Science Course Descriptions

Grades listed are guidelines. Please select the appropriate class for your student based on academic level, not just age.  

General Science - Grade 5
Sarah Huneycutt, Instructor
Designing experiments, collecting data, and formulating an hypothesis to explain observations is the hallmark of scientific inquiry. In this introductory 5th grade science course we will explore the fundamentals of the scientific method by focusing on four individual disciplines: chemistry, biology (emphasis on animal behavior), earth science, and physics (emphasis on motion).  While each of these subjects could be a course unto itself, we will identify key concepts in each of these areas which will serve as a foundation for future study. Acquiring this basic knowledge and learning note taking and study skills will allow students to form a framework for future, more detailed science courses. Most importantly, science should be interactive and interesting. In addition to selected course readings and homework assignments, this course will have a strong emphasis on hands on activities.

Chemistry - Grade 6
Jennifer Castro, Instructor
Students will be introduced to the science of chemistry. They will be asked to look at the world around them at the atomic level and consider how atoms interact to form the world around us. Much of the lab work will utilize everyday items to demonstrate fundamental principles of chemistry. Whenever possible, we will utilize professional laboratory equipment so the students will become comfortable and familiar in traditional laboratory environments. Safety is a priority and all students will be required to adhere to all safety guidelines for each lab including the use of goggles and aprons. Our primary text will be Middle School Chemistry, by the American Chemical Society.

Environmental Science - Grade 7
Jen Gentry, Instructor
Students will delve into the interdisciplinary field of environmental science. We will study oceans and atmosphere, human population, and will address problems and solutions related to agriculture, energy and climate change. 30-50% of the coursework will be hands-on activities, both in class and at home. Over the course of our time together, we will explore atmosphere, oceans, human population dynamics, biodiversity, energy challenges, pollution and climate change. Labs topics will include water quality, ecology of rivers and streams, soil quality and energy production. The course design is being customized by the instructor, Jennifer Gentry. The frameworks for topics covered will be The Habitable Planet: A Systems Approach to Environmental Science by the Annenberg Foundation. While The Habitable Planet is designed as a high school course, Environmental Science will be appropriate for all seventh graders, especially those with a background in WEB science classes.

Physical Science - Grade 8
Brian Donohue, Instructor
This course is a Physical Science course with lab exercises. This course is typically the last science course before the high school sciences (physics, chemistry, and biology). Topics covered include motion, force, simple machines, temperature and heat and atomic bonds and chemical reactions. The course ends with a unit on astronomy that covers the earth, sun and moon as well as a look at the overall solar system. Our primary text will be Physical Science by Derek Owens.