In grades 7 and 8, we have developed new syllabi and pacing guides to reflect alignment with the state frameworks and foundational career skills in the life and earth sciences. Here is a summary of our curriculum for each grade level:
Grade 7: Students in grade 7 focus on systems and cycles using their understanding of structures and functions and connections and relationships in systems. A focus on systems requires students to apply concepts and skills across disciplines, since most natural and designed systems and cycles are complex and interactive. Students will be exposed to topics such as the role of genetics in reproduction, heredity, artificial selection, organism systems to support and propagate life, ecosystem dynamics, and how atoms and molecules interact to explain the substances that make up the world and how materials change. Through grade 7, students begin a process of moving from a more concrete to an abstract perspective, since many of the systems and cycles studied are not directly observable or experienced. This also creates a foundation for exploring cause and effect relationships in more depth in grade 8, especially with the concept of energy.
Grade 8: Grade 8 students use more robust abstract thinking skills to explain causes of complex phenomena and systems. Many causes are not immediately or physically visible to students. An understanding of cause and effect of key natural phenomena and designed processes allows students to explain patterns and make predictions about future events. In grade 8 these include, for example, causes of seasons and tides; causes of plate tectonics and weather or climate; and motion and energy systems. Being able to analyze phenomena for evidence of causes and processes that often cannot be seen, and being able to conceptualize and describe those, is a significant outcome for grade 8 students. Students in grade 8 will take the digital Grade 8 MCAS STE Assessment in late Spring.
*Use of language from the 2016 MA STE Frameworks with Descriptions
If students would like to purchase their own safety eyewear, the following guidelines must be followed:
Grades K-8: Chemical-splash goggles; can be worn over prescription eyeglasses. Lens must meet ANSI Z87.1-2010 requirements for impact resistance.