middle school science class demonstration with green ballooon

Whether it’s keeping up to date on the latest technology or making sense of current events, science education is fundamental to making sense out of an increasingly complex world. Even if a student has no interest in a science career, they should, as adults, still be able to critically read the science section of their local newspaper.

To that end, the Middle School science department incorporates cross-cutting concepts (such as patterns, cause and effect, energy and matter), skills and practices, and disciplinary core ideas as a means for teaching the science curriculum.

These core ideas all have broad importance within or across science or engineering disciplines. They provide a key tool for understanding or investigating complex ideas and solving problems, relate to societal or personal concerns, and can be taught over multiple grade levels at progressive levels of depth and complexity. 

In learning about the core ideas, students ask questions and define problems. Amongst other skills, they gain proficiency in the development and use of models, using mathematics and computational thinking, analyzing and interpreting data, and engaging in arguments from evidence and reasoning. 

By the end of eighth grade, students will have developed proficiency in the following:

  • Continuing to develop critical thinking skills
  • Asking questions about their surrounding world
  • Using a skills toolkit from which to help analyze data
  • Using both evidence and reasoning in their scientific arguments
  • Clearly communicating their ideas both orally and in writing as a member of a scientifically curious and literate community