6th Grade Science Curriculum

Life Science

* Identify the characteristics that make up the five kingdoms of living organisms
* Classify different animals by some of their characteristics
* Compare the life cycle stages of plants and animals
* Compare different types of reproduction in animals and plants
* Give examples of some animal adaptations
* Compare and contrast the characteristics of plants
* Distinguish between populations, habitats, and ecosystems
* Describe a food chain and its relationship to a food web
* Digestive system

Physical Science

* Describe the difference among substances, elements, compounds, and mixtures
* Compare and contrast solutions, solutes, and solvents including acids and bases
* Compare and contrast displacement, distance, velocity, and acceleration of an object in motion

Earth Science

* Describe the formation of mountains, plains, and plateaus and identify on two topographic
* Describe how water moves through the hydrologic cycle, the air, and the ground.
* Compare the change in earth’s surface through erosion and glaciation.
* Explain how heat movement in the earth generates earthquakes and volcanoes
* Compare the movements of waves through space, air, water, and solid ground
* Describe plate tectonics

7th Grade Science Curriculum

Life Science

* Identify the parts and functions of a typical cell
* Compare and contrast plant and animal cells
* Describe the function of the cell membrane. Compare and contrast osmosis and diffusion
* Identify levels of organization in life-forms from cell to tissue, organ, organ system, organism
* Describe the path of blood through the heart, lungs, and body
* Compare and contrast the circulatory systems of fish, birds, amphibians, and mammals
* Compare and contrast types of bones, muscles, joints, ligaments and cartilage and their movements
* Describe the parts and function of the nervous system and the endocrine system
* Describe the structure and function of the human respiratory system
* Explain cellular respiration and its relationship to gas exchange in your body

Physical Science

* Describe the relationship between force, mass, and acceleration using Newton’s Laws
* Demonstrate Archimedes’s Principle related to buoyancy of objects in a liquid
* Explain how work can produce kinetic energy, potential energy, and thermal energy
* Describe and apply the Law of Conservation of Energy
* Trace the source of the energy that runs appliances
* Identify the six types of simple machines and calculates their mechanical advantage
* Describe the difference between temperature and heat. Give examples of conduction, convection and radiation
* Describe the physical properties of metals, nonmetals, and metalloids
* Compare the relationship involving changes in pressure, volume, and temperature of gas
* Identify and describe several chemical reactions
* Describe the difference between reactants and products, energy and catalyst in a chemical reaction

Earth Science

* Explain how earthquakes and volcanoes result from the buildup of pressure inside the Earth
* Compare and contrast earthquake faults and seismic waves
* Describe various ways minerals are formed
* Explain how rocks change using the rock cycle diagram
* Identify the three types of rocks
* Perform mineral tests and identify minerals by hardness, color, streak, cleavage, and fracture
* Name and describe some features of the ocean currents, ocean floor and shore zones
* Compare and contrast three different fossil fuels in terms of source, use, and their environmental effects
* Classify energy resources as either renewable or nonrenewable
* Describe the composition and structure of Earth’s atmosphere

8th Grade Science Curriculum

The 8th Grade Science Course as taught at the Andrews Middle School adheres to the Massachusetts Department of Education’s Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Frameworks (last revised 2001).

Commonly referred to as “Integrate Science,” the course covers the 4 major Scientific disciplines of Life Science, Physical Science, Earth Science and Technology.

A quarterly syllabus of the Chapters and materials to be covered as follows:

First Quarter

* Basic Scientific Measurement and Analysis: This is a quick review of the Metric system of measurement and its’ importance in the field of Science. Experiments and exercises review the measurement or computation of length, area, volume, mass, force, temperature and density. Students review the correct use of interpretation of rulers, balances, Newton scales, graduated cylinders and thermometers.
* Chapter 4- The Structure of the Atom: Students will learn about the early studies that contributed to the understanding of the atom. The development of atomic models by Crookes, Thomson, Becquerel and Rutherford is then presented. students consider the value of a model and how models can be developed based on the behavior of matter rather than on direct observation.
* Chapter 5 – The Periodic Table: Students will see how elements are arranged ont he periodic table. The atomic mass of an atom is defined and related to that arrangement. Next, students will examine the alkali metals and the alkaline earth metals as examples of families found in the periodic table. Finally, students learn to classify elements as metals, nonmetals, or metalloids, based on their positions in the periodic table.
* Chapter 6- Combining Atoms: In this chapter, students will differentiate two types of chemical bonds- Ionic and covalent. Students will write chemical formulas by using oxidation numbers. Then they will write and balance chemical equations by utilizing coefficients. Finally, students will classify chemical reactions.

