American middle school students have shown significant gains in science scores over the past eight years.1 However, there is still much work to be done if these students are to be prepared for rigorous high school science courses. Though there is no one set curriculum for middle school science, it is agreed that students at this level should be exposed to problems and questions dealing with everything from Biology to Chemistry to Physics. While most topics in the area of the life sciences are given adequate coverage in middle school, other topics in Chemistry and especially, in Physics, are often completely ignored. In the understanding of the breadth of knowledge that a middle school science student is expected to acquire in preparation for further, successful study in the sciences, I have worked to develop a curriculum that meets these needs. Covering eight units in a full school year, the new curriculum exposes the middle school student to physical science topics (electricity, magnetism, lenses/mirrors)in addition to basic biological units. Subjects as varied as weather, genetics and probability are part of these eight units. In addition to middle school textbooks, my seventh grade class discussions and activities are heavily supplemented by teacher developed worksheets, handouts and laboratory activities. It is hoped that this curriculum will help to prepare seventh grade students for rigorous high school science courses.
1. “TIMSS 2003: Eigth-Grade Performance Up, Fourth Grade Scores Flat” NSTA Reports, Feb. 2005, 16, 4 p. 1,4.
Back to K-8 Science
Back to The 37th Middle Atlantic Regional Meeting (May 22-25, 2005)