7th Grade Science
Seventh graders study life science and the environment in an inquiry-based, hands-on program. The class is designed to stimulate student curiosity about the natural world as they focus on exploring various topics of life science and environmental issues such as climate change. As a school, we believe in taking risks and making mistakes in order to learn. That is, in fact, how science often happens! Students are taught to be collaborators working and learning together.
Students investigate the world of living things, from big to small, from extinct to extant, and from local to global. They investigate how living things change over time and how living organisms and abiotic factors interact to form ecosystems. They investigate how ecosystems can change as a result of human activities and due to climate change. Students engage in discussions, readings, writing, direct observation, labs, activities, and dissections to deepen their knowledge of course content and develop their scientific skills. The year is organized around four guiding questions:
- How are living things made and organized?
- How do living things change over time?
- How do living things respond to and shape their physical environments?
- How do scientists do science?
- How can humans understand the complexity of the natural world and its systems?
Students learn about life processes and characteristics, microscopic life and the use of microscopes, the structure and function of cells, divisions of life, classification, evolution and natural selection, the history of life on Earth, genetics, populations and ecosystems, ecology, environmental science, climate change, inquiry and the scientific method, and a full complement of scientific research skills including formulating questions, making observations, collecting and analyzing data, using evidence to support claims, developing and using models, measurement skills, and formulating conclusions. Key projects include fermenting foods, studying the history of disease and how pandemics end, and building animated “bioramas” that are used to create narrated documentaries about ecosystems and interdependence.
Connections are made to both local and global science and to the students’ own experiences and interests. We want students to think about how science relates to their own lives. The course activities demonstrate that science is a way of knowing about the world. The course includes plenty of engaging, fun, and meaningful lab activities and investigations that will help students become more confident and independent learners. This course will also develop lab skills that will prepare students well for future science courses.
- 7th Grade