Science

MS science

Sixth graders in Environmental Science learn the importance of becoming stewards of the environment. Students learn about geology, populations and communities, ecosystems and biomes, and living resources. This transitional course engages students to make discoveries and draw conclusions using process skills such as record keeping, observing, measuring, hypothesizing and experimenting.

Seventh grade students take a lab-oriented course called Living Environment. They study cells, genetics, heredity, evolution, human body systems and plant and animal interactions. From their lab experiences, students are encouraged to think critically in order to develop local answers to a problem. Highlights of the course include a tilapia farm through which students harvest fish and grow herbs and leafy vegetables in a fully operational aquaponic system; a three-dimensional cell project and presentation; the development of a travel brochure for the human body system; and a plant growth “control vs. variable” project.

In Physical Environment, eighth grade students strive to see the world through the eyes of a physicist while exploring the topics of motion, energy, forces, electricity, matter and waves. Students work collaboratively to develop hypotheses, design experiments to test those hypotheses, interpret data and then refine their initial thinking. The year ends with a culminating, hands-on project. Highlights of the course are Bungee Jumping Barbie, video analysis of the physics of sports, and motion detector graphing.

< back to page list

Interdisciplinary Experiences

Tilapia Farm

Seventh grade students learn biology, ecology, environmental science and mathematics in a hands-on fish farming project in their classroom. Students use an aquaponics system, which includes hydroponic garden beds, to grow tilapia as well as lettuces and herbs. The young scientists quickly discover the keys to plant and fish life cycles, respiration, photosynthesis and how each tie together. They calculate necessary daily food volumes, test the tank’s water quality and work in groups to design their own farm. What students learn takes them far beyond any science textbook — their small farm system reflects global efforts to improve nutrition in poor communities and establish more sustainable fish farming. Read more.

Sports Physics

Eighth grade science students research the physics of a favorite sport, then create a video demonstrating how gravity, friction, momentum and Newton’s three laws work in their chosen activity. Equipped with a video camera, each team finds a campus location (such as a gym, a field or even the pool) to film their scenes, then uses digital video software to edit, narrate and add a soundtrack. To date, swimming, football, wrestling, soccer, tchoukball, lacrosse, field hockey, basketball, dodge ball, skateboarding, skiing and softball have made it to the “big screen.”

Capstone Night

An evening event for sixth grade families where students enact a scene from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and tour their families through classrooms, exhibiting what they have learned through the school year in all subjects. See more from the night in the Flickr Album.

Penn Charter

A Friends School for Girls and Boys, Pre-K to 12

3000 West School House Lane Philadelphia, PA 19144 215.844.3460
powered by finalsite