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Seventh & Eighth Grade Science Curriculum Objectives


Seventh and Eighth Grade Curriculum Objectives


Nature of Science

Questioning and Hypothesizing

1a Students question and hypothesize

· Ask questions that can be answered by research and/or investigation.

· Develop hypotheses that make a logical prediction based on prior conceptual understanding from research or experience.

Planning Investigations

1b Students plan investigations

· Identify factors that are changed and factors that are held constant.

· Determine criteria and constraints for an engineering problem.

· Devise repeatable procedure with complete materials list and relevant steps.

· Identify and/or design an appropriate format to record data.

· Design a research/inquiry process.

Conducting Investigations

1c Students conduct investigations

· Generate and accurately record sufficient data with correct units.

· Follow lab safety protocols.

·  Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks. (common core RST.6-8.3)

Representing and Analyzing Data

1d Students represent and analyze data

· Make an accurate graph, model, or other representation of data.

· Identify patterns, trends, and relationships that exist within the data.

· Represent the results of an inquiry/research process.

Developing & Evaluating Explanations

1e Students represent and analyze data to develop explanations

· Make a concluding statement that indicates agreement or disagreement with hypothesis and is supported with evidence.

· Apply or make data-based inferences related to the concept under investigation.

· Identify experimental errors.

· Discuss reliability of experimental design.

· Ask further questions or apply experimental results to a new problem or situation.

· Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.  (common core WHST.6-8.1)

i) Introduce claim(s) about a topic or issue, acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.    

ii) Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant, accurate data and evidence that demonstrate an understanding of the topic or text, using credible sources.

iii) Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.


Environmental Science

Natural Resources

2a Students understand that management of natural resources involves costs and benefits.

· Determine the impact of a specific human activity on a specific natural resource, and address the sustainability of that practice.

· Demonstrate understanding of natural resource management by researching the impact of human activities on Earth’s lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere.


2b  Students understand the cycling of matter and the flow of energy through the living environment.

    · Demonstrate understanding of natural resource management by explaining how overpopulation and resource exploitation degrade an environment.

    · Identify factors that impact a local ecosystem, changes in that ecosystem, and predict short and long-term effects of these changes.

Earth and Space Science

Rock Formation

3a Students understand processes that form Earth materials and the relation of those cycles to the environment.

· Demonstrates understanding of Processes and Change over Time within Earth Systems by explaining the processes that occur when rocks are changed from one form to another.

· Demonstrate understanding of Processes and Change over Time within Earth Systems by using data about a rock’s physical characteristics to explain the rock’s history and connection to the Rock Cycle.   

Plate Tectonics

3b Students understand the processes that shape the Earth’s surface.

· Demonstrates understanding of plate tectonics and how earth systems change by using data to explain the relationship between the location of earthquakes, volcanoes, and/or other geologic events to plate movement and geologic features on the earth’s surface.  (e.g. ocean trenches, mountain ranges, etc.)

Life Science


4a Students understand cellular structures and their functions.

· Demonstrate understanding of cells and cell membrane by conducting experiments that investigate how different concentrations of solutes cause water to flow through membranes.

· Demonstrate understanding of cells and cell membrane by examining and identifying cells and cell structures, and explain how cell structures (including membranes, chromosomes, and other visible cell structures) work   together to perform the functions of life.

Human Body

4b Student understands how the human body responds to maintain internal equilibrium.

· Understand how human body systems are organized and function together to respond to environmental and/or biological stimuli to maintain internal equilibrium.

· Explain how pathogens and toxins interfere with body systems, and how the immune system responds to pathogens.


4c Students understand the genetic basis for patterns of inheritance.

· Demonstrate understanding of cell reproduction by explaining that cells come from other living cells.

· Demonstrate understanding of human heredity by identifying that an offspring’s traits are determined by combining the sex cells (female egg and male sperm) of the parents and by explaining how traits are passed on from the instructions of one or more genes that are inherited from the parents.


4d Students understand the basic concepts of the evolution of species.

· Demonstrate understanding of Evolution/Natural Selection by explaining how a variation in a characteristic (trait) enable an organism to survive in a changing environment, identifying that traits occur randomly, and explaining that advantageous traits of organisms are passed on and tend to propagate through reproduction.

· Demonstrate understanding of organisms’ adaptations to the major biomes of Earth.

Physical Science

Pressure, Volume, and Temperature

5a Students understand the relationship between pressure, volume, and temperature.

· Demonstrate understanding of properties of a gas using real world examples, predicting and explaining the effects of a change in pressure, temperature or volume on the other properties.

Energy Transfer

5b Students understand the principles governing the transfer of energy.
    · Demonstrate understanding of the flow of energy in a system by explaining how energy changes from potential to kinetic forms, that heat is produced in these transformations, and that energy can not be destroyed.

    · Demonstrate understanding of heat energy by creating a diagram, model, or analogy to explain differences among conduction, convection, and radiation.

Physical Change

5c Students understand how heat energy changes the motion and arrangement of molecules and the state of matter.

· Demonstrates understanding of physical change by constructing models that represent the states of matter at the molecular level, and explaining the effect of increased and decreased heat energy on the motion and arrangement of molecules.


5d Students understand the nature of density and the principles that explain it.

· Demonstrate understanding of density by explaining how changes in volume or mass affect density.

· Demonstrate understanding of density by calculating the density of regularly and irregularly shaped objects.

Motion and Force

5e Students understand the nature of force and motion and the principles that explain them.

· Demonstrate understanding of the relationship between force, mass and motion by designing investigations that illustrate the effect of a change in mass or velocity on an object’s momentum.

· Demonstrate understanding of the relationship between force, mass and motion by describing and explaining how the acceleration acting on an object is proportional to the force on the object and inversely proportional to the mass of the object.

· Demonstrate understanding of force by diagramming or describing, after observing a moving object, the forces acting on the object before and after it is put into motion.

· Demonstrate understanding of force by describing and explaining the effects of gravitational force on objects and identifying evidence that the force of gravity is relative to the mass of objects and their distance apart.

Electricity and Magnetism  

5f Students understand that magnetism is a force and that electromagnetic energy is produced when either magnets or electrical charges move.

· Demonstrate understanding of electromagnetic forces by exploring and explaining devices that demonstrate the magnetic effects of electricity and the electric effects of moving magnets, and by exploring and explaining the relationship between the device and the magnetic or electric effect it produces.

· Demonstrate understanding of electrical energy by building an electric circuit and explaining the transfer of electrical energy into heat, light, and sound.
· Explore, describe and explain the behavior of charged objects in terms of charges and equilibrium.

· Demonstrate understanding of magnetism by identifying real world objects that demonstrate and utilize a magnetic field and distinguishing between objects affected by magnetic force and objects affected by other non-contact forces.

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