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Science 
                                              
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6th grade science:

Sixth grade science is interdisciplinary in nature; however, much of the content focus at this grade level is on physical science. A complete description of the middle school science Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills can be found at the Texas Education Agency web site. Some of the knowledge and skills emphasized in sixth grade are described below.
In the area of matter and energy, students will know an element is a pure substance represented by chemical symbols; differentiate between elements and compounds; and compare metals, nonmetals, and metalloids. They will calculate the density of a known substance and research and debate advantages and disadvantages of fossil fuels.
In the area of force, motion, and energy, students will compare and contrast potential and kinetic energy; calculate the speed of an object; identify and describe changes in the position, direction and speed of an object when acted upon by an unbalanced force; and investigate methods of energy transfer including conduction, convection and radiation.
In the area of earth and space, students will identify major tectonic plates and classify rocks; describe the physical properties, location and movements of the Sun, planets, Galilean moons, meteors, asteroids, and comets; and understand that gravity is the force that governs the motion of our solar system.
In the area of organisms and environments, students will understand that all organisms are composed of one or more cells; recognize that the presence of a nucleus determines whether a cell is prokaryotic or eukaryotic; recognize that the broadest taxonomic classification of living organisms is divided into currently recognized Domains; describe biotic and abiotic parts of an ecosystem; and be able to diagram the levels of organization within an ecosystem.
 

 

7th grade science:

Seventh grade science is interdisciplinary in nature; however, much of the content focus at this grade level is on organisms and environments. A complete description of the middle school science Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills can be found at the Texas Education Agency web site. Some of the knowledge and skills emphasized in seventh grade are described below.
In the area of matter and energy, students will recognize that radiant energy from the Sun is transformed into chemical energy through the process of photosynthesis; diagram the flow of energy through living systems; identify that organic compounds contain carbon and other elements; and distinguish between physical and chemical changes in matter in the digestive system.
In the area of force, motion, and energy, students will contrast situations where work is related to varying amounts of force.
In the area of earth and space, students will analyze the effects of weathering, erosion, and deposition on the environment in ecoregions of Texas; model the effects of human activity on groundwater and surface water in a watershed; and analyze the characteristics of objects in our solar system that allow life to exist.
In the area of organisms and environments, students will describe how different environments support different varieties of organisms and how biodiversity contributes to the sustainability of an ecosystem; describe the role of ecological succession. Students will examine organisms or their structures and identify some changes in genetic traits that have occurred over several generations. They will identify the main functions of the systems of the human organism; differentiate between structure and function in plant and animal cell organelles, and recognize levels of organization in plants and animals. Students will compare the results of uniform or diverse offspring from sexual reproduction or asexual reproduction; and recognize that inherited traits of individuals are governed in the genetic material found in the genes within chromosomes in the nucleus.


8th Grade Science:
 
Eighth grade science is interdisciplinary in nature; however, much of the content focus at this grade level is on earth and space science. A complete description of the middle school science Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills can be found at the Texas Education Agency web site. Some of the knowledge and skills emphasized in eighth grade are described below.
In the area of matter and energy, students will describe the structure of atoms, including the masses, electrical charges, and locations, of protons and neutrons in the nucleus and electrons in the electron cloud; identify that protons determine an element's identity and valence electrons determine its chemical properties, including reactivity; interpret the arrangement of the Periodic Table, including groups and periods, to explain how properties are used to classify elements; recognize that chemical formulas are used to identify substances and determine the number of atoms of each element in chemical formulas containing subscripts; and investigate how evidence of chemical reactions indicate that new substances with different properties are formed.
In the area of force, motion, and energy, students will demonstrate and calculate how unbalanced forces change the speed or direction of an object's motion; and investigate and describe applications of Newton's law of inertia, law of force and acceleration, and law of action-reaction such as in vehicle restraints, sports activities, amusement park rides, Earth's tectonic activities, and rocket launches.
In the area of earth and space science, students will model and illustrate how the tilted Earth rotates on its axis, causing day and night, and revolves around the Sun causing changes in seasons and demonstrate; predict the sequence of events in the lunar cycle; and describe components of the universe, including stars, nebulae, and galaxies, and use models such as the Herztsprung-Russell diagram for classification. Students will relate plate tectonics to the formation of crustal features, and interpret topographic maps and satellite views to identify land and erosional features and predict how these features may be reshaped by weathering. Students will also recognize that the Sun provides the energy that drives convection within the atmosphere and oceans, producing winds and ocean currents; identify how global patterns of atmospheric movement influence local weather using weather maps that show high and low pressures and fronts; and identify the role of the oceans in the formation of weather systems such as hurricanes.
Finally, in the area of organisms and environments, eighth grade students will describe producer/consumer, predator/prey, and parasite/host relationships as they occur in food webs within marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems; investigate how organisms and populations in an ecosystem depend on and may compete for biotic and abiotic factors such as quantity of light, water, range of temperatures, or soil composition; and explore how short- and long-term environmental changes affect organisms and traits in subsequent populations.
 
     
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Elizabeth Robertson


 

 
 
 
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