We Focus on Middle School

Hyla Middle School

Science

6th Grade Earth Science – Jeff Steele

Students will study the fundamentals of Earth Science, the study of the physical non-living world, including its land, oceans, and atmosphere, as well as its neighboring planets and the surrounding universe. The students apply what they have learned by doing hands-on experimentation and observations. Students will develop specialized science vocabulary, learn to use the tools of the laboratory, collect, analyze and interpret data and present their results in laboratory reports and oral presentations. Emphasis will be placed on critical thinking skills, encouraging students to apply their prior and accumulated knowledge to become confident, independent learners.

Students will also have opportunities to explore alternative scientific careers, go on a field trip to an observatory, and engage in research, complete individual and group hands-on projects, and class discussions. We will be using the Earth Science Explorer Series by Prentice Hall to supplement hands-on class investigations, lectures, and discussions.
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7th Grade Science: Humans and the Biosphere – Cami Holtmeier

Seventh grade science is a life science course built around a series of investigations. The purpose of the course material is to make students aware of the essential elements of the biosphere, how the parts are interrelated, and how humans fit into the scheme. Basic laboratory techniques, including the use of microscopes and dissection instruments, are incorporated. Within the framework of the investigations, students are challenged to form hypotheses, devise means of testing them, and draw relevant conclusions from their work. Topics covered will include units on the microscope, the cell and cell theory, photosynthesis, human biology (skeletal, muscular, digestive, circulatory, and reproductive systems), ecology, and marine biology. We will also use the Olympic Park Institute experience as a spring-board into an on-going study of local environmental issues.
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8th Grade Physical Science –Cami Holtmeier

Students will study the fundamentals of Physical Science (Physics and Chemistry in the natural world) and then apply what they have learned by doing hands-on experimentation and observation. Students will collect, analyze and interpret data and present their results in laboratory reports and oral presentations. Emphasis will be placed on critical thinking skills, encouraging students to apply the Scientific Method to become independent learners.

Students will also have opportunities to summarize current science articles, meet local scientists for career exploration, and engage in Internet and library research that will be presented in oral and written reports, as well as during class discussions.  We will be using Physical Science (Prentice-Hall) and selections from Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything.

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We will study five major units which will cover:

  1. Exploring Earth Science: Safety, Measurement and Observation
  2. The Universe: Stars and Galaxies, the Solar System, The Earth and its Moon
  3. The Earth and Its Resources: Atmosphere, Water, Land masses
  4. Processes that Shape Earth: Plate Tectonics, Interior of Earth, Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Human Impact
  5. Earth History: Rocks and Minerals, Weathering/Erosion, Geologic Time, Fossils

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Course Objectives:

  1. To help students better appreciate and understand the physical and biological world around them.
  2. To instill a desire to continue studies in science by stimulating interest, curiosity, and the confidence to know what questions to ask.
  3. To give students a broad exposure to scientific information and laboratory techniques, and to relate them to the real world.
  4. To develop in students the ability to make valid observations, compile data and to communicate results clearly.
  5. To achieve these objectives through a “hands-on” curriculum where the joy of working to find solutions is emphasized.

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We will study four major units which cover:

  1. Diversity of Matter:  Exploring Physical Science, Properties of Matter, Classification of Matter.
  2. Chemistry I: Patterns in Matter: Structure of Matter and The Periodic Law
  3. Chemistry II: Interactions of Matter: Atoms and Bonding, Chemical Reactions, Solution Chemistry
  4. Physics: Motion, Forces, Work, Power, Energy

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