes, and specimens) and by dissecting a cat.
- Students will commit to learning through challenging work with activities designed for students who are able to go beyond the basic concepts.
- Students will appreciate artistic expression by employing artistic techniques in special projects.
- Students will use data tables to record results obtained from laboratory and classroom exercises, which may then be presented in a line, bar, or circle graph.
- Students will demonstrate proficiency with the basic process skills:
- developing a hypothesis
- posing questions
- Students will use video, laser disc, CDROM, experiments, and microsope exercises for thematic projects.
- Students will develop note-taking skills from lectures. Often, quizzes will be given with the use of notes to verify if notes are being carefully taken.
- Students will participate in classroom discussions with a focus on asking and answering questions.
- Students will write about topics growing out of the course material and record brainstorming ideas.
- Students will write step-by-step directions when working on lab exercises.
- Students will outline, highlight, underline, and summarize lectures and reading assignments.
- Students will follow the proper steps of the scientific method, such as creating tables and charts and recording conclusions, in projects on genetics, eating habits, and heart rates.
- Students will collaborate with peer helpers during class.
- Observation of specific organs and systems from a cat dissection.
- Students will make a model of mitosis.
- Students will make a working model of a joint that will include the knowledge of the "bones", "muscles", and "tendons" associated with the joint.
- Students will demonstrate facility with graphs.
- Through learning exercises, students will demonstrate competence with each unit of material presented.
- Students will be evaluated on performance exercises: completion of lab problems, designing experiments, collecting and interpreting data, developing a hypothesis.
- Tests and oral quizzes will measure basic understanding.
- Lab exercises, portfolio creation, and dissecting exercises will demonstrate understanding of key concepts.
- Notebook checks and completion of homework assignments will demonstrate students' keeping up with course material reliably.
- Students will test foods for starch.
- Notes taken from lectures will be evaluated for correctness and for synthesis of material.
- Students complete research projects on the computer: making a cell brochure, designing a Paper Pet with 6 offspring, dissecting a cow's eye, frog, worm, and cat.
- Students will regularly share with the class their understanding of a lesson.
- Students may express themselves in art forms, such as drawing, writing, and making models.
- Increasingly as the year progresses, students will be asked to respond to "what if" questions and questions that emphasize concepts, theories, ideas, and relationships. The semester exams will be several discussion questions. Throughout the semester, this type of question will be given. Details as to the correct way to answer will be discussed during the semester.
Students study plate tectonics, earthquakes, and volcanoes to learn about the earth's composition and continuous activity. Geography topics include a study of map projections and topography utilizing longitude and latitude coordinates, global positioning, and time zones. The study of meteorology is enhanced by the use of "The Weather Channel" production, which includes an interactive component, video, and supplemental handouts. Astronomy continues to be a popular subject, with particular emphasis on the Earth-Moon-Sun relationship, and our Solar System. Throughout the year, students are asked to research a topic utilizing the Internet exclusively. Grade: 8
- Students will become familiar with the evidence that reveals planet earth is active through the study of plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, etc.
- Students will appreciate how the intricacies of nature interact and adjust with the various changes of the past (and expected future) and how man must be careful not to interrupt the natural processes governing nature.
- Students will gain a basic knowledge of earth science including areas of:
- Plate tectonics.
- Weathering and erosion.
- Geography (topography).
- Students will be encouraged to think originally, creatively, and analytically in attempts to research and write on controversial or ethical topics such as cosmic evolution.
- Students will learn the skills of research by being able to collect and interpret scientific data from several sources in the library as well as utilization of the Internet.
- Students will learn how to listen and retain information by taking notes and organizing them in an easy-to-find manner.
- Students will gain an understanding of graph and data interpretation, as well as map reading skills of longitude and latitude, and scale and legend interpretation.
- Students will be exposed to a variety of interesting fields of science, and hopefully some will be intrigued enough to pursue a particular field with a lifelong passion.
- Students will become more familiar with metric system units of measure as well as astronomical units of distance associated with outer space.
- Most daily assignments are discussed in the next class meeting, whereupon classroom discussions and note taking are encouraged.
- Many hands-on activities and demonstrations allow for greater retention of more sensory learning.
- Group and individual projects, outside of the class, are assigned periodically throughout the year.
