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8th Grade Science

8th Grade Science

Eighth graders study physics and chemistry 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. The program encourages curiosity and critical tinkering. Students are taught to take intellectual risks, even if those risks lead to making mistakes. Vulnerability and mistakes often lead to intellectual and social growth. In fact, this is the same way that science happens in professional labs!

Students learn lab and study skills that will prepare them for high school science, college science, and beyond. The course is centered around weekly lab investigations that will help the students become adept at answering questions using the scientific method. 

Students learn about matter and change, atomic structures, the periodic table, and chemical interactions. The study objects in motion, forces, Newton’s Laws of Motion, simple machines, energy, and the full complement of scientific research skills including formulating questions, making observations, collecting and analyzing data, using evidence to support claims, developing and using models, applying measurement skills, and formulating conclusions. Students frequently conduct lab investigations, and learn to conduct careful, collaborative, and thorough research including the process of sharing and defending their conclusions in presentations, discussions, and Socratic seminars. Special projects include building “bath bombs” and “reptile incubators” to study chemical reactions, and designing and racing cars powered by mouse traps to study energy and objects in motion. 

Connections are made to both local and global science and to the students’ own experiences and interests. We design the science program to encourage 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, and includes plenty of engaging, fun, and meaningful lab activities and investigations that will help students become more confident and independent learners. This course also develops lab skills that will prepare students well for future science courses.

  • 8th Grade