7th grade science builds on the experiences, concepts and skills students were introduced to in 6th 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: Geology on Mars, Plate Motion, Rock Transformations, Phase Changes, Chemical Reactions, Populations and Resources, and Matter and Energy in Ecosystems. 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, engineering internships, etc., students deepen their understanding of core science principles necessary to solve the problem.
Essential Learning Goals
Students 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.
Geology on Mars: Water and lava alter planetary surfaces in different yet recognizable ways.
Plate Motion: The Earth is made up of slow moving plates a top of a hot, soft layer of rock. At the boundaries, the plates are either gaining or losing material.
Rock Transformations: Factors that contribute to observable characteristics of rocks include how they were formed and sources of material.
Phase Changes: When substance gain or lose thermal energy, molecular freedom of movement changes. Molecular attraction has an impact on the degree to which the freedom of movement changes.
Chemical Reactions: The properties of a substance are determined by the type and number of atoms it is composed of. When a reaction occurs, the number and type of atoms remains unchanged but the arrangement does change.
Populations and Resources: Population size changes do to factors that impact the birth/death ratio. Such factors include the size of resource and predator populations as well as non-living resources.
Matter and Energy in Ecosystems: Producers store energy in carbon based molecules which they build using Carbon Dioxide. When broken down for energy, organisms release Carbon Dioxide.
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.