- Exploratory opportunities are given from time to time for the simple pleasure of finding something of scientific interest in the room for investigative learning. An example would be if we were studying rock types, we would have several rocks available for examination, two or three handbooks and CD-ROMs on rocks and minerals, several books and articles on the subject, four or five computers wired for Internet access, etc. At least three resources are required for greater exposure and diversity of information available. This freedom to choose any interest within the subject matter is always approached with an enhanced enthusiasm for learning.
- Labs are generally done in pairs or groups of three, where the students are encouraged to work together to find solutions to a problem or make accurate observations of the task presented them.
- Research papers are occasionally given with a minimum of three resources required; the use of Internet technology is usually a must as one of the resources.
- Lecture and class discussion following a daily assignment help to re-enforce the lesson and answer questions about any ambiguous aspect in the reading.
- Students are encouraged to contribute to class learning by submitting for classroom observation various artifacts which relate to the immediate subject, such as their collection of fossils, as we discuss geological time or sedimentary rocks.
- The use of CD-ROMS and interactive CD-ROMS, the Internet, videotape, and slide presentations will help augment learning.
- Guest lecturers with specific field expertise offer unique insights to a given subject, such as astronomy (wonderful slides).
- Field trips will allow students to experience some earth science features first-hand.
- Short daily quizzes of homework reading assignments reveals whether the student did or understood the material.
- Lab opportunities, where students are usually paired, require written assessments of solutions to problems presented.
- Students will be given short- and long-range projects, such as constructing a topo model and an accompanying topo map. Detail of the model and accuracy of the map’s representation of the model are important in evaluation.
- Research papers are assigned with a minimum of three different types of resources being required. Charts and graphs are suggested for support when applicable.
- Students are always encouraged to participate in classroom discussions or to bring into the classroom anything that would interest the class on the current topic. An example would be a student bringing his grandfather’s fossil collection.
- Major tests will be given five or six times a semester which demonstrates each student’s understanding of covered material.
- A final exam is given at the semester’s end over all the material discussed during the semester. This is a thorough test with objective questioning as well as short essays.
- At times, students will have opportunities for self-help and/or extra credit. This is usually for the highly motivated student or for the one who has fallen behind.
8th Physical Science Accelerated is an introduction to the scientific concepts of chemistry, earth science, astronomy and physics, and will go hand-in-hand with the 8th Algebra 1 Accelerated course. Students will learn the techniques of scientific measurement, problem solving methods, and graphing and calculator use early in the course so that these skills might be used and revisited throughout the year. Though many different scientific concepts will be covered throughout the year, there will be a strong emphasis on physics, mainly Newtonian mechanics, for the majority of the second semester. The year will have labs scattered throughout to give the boys hands-on experience with the concepts, as well as to develop an understanding of how much fun they can have studying such topics as chemical compositions and reactions, the make-up of the earth and solar system, and how and why things move the way they do. Grade: 8
- Course content will include:
- Brief History of Scientific Inquiry
- Review of Mathematical Concepts
- Linear and Projectile Motion, including Vector Algebra and Trigonometry
- Newton's Laws of Motion
- Momentum and Energy
- Satellite Motion
- Rocks and Minerals
- Plate Tectonics
- The Solar System
- Stars and Galaxies
- Elements of Chemistry
- Chemical Reactions
- Acids and Bases
- Students will be able to:
- Trace scientific thought through history.
- Connect and apply mathematical knowledge to physical concepts.
- Use the concepts of velocity, acceleration, and gravity to describe, calculate, and plot the motion of an object through one- and two-dimensional space.
- Use the concepts of Newton's Three Laws--momentum, impulse, and torque--to predict and accurately calculate the behavior of objects all around them.
- Make connections between objects in their physical world, motion, and energy these objects have in the form of potential or kinetic energy.
- Connect atoms and compounds to the makeup of the world around them.
- Better understand the interconnected relationships between very small particles and the solar system in which we live, and beyond.
- Direct instruction.
- Demonstration models, both physical and video.
- Reading and studying of the text.
- Laboratory work.
- In-class, full period tests.
- Class participation.
- Laboratory work.
- Group and individual projects.
- 2-hour, written semester exams. The exams will contain a multiple choice section similar to the ones on all previous tests, to count not more than ten percent of the exam grade. The exams will also have a section of short calculations and/or definitions where the boys can demonstrate their ability to apply concepts learned in class as well as discern pertinent information from irrelevant information. The final section of the exams will be problem solving where the boys will be asked to solve a variety of problems using concepts explored throughout the curriculum as well as some questions that demand the ideas discussed in class be extended to further situations.
- Web assignments to be completed on-line.