6th Grade Science

Course Description

6th grade science takes an integrated phenomena based approach. 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: Metabolism, Traits and Reproduction, Thermal Energy, Ocean, Atmosphere and Climate, Weather Patterns, and Earth’s Changing Climate. Additionally, students will develop their skills in the science and engineering practices which include analyzing data, developing models, carrying out investigations, 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, engineering internships, videos, 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:

  • Analyzing data

  • Developing models 

  • Planning and carrying out investigation

  • Using computational thinking

  • Engaging in arguments from evidence

  • Constructing explanations

  • Evaluating information.

Students will deepen their understanding of core science concepts specific to the unit of study:

  • Metabolism: The systems of the body work together to breakdown the food we eat and distribute the nutrients to our cells for energy, growth and repair.

  • Traits and Reproduction: Genes are inherited randomly from parents and those genes code for proteins which are responsible for the traits we have.

  • Thermal Energy: Temperature is a measure of average kinetic energy which increases when objects come in contact with warmer objects and decreases when in contact with cooler objects. The degree to which an object has a change in kinetic energy is in part due to mass

  • Ocean, Atmosphere, and Climate: The average temperature of a location is impacted by its latitude, proximity to water, prevailing winds, and direction of ocean currents.

  • Weather Patterns: Rain can happen when an air parcel cools enough for water vapor to condense. Factors affecting the amount of rain include how warm the parcel is on how high it rises.

  • Earth’s Changing Climate: Carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere redirect energy leaving the Earth’s surface back down. Rises in carbon dioxide and methane correlate with rises in the Earth’s average temperature.

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.


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