MS Science

Middle School years are a pivotal time in students’ understanding of and enthusiasm for science. A hallmark of science in the real world is that it generates theories and laws that must be consistent with observations collected during laboratory investigations. Middle School labs provide students with opportunities to interact directly with natural phenomena or with data collected by others using tools, materials, data collection techniques, and models. At times we give cookbook-like “recipes” for lab investigations, but our students also have many opportunities to make hypotheses, design investigations, engage in scientific reasoning, manipulate equipment, record data, analyze results, and discuss their findings. 

Middle School years are a pivotal time in students’ understanding of and enthusiasm for science. A hallmark of science in the real world is that it generates theories and laws that must be consistent with observations collected during laboratory investigations. Middle School labs provide students with opportunities to interact directly with natural phenomena or with data collected by others using tools, materials, data collection techniques, and models. At times we give cookbook-like “recipes” for lab investigations, but our students also have many opportunities to make hypotheses, design investigations, engage in scientific reasoning, manipulate equipment, record data, analyze results, and discuss their findings. They think critically and logically to define the relationships between evidence and explanations. 
 
Students learn to communicate scientific procedures and explanations clearly, using mathematics in all aspects of their inquiry. They collect data and learn to make sense of graphical and other abstract representations essential to scientific understanding. They learn to make accurate measurements using a variety of instruments, as their experiments become increasingly quantitative and their physical models more precise.
 
Students also read about science, use computer simulations, create models, observe teacher demonstrations, and attend short lectures. As NSTA recommends, our Middle School students are engaged in laboratory work for 80% of their science instruction time.
 
Science, like history, is studied in broad thematic units.
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