Students will spend a three week period in the Technology Laboratory. The Lab is equipped with a self-paced, computer managed program that compliments the “hands-on” activities in one of twelve modules. These modules include: Research and Development, Computer Assisted Design, Video Production, Energy and Power, Materials Processing, Flight Technology, Structural Engineering, Environment and Ecology, Lasers, Robotics, Virtual Architecture, and Information Technology.

Second Quarter

* Chapter 7 – Molecules in Motions: All matter can change phases. When energy is given to it or taken away, matter can change from solid to liquid to gas and back again. The behavior of gas particles – and teh change from solid to liquid to gas and back again. The behavior of gas particles – and the relationships they demonstrate between temperature, pressure, and volume – also illustrate matter’s sensitivity to thermal energy.
* Chapter 8 – Weather: In this chapter, students will study the relationship between the global water cycle and weather. They will learn how air can contian water vapor, and how water vapor condenses to form clouds and precipitation. Then they will explore how moving air masses and high and low pressure systems cause changes in weather.
* Chapter 9 – Ocean Water & Life: Students will differentiate between the movement of water particles in a wave and the movement of wave energy. They will alwo learn what causes tides and how living things have adapted to intertidal zones. Then, students explore the origin and composition of ocean water. Students also explore how currents affect the organisms in the ocean.

Second 3 week period in Technology Lab

Third Quarter

* Chapter 13 – Reproduction: Students begin the chapter by comparing and contrasting characteristics of egg and sperm cells and comparing the chromosome number in body cells to that of sex cells. Next students will see where, when, and why meiosis occurs.
* Chapter 14 – Heredity: Traits are specific characteristics that affect the way we look and how our bodies function. Traits are inherited and their patterns of inheritance can be seen in families. Major observations and experiments in the field of heredity were made by Gregor Mendel, an Austrian monk who lived in the 19th century. Mendel observed a pattern in the way several different traits were inherited by pea plants.
* Chapter 15 – Moving Continents: In this chapter, students will study and assess Alfred Wegener’s hypothesis of continental drift. In an Investigate, students will reconstruct the supercontinent Pangaea, using data similar to those used by Wegener. Students will also examine the hypothesis of sea-floor spreading. They will compare and contrast the three types of tectonic plate boundaries. Finally, students will relate plate tectonics and the occurrence of earthquakes and volcanoes.
* Chapter 16 – Geologic Time: Earth’s history is recorded in layers of rock and fossils. The appearances and disappearances of organisms in the fossil record are some of the evidence that has been used to construct the geologic time scale. Earth is about 4.6 billion years old. We know little about Precambrian time, which covers the time from Earth’s formation until 544 million years ago. The appearance of organisms with hard parts marks the beginning of the Paleozoic. During the Mesozoic Era, dinosaurs, mammals, and flowering plants appeared. Mammals and flowering plants have dominated the last geologic era, the Cenozoic.

Science Fair: This is a mojor project utilizing the scientific method to identify a hypothesis, design an experiment to test that hypothesis and then analyze and interpret results.

Fourth Quarter

* Chapter 17 – Evolution of Life: Individuals who survive are more likel to produce offspring that have the same variations in traits that helped them survive. This process is called natural selection. Over time, this process allows species to change and evolve into new species. Evidence for the evolution of species can be found in the fossil record, in the structure of cells of ancient and modern organisms, in the chemical makeup of related species, in homologous body parts of different organisms, and in the similar development of vertebrate embryos.
* Chapter 19 – The Solar System: First, students learn how the solar system formed from a cloud of gas and dust. Characteristics of the planets are covered. Finally, the movement of comets, asteroids, and meteoroids through the solar system is discussed.
* Chapter 20: Stars and Galaxies: Students learn how the brightness, temperature, and color of stars relate to their composition, size, and distance from Earth. Star grouping are also named. Students get a close-up view of the sun. Then, students learn how to describe their position in the universe as living within the Milky Way Galaxy of the Local Group.