The 7th grade science curriculum takes on an activity-based approach that consists of experiments, collecting and analyzing data, and creating models. In addition to the activity-based approach, reading and analyzing information supports literacy in the science classroom. The units covered include: Weather and Atmosphere, The Earth in Space, Ecology, Water, Energy and Waves.
Weather and Atmosphere
Students investigate local and extreme weather conditions, climate and rainfall patterns, wind, the water cycle, and examine the root cause of weather and climate, namely the distribution of solar energy over the earth. Wind and the atmosphere are studied in depth.
The Earth in Space
Students study the earth’s rotation, the causes of the seasons, shadows, movement of the moon, actions and causes of the tides, and review several calendars developed over the years to mark the passage of time.
Students consider what happens when a new species is introduced into an ecosystem as they model ecological relationships within an ecosystem; simulate the effect of competition, predation and other factors on population size; and investigate local ecosystems.
Students study the complex issues that surround a very basic necessity-drinking water as they investigate water quality issues in the fictional community of Willow Grove. In the culminating activities of the unit, students apply what they have learned to make decisions about precipitation and neutralization as methods for treating industrial wastewater containing acid and heavy metals.
The activities explore key energy concepts, including the variety of types of energy, energy transfers within and between systems, the energy chains involved when energy is transformed from one type to a more desired type, and the methods used to quantify energy and determine the efficiency of energy transfers.
In this unit, students learn about several kinds of waves and investigate the transmission of sound and light.