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Science and Health

Grade 5

Grade 5 Science is an integrated program.  Students begin the year studying Ecosystems, which includes studies  of terrestrial and aquatic habitats.  During the Simple Machines unit, students study the mechanical advantage of machines and applications of these machines in their everyday lives.  Special focus is given to levers and pulleys.  The final unit of the year is Solar Energy, which introduces students to alternative energy sources.  Students travel to Ferry Beach Ecology School as a culminating activity before the end of the school year.

Grade 6

Grade 6 science is an integrated program.  Students begin the year by exploring how the scientific method is used examine the natural world.  The Diversity of Life unit gives students opportunities to investigate plants and animals from the cellular level to the organism level.  Students are also introduced to genetics and evolution.  During the Chemistry unit, students learn about elements and compounds, the basic building blocks of matter.  Students also study Energy and Planetary Science, which includes a study of the earth and the solar system.

Grade 7

Grade 7 Science is an integrated program.  In the Earth Science unit, students study weather and climate, from both a local and a global perspective.  In the Physical Science unit students study heat energy and types of heat transfer, and examine the physical properties of matter including phases and phase changes.  This year also includes a unit on Life Science, which focuses on ecology and biomes.

Grade 8

In Grade 8, students study the following units: Chemistry, Forces and Motion, Life Science, and Earth Structure and Plate Tectonics.

In Chemistry, students examine the nature of matter and the structure of the atom. With knowledge of the atom in hand, students examine patterns in the periodic table, study differences between mixtures, compounds and elements, and investigate physical and chemical changes.

In the Force and Motion unit, students explore frames of references, speed, velocity, acceleration, forces, potential energy, and kinetic energy. Students experiment with Cambridge Physics Outlet equipment to verify their classroom learning. Throughout the unit, students focus on making and interpreting graphs, using algebra to solve problems and apply class concepts to real-life situations.

Students start the Life Science unit with an investigation of the cell and its organelles, with a focus on comparing plant and animal cells. Working with microscopes helps students to visualize a variety of cells from multiple kingdoms. Mendelian genetics are explored, leading into class discussion and activities related to natural selection and evolution.

The Earth Science unit provides an opportunity for students to investigate the structure of the Earth and its interior. This information is used to analyze evidence for plate tectonics and to explore features of the Earth (volcanoes, earthquakes, mountains) and their occurrence on the planet. Local and regional geologic features such as glacial kettle ponds and moraines are also studied.

Health

6th grade: Students take one semester of health in 6th grade.  They study the following units: Nutrition, Body Systems, Puberty, Healthy Relationships and Substance Abuse Prevention.

7th grade: Students take one quarter of health in 7th grade.  They study the following units: Mental Health, Growth and Development, and Interpersonal Relationships.

8th grade: Students take one semester of health in 8th grade.  They study the following units: Nutrition, Consumer Awareness, Substance Abuse Prevention and Growth and Development.