The sixth grade science curriculum is designed to enhance students' natural curiosity about the world. They develop basic scientific inquiry skills such as making observations, inferences, and predictions, while being challenged to expand their critical thinking and problem solving skills. Units of study have four main components: encouraging initial curiosity; establishing a foundation of basic scientific knowledge, which includes historical perspectives; engaging in hands-on experiences to solidify and expand understanding; and exploring real-life, current applications. The subject matter covered includes chemistry, magnetism, electricity, botany, and genetics, as well as an independent study. Integration of other disciplines including math, history, languages, art, music, and drama is done whenever possible. The overriding goal of the year is to keep the “spark” of fascination lit for each student who is already interested in science and to find the “spark” for those who have yet to discover it!
Seventh grade science is a thorough, student-driven, hands-on exploration of the three main disciplines in science: life science, earth science, and physical science. Our curriculum builds on prior knowledge, connects to the real world and community, leads to a better understanding of the systems and processes in the world, and pushes students to be inquisitive learners who are strong problem solvers and self-driven. Through problem and project-based learning, we explore topics such as global climate, sustainability, the scientific method, the ecosystem of northeastern Ohio, experimental design, electricity and electromagnetism, natural selection and heredity, and the solar system. It is our goal to prepare students for the rigorous demands of eighth grade and high school by encouraging inquiry and imagination.
The eighth grade science curriculum emphasizes boys as active learners who engage in hands-on, laboratory-based assignments. We want students to experience science through all of the senses. Boys participate in experimentation, see demonstrations, work cooperatively, and experience creative problem solving. We want the boys to think like scientists, take ownership of their learning, and intellectually to step outside the classroom boundaries to better understand the world. The overarching theme in eighth grade is physical science, where students hone their understanding of the physical world. The year culminates with a challenge that requires boys to use their knowledge of lab techniques to separate, identify, and quantify a sample containing four unknowns. These fundamental aspects help prepare students for chemistry, biology, and physics at the Upper School.