Course Outline

Course Outline
      In 8th grade your child will continue with the survey of science they began last year.
We provide our students with activity-based instruction to allow them to explore the various branches of science in order to have a broad science background to build on in  high school.  Following is a brief outline of our 8th grade science curriculum along with some of the highlights. 
Ubd syllabus  - click here for a more detailed course syllabus.

     Scientific Method -
the study of science as a process.
      Students will investigate the scientific method of solving problems as well as practicing sound
      laboratory techniques.  Lab safety procedures will also be emphasized.  Students can look forward to
      the "Great Egg Drop Eggsperiment" in which they will package a raw egg and launch their package
      from the fourth floor window.  If their design is sound their egg should survive! 

     Human Biology -
the study of the human body.
Students will explore the organization of the human body beginning at the cellular level. We will show
     how cells combine to form tissues which combine to form organs which combine to form systems which
     combine to make the human body.  Our "Fetal Pig Surgery" will be our grande finale. 

    Geology - the study of the Earth. 
Students will study the Earth as a dynamic planet undergoing constant change.  By exploring changes
      that have occurred in the past we can better understand current and future activity on our planet and
      the need to act responsibly to preserve a healthy planet for future generations.  My favorite part of
      geology has to be VOLCANOES!! 

     Chemistry - the study of matter and how it changes
Students will investigate the properties of matter from hands-on lab activities and eye-opening
      teacher demonstrations.  We will be very responsible in what we show and tell your child but don't be
      surprised if they want to come home and blow things up!!  My favorites include but are not limited to:
      Sidney's Chimney / The Salt Factory / The Big Flash / The Big Poof / The Big Freeze / and .........
The Big KA BOOM!!   

     Light -
the study of electromagnetic energy and its uses. 
Students will be introduced to the entire electromagnetic energy spectrum but we will spend most of
      our time studying visible light.  From optics to optical illusions we will examine the properties of light
      and how the human eye perceives light.  Finally, since visible light is defined by what we can see, we
      will dissect an eyeball to find out how it works.  Don't worry, we won't be plucking out each other's
      eyes, we found some sheep who didn't need theirs anymore!  

Astronomy - the study of the Universe.
The universe we live in is absolutely mind boggling.  Most of us have some misconceptions about the
      size and distance of objects in space and the problems involved with their investigation.  We will first
      try to clear up some of those misunderstandings and then we will do our best to boggle their brains
      with the truth!!  From the moons of Jupiter to protostars in the Andromeda Galaxy we will explore
      what's out there and how we think it got there.  We will also ponder the many mysteries that remain
      including the possibility that we are not alone.

     Mechanics and ROBOTICS -
the study of forces, motion and the laws that explain it all
Also, designing, building, and programming basic robotic systems.
      Students will experiment with Newton's laws of motion in both traditional hands-on lab activities and
      with the latest technology based ROBOTICS activities designed to give students a good foundation
      for future studies in physics and engineering.  We will certainly look forward to designing and building   
      our own "machines" and tweaking them until they work as planned (sometimes we change the plan after 
      we see how they work)!

    Crime Scene Investigation - the study of Forensic Science
A crime has been committed!  As junior forensic scientists, we will work together in investigative teams 
     to study evidence found at the crime scene.  We will analyze evidence in our very own crime lab and
     build a case against one of our 10 suspects.  Investigations will include analysis of
Shoeprints, Fiber, Powder Residue, Chemical Residue, Tool Marks, Hair, Handwriting, Ink
(chromatography), Spectral Analysis (Toxicology), DNA, and anything else we might find. Students will
     need to develop an ongoing investigative plan based on their findings. As students build a case against
     the suspect they will request a search warrant for further evidence.  Search warrants will only be
     granted if valid scientific data is presented ... and we hear the judge is a tough nut to crack!  

Course Outline
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