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.