Science Department Overview
The goal of the Fuller Middle School science program is to develop students to be observers, information-seekers and problem-solvers who are equipped to cope in an increasingly complex scientific world. Students are actively engaged in thinking processes which include: observation, communication, comparison, organization, relationships, inferences, and application. The students participate in differentiated science inquiry with a variety of hands on project based activities. Additionally, meeting the diversity of all student needs by adapting curricular is an important instructional process with student choice and interest paramount in the process. The overarching objective is for all students to participate in an authentic, STEAM learning experience.
Grade 6 Curriculum
Structure and Function
The integration of Earth and space, life, and physical sciences with technology/engineering gives grade 6 students’ relevant and engaging opportunities with natural phenomena and design problems that highlight the relationship of structure and function in the world around them. Students relate structure and function through analyzing the macro- and microscopic world, such as Earth features and processes, the role of cells and anatomy in supporting living organisms, and properties of materials and waves. Students use models and provide evidence to make claims and explanations about structure-function relationships in different STE domains.
Grade 7 Curriculum
Systems and Cycles
Students in grade 7 focus on systems and cycles using their understanding of structures and functions, connections and relationships in systems, and flow of matter and energy developed in earlier grades. A focus on systems requires students to apply concepts and skills across disciplines, since most natural and designed systems and cycles are complex and interactive. They gain experience with plate tectonics, interactions of humans and Earth processes, organism systems to support and propagate life, ecosystem dynamics, motion and energy systems, and key technological systems used by society. Through grade 7, students begin a process of moving from a more concrete to an abstract perspective, since many of the systems and cycles studied are not directly observable or experienced. This also creates a foundation for exploring cause and effect relationships in more depth in grade 8.
Grade 8 Curriculum
Cause and Effect
Grade 8 students use more robust abstract thinking skills to explain causes of complex phenomena and systems. Many causes are not immediately or physically visible to students. An understanding of cause and effect of key natural phenomena and designed processes allows students to explain patterns and make predictions about future events. In grade 8 these include, for example, causes of seasons and tides; causes of plate tectonics and weather or climate; the role of genetics in reproduction, heredity, and artificial selection; and how atoms and molecules interact to explain the substances that make up the world and how materials change. Being able to analyze phenomena for evidence of causes and processes that often cannot be seen, and being able to conceptualize and describe those, is a significant outcome for grade 8 students.