This year in 7th, 8th and 9th grade science, we have tried to go back to the basics but also have completed several activities to do science differently.  Mr. Rook is completing his first year as science teacher for Greenfield Schools and he was joined by Mrs. Long after Christmas break as a student teacher in all three levels of science.  We worked with the high school science department and the State of Missouri’s science standards to establish 7th grade as the year for Earth Science, 8th grade as the year for Life Science and continuing with freshman science being Physical Science.  

In the first of the year, we spent a great deal of time going back to the basics and building a good solid base regarding science, the scientific method and scientific thinking.  We have also tried to sprinkle in several hands on projects across the grade levels to allow the students to experience hands on activities to “do” science in a different way.  

The Physical Science students did two projects we termed “Hillbilly Physics” projects during first semester.  These projects challenged the students to use the concepts they had learned to build their own models from everyday items to demonstrate their knowledge of such physical science terms as motion, friction, laws of motion, momentum, law of conservation of energy and on and on.  They also made “Rube Goldberg Machines” that used multiple steps and multiple scientific concepts to do simple tasks.

The 7th Grade Earth Science students did a project to collect 10 rocks from their home or surrounding areas and use scientific data and their knowledge gained from our rock units to identify those rocks.  They were also tasked with collecting a sample of the soil from their yards and identifying the characteristics within the soil that they had learned about in class. 

 In 8th Grade Life Science the students really got interested in genetics and we did a good deal of work learning about the common features of humans and how they are inherited.  We then did a large project with the 8th graders we called “Gummy Bear Genetics” in which they got to try to figure out the characteristics of the imaginary offspring using Gummy Bears to represent various traits.  The students enjoyed every part of the project except that they couldn’t eat the gummy bears.  That was very hard for many students. 

We have also tried to support the objective from language arts that all students will be competent public speakers by having many of these projects have a component where the student has to present their information to the class and be able to explain and defend their projects. 

Recently, the 8th grade science class took advantage of the beautiful spring weather and spent some time outside.  Students have been learning about environments and ecosystems recently. Pictured are some of our students searching for biotic (living) and abiotic (nonliving) factors in our own environment around school. Everyone enjoyed a nice change of scenery and getting to apply what they learned in the classroom out in the world!