8th grade science builds on the experiences, concepts and skills students were developing in 7th grade. Students will have the opportunity to explore aspects of each of the scientific domains: Life, Earth and space, and physical science. Each unit within the domains begins by posing a problem which will guide student learning. Specific areas of study include: Harnessing Human Energy, Force and Motion, Magnetic Fields, Light Waves, Earth, Moon and Sun, Natural Selection, and Evolutionary History. Additionally, students will develop their skills in the science and engineering practices which include analyzing data, developing models, carrying out investigation, engaging in arguments from evidence, constructing explanations, and evaluating information.
Key Course Learning Experiences
Each unit of study poses a specific problem. Through their exploration of articles, hands-on modeling activities, peer collaboration, virtual simulations, videos, etc., students deepen their understanding of core science principles necessary to solve the problem.
Essential Learning GoalsStudents will develop their skills in the science practices.
Planning and carrying out investigation
Using computational thinking
Engaging in arguments from evidence
Students will deepen their understanding of core science concepts specific to the unit of study.
Harnessing Human Energy: Energy has different forms and can be transferred and stored.
Force and Motion: A force can cause a change in an object’s velocity, the degree to which is in part determined by the object’s mass. When objects collide they experience equal and opposite forces.
Magnetic Fields: Magnetic force can act at a distance to make objects move. In a system of magnets, there is a repelling force between like poles and an attracting force between opposite poles and the force is stronger closer to a magnet. Moving a magnet against a stronger magnetic force transfers energy to the magnetic field.
Light Waves: There are different types of light energy all of which can either be transmitted, reflected or absorbed by materials. If light energy is absorbed, the material will undergo a change.
Earth, Moon and Sun: The sun illuminates the lunar surface and the moon’s orbit around the Earth is responsible for the phases of the moon.
Natural Selection: Adaptive traits become more common in a population overtime because organisms with those traits live longer and pass the traits onto offspring. Mutations can introduce new traits into a population.
Evolutionary History: Organisms with a shared evolutionary history will often have similar body structures. If organisms diverged recently, they tend to have more body structures in common than those that diverged longer ago.
Major Assessments and Success Criteria
Each unit of study concludes with an End of The Unit Assessment as well as a written argument justifying the student's resolution of the unit question.
During the unit progression, students have numerous opportunities to receive feedback on their progress towards developing their skills in the science practices.