4th Grade Science
In fourth grade, students begin the year studying magnetism and electricity. Students construct and analyze differences between series and parallel circuits, build electromagnets and determine how to make them stronger and experiment on how to make a functioning simple motor. The middle of the year is spent studying the interaction of organisms within ecosystems. Students dissect owl pellets to determine an owl’s diet, make model ecosystems and determine how various animal adaptations aid in survival. Fourth grade ends the year by studying the geologic forces that shape the earth. Students classify minerals, model various forms of weathering and observe evidence of weathering in some of the natural geologic features around the community.
5th Grade Science
In fifth grade, students begin the year studying properties of matter and how those properties can change both physically and chemically. Students learn about elements and atoms, the basic building blocks of matter. Students also study the structures and functions of living things. Students learn basic parts of cells and how cells can work together to form tissues and organs. Students study the functions of the major organ systems of the body and how those systems interact. Students end the year studying earth science. Students study the water cycle in depth as well as the variables that can influence weather. Students also study the movement of planets around the sun, and some of the physical features of each of the planets.
6th Grade Science
Sixth grade studies earth science. They discuss the composition of the earth, classifying rocks and minerals, the causes of changes to the surface of the earth (such as volcanoes and earthquakes), causes of weather and conservation of natural resources.
7th Grade Science
Seventh grade begins the school year with the scientific method and then studies life science focusing on the parts and functions of cells, the role of DNA in heredity and evolution, classification of organisms and human body systems. Seventh grade participates in the science fair.
8th Grade Science
Eighth grade studies physical science focusing on physical and chemical properties of matter, atomic structure, covalent and ionic bonding, Newton's laws of motion, forces, sources of energy, chemical reactions and the solar system. Eighth grade also studies the geologic features and ecology of Yosemite National Park during a week long field trip. Eighth grade participates in the science fair.