• Middle School Science Grade 7/8 Semester 2

    Subject: Science
    Grade: 7/8
    Timeline:18 weeks
    Title: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

    Unit Overview: 
    In this unit of study, students will investigate energy, forces and motion.  Through exploration of elastic, frictional, magnetic and gravitational forces students build an understanding of energy and motion and the relationship between forces, energy and motion. Students develop skills in making and recording measurements while expanding abilities to make claims and provide supporting evidence based on data generated through hands-on experimentation.

    Unit Objectives:
    The objectives of this unit are to apply the Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS) Crosscutting Concepts that bridge disciplinary boundaries, uniting core ideas throughout the fields of science and engineering.
    1. Cause and Effect. Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems.
    2. Scale, Proportion, and Quantity. Time, space and energy phenomena can be observed at various scales using models to study systems that are too large or too small.
    3. Energy and Matter. Matter is conserved because atoms are conserved in physical and chemical processes.  The transfer of energy can be tracked as energy flows through a designed or natural system
    4. Structure and Function. Structures can be designed to serve particular functions by taking into account properties of different materials, and how materials can be shaped and used.
    5. Systems and System Models. Models can be used to represent systems and their interactions-such as inputs, processes and outputs-can energy and matter flows within systems.
    Focus Standards:
    PSSA Eligible Content 
    S8.A.1.1.1: Distinguish between a scientific theory and an opinion, explaining how a theory is supported with evidence, or how new data/information may change existing theories and practices.
    Materials & Resources
    S8.A.1.1.2: Explain how certain questions can be answered through scientific inquiry and/or technological design.
    S8.A.3.1.2: Explain the concept of order in a system [e.g., (first to last: manufacturing steps, trophic levels); (simple to complex: cell, tissue, organ, organ system)].
     S8.A.2.1.1: Use evidence, observations, or a variety of scales (e.g., mass, distance, volume, temperature) to describe relationships.
     S8.A.2.2.1: Describe the appropriate use of instruments and scales to accurately and safely measure time, mass, distance, volume, or temperature under a variety of conditions.
    Materials & Resources
    S8.A.2.2.2: Apply appropriate measurement systems (e.g., time, mass, distance, volume, temperature) to record and interpret observations under varying conditions.
    Materials & Resources
    S8.A.2.2.3: Describe ways technology (e.g., microscope, telescope, micrometer, hydraulics, barometer) extends and enhances human abilities for specific purposes.
    S8.C.1.1.1: Explain the differences among elements, compounds, and mixtures
     S8.C.2.1.1: Distinguish among forms of energy (e.g., electrical, mechanical, chemical, light, sound, nuclear) and sources of energy (i.e., renewable and nonrenewable energy) 
    S8.C.2.1.2: Explain how energy is transferred from one place to another through convection, conduction, or radiation.
    Materials & Resources
    S8.C.2.1.3: Describe how one form of energy (e.g., electrical, mechanical, chemical, light, sound, nuclear) can be converted into a different form of energy.
    S8.C.2.1.2: Explain how energy is transferred from one place to another through convection, conduction, or radiation.
    Materials & Resources
    S8.C.2.1.3: Describe how one form of energy (e.g., electrical, mechanical, chemical, light, sound, nuclear) can be converted into a different form of energy.
    S8.A.2.2.2: Apply appropriate measurement systems (e.g., time, mass, distance, volume, temperature) to record and interpret observations under varying conditions. 

    NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas
    PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
    Matter of any type can be subdivided into particles that are too small to see, but even then the matter still exists and can be detected by other means. A model shows that gases are made from matter particles that are too small to see and are moving freely around in space can explain many observations, including the inflation and shape of a balloon; the effects of air on larger particles or objects. (5-PS1-1)
    • The amount (weight) of matter is conserved when it changes form, even in transitions in which it seems to vanish. (5-PS1-2)
    • Measurements of a variety of properties can be used to identify materials. (Boundary: At this grade level, mass and weight are not distinguished, and no attempt is made to define the unseen particles or explain the atomic-scale mechanism of evaporation and condensation.) (5-PS1-3)
    PS2.B: Types of Interactions
    The gravitational force of Earth acting on an object near Earth’s
    surface pulls that object toward the planet’s center. (5-PS2-1)
    Concepts - Students will know:
    • Types of forces and their relationship to motion.
    • How forces affect motion within simple machines.
    • Different forms of energy.
    • How forces affect motion within simple machines.
    • The scientific definition of speed and acceleration.
    • Forces can change the speed of an object.  
    • Forces can accelerate an object. 
    • The relationship between electricity and magnetism.
    • Alternative methods for generating electricity.
    Competencies -Students will be able to:
    • Explain that a force is a push or a pull on an object.
    • Recognize that an unbalanced force is necessary to make a resting object move, bring a moving object to rest, or change the direction of a moving object. 
    • Recognize that friction is a force that opposes motion.
    • Compare load and effort.
    • Explore the effect of forces on simple machines. 
    • Explain how all energy can be considered to be kinetic or potential.
    • Recognize that energy is a property of many substances and is associated with multiple forms (e.g. electrical, mechanical, heat, light, sound, nuclear).
    • Recognize that energy can be stored and released to make an object move.
    • Demonstrate how machines can reduce effort force and increase effort distance when doing work.
    • Calculate the mechanical advantage and efficiency of simple machines.
    • Determine how to calculate speed and describe the motion of a car.
    • Identify and describe the forces acting on a car.
    • Observe and describe the motion of the roller coaster.
    • Construct an electromagnet.
    • Describe applications for electromagnets.
    • Construct a series circuit.
    • Construct an electrical cell.
    • Construct a parallel circuit.
    • Identify advantages and disadvantages of converting alternative forms (solar, hydro-electric, wind, nuclear, hydrogen) to generate electricity.

    • Recorded data from Investigation                                                
    • Note-booking                                      
    • Teacher observation
    • Response sheets
    • Formative Activities: Lab Sheets, Exit slips, Bell Ringers, Quick Writes
    • Section reveiws and quizzes
    • Performance Tasks Using Rubrics
    • Data Analysis
    • Design Challenge Projects Using Rubrics and Student Self-Assessment
    • Summative Exams

    Elements of Instruction:
    The NGSS identifies eight Science and Engineering Practices that all students in all grades must participate in to effectively investigate the natural world through the practices of science inquiry, or solve meaningful problems through the practices of engineering design.
    Science and Engineering Practices
    Practice 1 Asking Questions and Defining Problems
    Students should be able to ask questions of each other about the texts they read, the features of the phenomena they observe, and the conclusions they draw from their models or scientific investigations. For engineering, they should ask questions to define the problem to be solved and to elicit ideas that lead to the constraints and specifications for its solution.
    Practice 2 Developing and Using Models
    Modeling can begin with students’ models progressing from concrete “pictures” and/or physical scale models  to more abstract representations of relevant relationships in later grades, such as a diagram representing forces on a particular object in a system.

    Practice 3 Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
    Students should have opportunities to plan and carry out several different kinds of investigations. They should engage in investigations that range from those structured  by the teacher—in order to expose  an issue or question that they
    would be unlikely to explore on their own—to those that emerge from students’ own questions.
    Practice 4 Analyzing and Interpreting Data
    Once collected, data must be presented in a form that can reveal any patterns and relationships and that allows results to be communicated to others. Because raw data as such have little meaning, a major practice of scientists is to organize and interpret data through tabulating, graphing, or statistical analysis. Such analysis can bring out the meaning of data—and their relevance—so that they may be used as evidence.
    Practice 5 Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
    Although there are differences in how mathematics and computational thinking are applied in science and in engineering, mathematics often brings these two fields together by enabling engineers to apply the mathematical form of scientific theories and by enabling scientists to use powerful information technologies designed by engineers. Both can thereby accomplish investigations and analyses and build complex models, which might otherwise be out of the question. Students will practice these computations.
    Practice 6 Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
    The goal of science is to construct explanations for the causes of phenomena. Students are expected to construct their
    own explanations, as well as apply standard explanations they learn about from their teachers or reading.
    Practice 7 Engaging in Argument from Evidence
    The study of science and engineering should produce a sense of the process of argument necessary for advancing and defending a new idea or an explanation of a phenomenon and the norms for conducting such arguments. In that spirit, students should argue for the explanations they construct, defend their interpretations of the associated data, and advocate for the designs they propose.
    Practice 8 Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
    Any education in science and engineering needs to develop students’ ability to read and produce domain-specific text. As such, every science or engineering lesson is in part a language lesson, particularly reading and producing the genres of texts that are intrinsic to science and engineering.
    Differentiation options for each portion of the lesson are listed with directions and student masters in the Teacher’s Guide.
    • Explanation of activities using combinations of pictures and words
    • Graphic organizers for lab report process
    • Graphic organizer for note booking
    • Student developed research projects with digital presentation
    • Use of computer software for formative assessment 
    Interdisciplinary Connections:

    Additional Resources / Games: