The following Student Learning Expectations pertain to the Middle School Science curriculum. All of these goals are met in our study of physical science through readings, class discussions, labs, technology usage and both group and individual student projects.


· Become aware of global issues

· Appreciate cultural diversity and uniqueness of others

· Set goals and evaluate progress

· Apply knowledge

· Recognize and share their own knowledge and talents

· Work independently and cooperatively

· Demonstrate a curiosity and enthusiasm for learning

· Apply critical thinking skills in problem solving

· Are self starters who facilitate their own learning

· Know where to go for information and how to interpret it

· Effectively use technology to expand their knowledge and to communicate

· Are confident, poised speakers

Grade 5

In Grade 5  we begin with the basic building blocks of the universe, matter, and learn all about atomic structure, elements, compounds, and the Periodic Table of Elements. The students will understand about phase changes and the properties of solids, liquids and gases. Students will then move on to the basic building blocks of life, the cell. Our life science unit will focus on the similarities and differences between animals and plants and the metabolic functions of each. We will continue with human body systems and see how they are all interrelated. The students will also be exposed to earth science topics, including water systems and atmospheric conditions.

Grades 5 and 6 will both be involved in a “Marine Month” program, studying topics related to California oceanography and marine science. We will learn about the kelp forest. The focus will be on its many inhabitants and the biology and ecology of the kelp forest itself. We have a unique habitat in Monterey Bay as a resource for this unit.

Grade 6

In Grade 6, the course of instruction will cover various topics within the field of Earth Science. These will include ecology, environmental science, geology, cartography, oceanography and atmospheric science. Specific topics will include: mapping, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, fresh water systems, ocean motions, ocean zones, atmospheric conditions and climate.

Grade 7

The course instruction is focused upon the exploration of Life Science. This will include aspects of biology, zoology, botany, cellular biology, genetics, taxonomy, microbiology and other related topics.

We will study the basic characteristics of living things and their adaptations to the physical environment. We will move to metabolic functions of all living things and how organisms are classified. Genetics has proven to be a class favorite as we move on to the various Kingdoms. We will include microbes and then move on to multicellular organisms.

For the first time, students will be expected to write a term paper in science. They will get to research any topic within the field of life science and give a presentation to the class on their findings.

Grade 8

The course instruction is focused upon the exploration of Physical Science. This will include aspects of physics and chemistry.

We will study the basic building block of the universe, matter. Physical and chemical properties and changes will be taught and demonstrated as well as atomic structure. Topics such as volume, mass, and density will be a focus. Various phases of matter will be used to illustrate these topics and phase changes and causes will be taught. Lastly, students will learn about classification of the elements and the Periodic table of Elements.

In the second half of the year, students will be introduced to basic physics and the transference of energy from one form to another. The laws of energy will provide the platform for topics in motion, heat, light, sound and mechanics.

The students will again be expected to write a research paper in science. This years topic will be on a particular scientist and their contributions to their specific field.