Science 7

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In Seventh grade science, we will be delving into what it means to be a scientist and how science provides a unique and powerful way to understand the world. Throughout the year, we will be asking big questions and looking closely at how science connects to our lives. Along the way, we will explore how humans have come to understand their place in the universe, consider how rare and precious life is, and investigate how our choices and actions during this brief moment in geologic time dramatically affect the environment and our fellow living members here on the one and only planet Earth.

The scope and sequence of the year can be thought of as a grand transect* that stretches from deep space to the center of the Earth. The year’s investigations are divided into five units beginning with the Nature and Processes of Science Inquiry. Following this, we will blast off into a unit on Space Science and the frontier-expanding field of computer programming and robotics. From here, we will pass through the Earth’s atmosphere and explore the living surface of our planet through the interconnected fields of Ecology and Environmental Science. Finally, we will wrap up the year by plumbing the depths of our planet to uncover its inner-workings and to figure out what the field of Earth Science has to say about the past and future of the Pacific Northwest. As a grand finale, we will wrap up the year with a four-day trip to Mt. St Helens, a local reminder of the dynamism and resiliency of our one and only planet Earth.

* Transect - a line along which a scientists travels and makes observations during a focused research study.

Units

Unit Essential Questions Content Skills and Processes Assessment Resources Multicultural Dimension Integrated Learning
THE LENS OF SCIENCE: A Look at Scientific Skills & Inquiry
  • What is my role in this scientific community?
  • How is science different from other ways of knowing?
  • How do scientists do their work?
  • Scientific Habits of Mind
  • Observation versus Inference
  • Variables
  • The Scientific Process
  • Research Design
  • Data Analysis
  • Identifying and using lab equipment properly
  • Questioning like a scientist
  • Observing and Inferring
  • Collaborating on research design
  • graphing
  • Peer-reviewing and group editing on google docs
  • Lab Report
  • Self reflection
  • Homework
  • Discussions
  • Learnedtech.com Scientific Method Webquest
  • Inquiry Cubes, The Science Teacher
  • GEMs Dry Ice Investigations
  • Create a Graph web tools
  • Addressing & challenging the stereotypes around science and scientists 
  • Assertion that everyone can be a scientist 
  • Historical perspectives on science
  • The science and math of data analysis and graphing
  • Scientific writing
OUR EXPANDING INTERGALACTIC ROADMAP: Humankind's Relationship with Space from Mythology to Mars Rovers
  • How have humans viewed the stars and our place in space from ancient times to the present?
  • How big is the universe and how is it arranged?
  • How do computer programs, robotics, and technology allow us to explore new frontiers of space?
  • What is the future of space travel and interplanetary colonization?
  • Is there life out there somewhere?
  • The scale, the arrangement and the formation of our solar system and the space beyond
  • Comparative views and models of the cosmos throughout time and across cultures
  • The mass and movement of the Earth and the moon and its effects on our days, years, seasons, lunar cycles, eclipses and gravity
  • Computer programming, robotics, and mars rovers
  • Probing the past and predicting the future of our space program
  • Examining evidence of extraterrestrial life
  • Building models to demonstrate the scale of the solar system and the relative sizes of the eight planets
  • Examining past and present ideas of how the cosmos are organized
  • Manipulating models to explore the movement of Earth, the moon, and our celestial neighbors
  • Programming Lego robotics mars rovers to complete a sequence of tasks remotely
  • Analyzing evidence and discussing the likelihood of mars colonization and extraterrestrial life
  • Solar system scale models
  • Humankind's shifting views of space timeline
  • Mars Rover Lego Robotics programming challenge
  • 'Reasons for the Seasons' kinesthetic performance
  • Class discussions
  • Unit Test
  • FOSS Planetary Science Curricula
  • Stellarium planetary software
  • Celestia 3D space simulation
  • NSTA Project Earth Science: Astronomy Curricula
  • Analyzing diverse cultural perspectives on the space above and the stories of the stars
  • The importance of international competition and cooperation for the development and continuation of space exploration
  • The use of ratios to produce scale models of the solar system
  •  The historical under-pinnings of the space race
  •  Technology and computer programming as it relates to space science
THE WONDER OF OR OUR LIVING PLANET: Ecology and the Interconnectedness of Earth, Air, Water & Life
  • How are living organisms connected to each other and to their environment?
  • What role does competition and cooperation play in an ecosystem?
  • How do limiting factors affect population growth and how does population growth affect the environment?
  • How is matter and energy cycled through the environment?
  • How does ecology allow us to predict the effects of environmental change?
  • Components of the biotic and abiotic environment
  • Relationships between organisms within an ecosystem
  • Food webs and energy pyramids
  • Nutrient Cycling
  • Population growth and limiting factors
  • Natural responses to environmental changes
  • Using ecological field-sampling methods to more deeply understand the natural world
  • Identifying relationships between organisms in an environment and how these relationships relate to matter and energy cycling
  • Interpreting varied types of graphs to investigate the effects of environmental factors and limited resources on population growth
  • Reading the natural landscape to predict past disturbance and future changes
  • Ecological field reports
  • Food-web, Energy-pyramid and Nutrient Cycling visual displays
  • Eco-muve virtual labs
  • "The story of a place" graphic novelettes (if time allows)
  • Project Wild Curricula
  • Project Learning Tree Curricula
  • EcoMuve Virtual ecology labs
  • NSTA Exploring Ecology
  • NSTA Forestry Field Studies Manual
  •  Using math and laws of probability to calculate and predict ecological characteristics
  • Interpreting cause and effect through complex graphs
  • Field report writing and peer editing
THE HUMAN FOOTPRINT: Environmental Science and our Shared Responsibility
  • How have humans affected and been affected by their environment through time?
  • How do our current choices affect the future of our planet and our global society?
  • What does it mean to be sustainable?
  • What can we do to make this place better?
  • The history of environmental science 
  • A  cause-and-effect evaluation of environmental challenges we face (focus on: climate change, habitat destruction, pollution, & invasive species)
  • An exploration of environmental solutions and movements toward sustainability
  • The environmental analysis of our own place
  • An exploration of action and activism
  • Analyzing the historical contexts of environmental science from multiple perspectives
  • Collecting and evaluating data to determine chemical, biological and physical environmental parameters
  • Organizing and statiscally analyzing large data sets to find environmental trends
  • Designing and proposing systems that would increase sustainability practices on campus and beyond
  • Communicating research, concerns, and ideas to affect positive change
  • Environmental timelines
  • Participation in field study projects
  • Field Research Reports
  • Environmental Challenges and Solutions reports
  • Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold
  • Collapse, Jared Diamond
  • Silent Spring, Rachel Carson
  • NSTA Resources for Environmental Literacy
  • Cispus Environmental Science Curriculum
  • Adopt a Stream Curriculum
  •  Multi-cultural perspectives on resource use both past and present
  •  Environmental justice and its implications on poverty and privilege

