SIXTH GRADE SCIENCE – PRENTICE HALL FOCUS ON EARTH SCIENCE
This Earth Science program is divided up into four units; Earth Systems and Processes, Plate Tectonics and Earth’s Structure, Weather and Climate, and Ecology and Resources. Earth Systems and processes focus on the main source of natural energy for Earth processes and living things, the effects of weathering and the forces of erosion and deposition that shape our landscape. Plate Tectonics and Earth’s Structure teaches students about plate tectonics and how their movement changes our planet’s surface and affect the Earth’s crust. This unit also covers what causes volcanoes and how they change Earth’s surface. Weather and Climate covers the variance of air pressure and temperature in atmosphere, factors that produce changes in the weather, and major factors that influence a regions climate. The final Ecology and Resource unit help students to understand relationships between living things and their environment, definitions of ecological roles and adaptations of the organisms found in different biomes, and promote discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of various energy resources. Each chapter is introduced with a short video on the subject material and vocabulary that students will be exposed to. Labs done in sixth grade are done as a class and are guided by the teacher.
SEVENTH GRADE SCIENCE - PRENTICE HALL FOCUS ON LIFE SCIENCE
This Life Science program is divided up into four units; Looking at Cells, Genetics and Evolution, Structure and Function in Living Systems, and Structure and Function in the Human Body. Looking at Cells focuses on how scientists make progress in understanding the natural world, how light allows us to see, the structure of the cell, and how cells obtain the energy they need to carry out their functions. Genetics and Evolution help students to understand how traits are passed from parents to offspring, factors that cause the evolution and diversity of organisms, and how evidence from rocks help scientists understand the Earth’s history. Students cover the structure and function variation amongst organisms in different domain and kingdoms, learn how the structure of a plant allows it to grow and reproduce, the major functions of vertebrates and invertebrates to complete the Structure and Function in Living Systems unit. The final Structure and Function in the Human Body finishes up with learning how physical principles of forces and machines relate to the functions of your muscles and skeleton, discusses the major functions of the circulatory and respiratory systems, students study how organs and other structures enable the nervous system to function and finish up with how the endocrine and reproductive system work together to contribute to reproduction. Each chapter is introduced with a short video on the subject material and vocabulary that students will be exposed to. Students in seventh grade complete a minimum of three dissections over the school year; cow eyeball, squid, and a frog. Labs and lab reports are a requirement for this class, teachers will help guide students through their lab, but students become responsible for writing their own lab conclusions.
EIGHTH GRADE SCIENCE - PRENTICE HALL FOCUS ON PHYSICAL SCIENCE
This program focuses on Physical Sciences. Students will work through four units; Chemical Building Blocks, Chemical Interactions, Motion, Forces, and Energy, and Astronomy. Eighth-grade science is broken into smaller class sizes and operates on block scheduling. This allows for more lab opportunities. Being that physical science is a lab-based class, students write all lab reports independently and are required to submit finished products within two class periods. The chemical building blocks unit focuses on the following ideas; how scientists investigate the natural world, what chemistry is, how solids, liquids, and gases differ in the motion of particles and learn how the periodic table is organized. Students are required to memorize the atomic number, element name and element symbol of the first 112 elements on the periodic table. Unit 2 moves the students into chemical reactions. Students learn how compounds are formed, what happens during a chemical reaction, different characteristics of acids and bases, and why carbon has a central role in the chemistry of living organisms. During unit 2, students must use what they learned from the periodic table to control chemical reactions during labs in this unit. Unit 3 moves into physics covering how to describe the motion of an object, what causes velocity to change, and how to predict if an object will sink or float in a fluid. The final unit in this course covers an introduction to astronomy. Students learn what events are caused by the motion of Earth and the Moon, how scientists learn more about the solar system, the different types of objects are found in the solar system and what the structure and composition are of the universe.