Science 6 focuses on hands-on exploration and development of a deeper understanding of science by measuring, observing, and discovering the connections between physical and life sciences. The goal of the year is to generate a genuine sense of wonder and awe about the world around us. In this course, students explore forces, motion, and energy, the composition of matter, physical and chemical changes, and an investigation of biology and body systems. Students are introduced to the scientific method, data collection, and interactive scientific notebooks.
Science 7 utilizes the wide variety of rock outcrops, fields, and blufflines of the SAS campus to introduce students to landforms, rocks, and minerals, and the geology of the Cumberland Plateau through place-based scientific explorations. Students put this work into a global perspective with a unit focused on geologic time and plate tectonics, developing a deeper understanding of Earth’s ongoing geologic processes. During the third quarter, there is a unit on human reproduction and genetics. The year concludes with units on natural resource use, human impacts on Earth’s resources, and an introduction to climate change. Throughout the school year, students maintain a neat and orderly interactive scientific notebook, using it to record and document all experiments, notes, fieldwork, and hands on activities following scientific guidelines.
Science 8 uses the campus as a laboratory. Using an integrated approach, students study the properties of water, the water cycle, wetlands and wetland habitats, photosynthesis, biology, botany, water quality, chemistry, water treatment, conservation, and ecosystem dynamics. An on-going wetlands monitoring project that includes water, soil, and plant analysis provides an “umbrella” for fieldwork and building skills in data collection, graphing, and analysis, as well as the opportunity to participate in a multi-year project. The wetland theme serves as a framework for integrating the sciences and learning by doing. The year culminates in original student-designed research projects and a field exam where students demonstrate fieldwork competencies. Throughout the year, students maintain detailed and meticulous interactive scientific notebooks, use scientific instrumentation, become accomplished in the scientific method, and communicate scientific understanding through visual concept sketching, writing, and oral presentations.