Middle School Science Department

We emphasize application of scientific concepts through experimentation and guided research. By harnessing a scientific attitude in exploring the world around them, students develop an acute awareness of current scientific issues. Through informed discussions and guided scientific research, students build on essential skills in inquiry and communication.

Course Description

Grades Offered: 6

Prerequisites: None

In this sixth grade science course, students will learn how to compare and contrast experiments and conclusions from various scientists; discover the processes that continue to shape the Earth, from volcanoes and continental drift to erosion, deposition, and development; discuss the Earth’s many ecosystems that support different types of life and the challenges those ecosystems face; and perform laboratory experiments, including a mixture of in-class “wet” labs (e.g. growing crystals) and outside data collection (e.g. weather measurement). They will also learn to collect data, graph data, analyze charts and graphs, draw conclusions, and formulate hypotheses; and finally they will study practical survival exercises (like compass orienteering, water purification, and prevention of hypothermia) and understand the scientific principles behind them.

Grades Offered: 7

Prerequisites: None

In this seventh grade science class, students will learn about cells as the building blocks of all life, discuss the structure and functions of human body systems, explore the tree of life and its biodiversity, expand knowledge of ecology and consider the relationships between Earth and its organisms, and study the mechanics of genetics and heredity. They will perform biological experiments throughout the year, collecting data and writing lab reports. Students may go on field trips to Golden Gate Park, the Presidio, the Bay, and the Pacific coast in order to conduct experiments and/or explore those ecosystems.

Grades Offered: 8

Prerequisites: None

In this eighth grade science class, students will learn about chemistry, physics, and astronomy. They will learn to expand their critical thinking skills, analyze and evaluate data, form hypotheses, and ask insightful scientific questions about the world around them. Topics studied include: the process of scientific discovery, measurement and SI units, pitch, optical phenomena, simple machery, the seasons, the solar system, and the structure of matter. They will also study chemicals and experiment with various types of chemical reactions.

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