In Culture, Civilization and Change, sixth grade students begin the year by studying ancient history, from hunting and gathering societies to the development of permanent civilizations. Later in the year, the focus of the course turns to ancient India and China, where students explore the ancient periods of these cultures and then investigate these cultures in the modern era. Seventh grade World Geography equips students with tools necessary to connect to the world and its many cultures. Students explore topics such as population growth, water and energy use, urbanization, disease and hunger, environmental hazards, rainforest depletion and wealth distribution. Eighth grade Civics students study aspects of the American government, beginning with an understanding of rights and responsibilities of social groups and United States citizenry. In the fall, the entire grade spends three days in Washington, D.C., immersing themselves in historical and government sites and experiences. During election years, students’ focus shifts to our election process. Additional key areas of study include an in-depth overview of the three branches of government, major social issues such as the death penalty, race relations, First Amendment rights and the Constitution.