 

  • Reading and discussing environmental literature
  • Exploring the historical perspectives of environmental science
  • Statistical data analysis of environmental parameters
THE HIDDEN NATURE & MOVEMENT OF PLANET EARTH: Earth Science and what it Means for Us in the Pacific Northwest
  • What is the nature of the Earth beneath our feet & how can we know?
  • What makes the Pacific Northwest look the way it does?
  • How and where can I read the Earth's autobiography?
  • How can I prepare for whatever the Earth has in store?
  • Layers of the Earth
  • Convection & Plate Tectonics
  • Earthquakes & Volcanoes
  • Mineral & Rock type identification
  • The Rock cycle
  • Geology of the Pacific Northwest: 4-day field trip to Mt St. Helens
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Interpreting seismographs to infer the layers of the Earth
  • Modeling global plate tectonics and predicting geologically active (and hazardous) locations
  • Identifying rock type and common minerals
  • Reading topographic maps, geologic maps, and satellite images to understand regional geography
  • Preparing yourself and your family for possible Earth hazards

 

  • Adopt a tectonic plate project and presentation
  • Layers of the Earth seismograph lab conclusion
  • Rock & Mineral ID quiz
  • Rock Cycle Story
  • Mt. St. Helens field notes
  • Emergency preparedness plan
  • Vocano!
  • NSTA Project Earth Science: Geology Curriculum
  • NSTA Earth Science Puzzles
  • Road Guide to Mt. St. Helens
  • Prentice Hall- Dynamic Earth
  • Smithsonian institute - Volcanology Website
  • Native American mythology of Mt. St. Helens
  • Historical perspectives and theories on the nature of the Earth
  • Rock cycle writing assignment
  • The exponential scale of the Richter Scale
  • reading and interpreting maps