The curriculum for middle school students spans over three years and covers a wide variety of topics based upon themes. In those three years, students experience the themes of “How Things Work,” “Journeys,” and “Homes and Habitats.” Within each theme, curriculum is designed with the Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCEs) in mind, but tailored towards projects that the students use to display their scientific thinking. At the middle school level, students continue to increase/display their understanding of knowledge through 4 strands, scientific processes, physical sciences, life sciences, and earth sciences.
Through a combination of scientific inquiry and problem-based learning, students are highly encouraged to share their thoughts and theories on how they use science as a tool to understand the natural world around them. Through in class discussions, homework, and hands-on learning activities, the lessons challenge the students to get beyond simple responses to be able to explain how something works, why it reacts that way, and/or use the scientific method to investigate it further.
Assessments happen through both formative and summative examples throughout a unit. In each unit, the GLCEs are the intended objectives students will focus towards, while extending themselves sometimes in areas of personal interest and also creative outputs. They also move towards displaying mastery in these areas through these projects and coursework. Students use lab time, homework, projects, and in class participation to experience introductions to new material, practice demonstrating what they learned, and display mastery of expectations.