Across all grade levels, a strong emphasis is placed on scientific principles and procedures. This can be seen through our numerous lab activities and student-based research projects. Students often make and use models to represent the different structures and systems being studied. The development of critical thinking skills is emphasized in laboratory and cooperative group settings where students are able to share ideas and analyze information.
Earth Science is designed to help students understand the characteristics of Science and the study of the Earth’s composition, structure, processes, and history. The school places emphasis on historical contributions in the development of scientific thought about the Earth and space. The interpretation of maps, charts, and tables is stressed. The year starts with an introduction to the scientific method, lab skills, and lab safety. Major topics of study include plate tectonics, earth history, the atmosphere, weather and climate, and the solar system. Students are responsible for current events concerning various aspects of science. This course is offered to sixth grade students.
This course explores the nature of our living world through building on the science skills learned in previous years. Students become more familiar with the scientific methods through controlled experiments. The year begins with a review of scientific processes, lab skills and lab safety, covering topics ranging from the cell and its processes to heredity and ecosystems. Students explore dichotomous keys and study viruses and bacteria, which includes conducting extensive research in order to gather the newest information on topics of interest. They also study various phyla in the plant and animal kingdom, and incorporate lessons on human anatomy and physiology. Preserved specimens and dissections are used to enhance instruction in this course. This course is offered to seventh grade students.
Physical Science continues the investigation of scientific principles that began in the lower grades, and strengthens students’ knowledge base as they prepare to move from middle school into higher-level science courses. A heavy emphasis is placed on the scientific method and lab safety education. This course is a broken into two core topics: chemistry and physics. This includes more abstract concepts such as the structure of atoms, chemical reactions, forces and motion, and the conservation of energy and matter. This course is offered to eighth grade students.