7th Grade Science
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Gravity & Kinetic Energy Unit
(From FOSS) How does gravity cause objects to move? What happens to an object’s energy when it moves faster? What happens when moving objects collide? How can humans protect themselves in collisions? These are the fundamental physics questions explored by students in this unit as they explore the anchor phenomena of falling objects and collisions. Students use a variety of a hands experiments with ramps, cars, and marbles to investigate the primary focus question "How can we explain the motion of objects?" They become master roller coaster builders using a sim created by the Jason Project. Finally they end the unit by relating everything they have observed to Newton's three Laws of Motion and the Law of Conservation of Energy.
CLICK HERE to see the Gravity & Kinetic Energy Unit Essential Questions and Vocabulary.
Electromagnetic Force Unit
(From FOSS) Electricity and magnetism are some of the most fascinating physics phenomena to study in a middle school classroom. Students will measure the force of invisible magnetic fields, learn to build a circuit, design an electromagnet, and explain the energy transfers that make it all possible. In the FOSS Electromagnetic Force Unit, students manipulate equipment to collect data about magnetic fields and electricity. They construct explanations based on observable patterns and develop models that define the cause-and-effect relationships of the forces and interactions they are measuring.
CLICK HERE to see the Electromagnetic Force Unit Essential Questions and Vocabulary.
Weather & Water Unit
(From FOSS) The FOSS Weather and Water unit focuses on the phenomena of Earth’s atmosphere, weather, and water. The anchor phenomena is observable local weather conditions. The guiding question for the unit is "What makes weather happen?" Students will delve into phenomena that may seem unrelated to weather, including a dose of the disciplines of physics and chemistry. A good understanding of meteorology as an earth science isn’t complete without an introduction to concepts that cross into these disciplines. Understanding weather is more than reading data from a weather center. Students need to grapple with ideas about atoms and molecules, changes of state, and energy transfer before they can launch into the bigger ideas involving air masses, fronts, convection cells and winds, the development of severe weather, and climate change. The importance of water on Earth is a major element of this unit.
CLICK HERE to see the Weather & Water Unit Essential Questions and Vocabulary.
Populations & Ecosystems Unit
(From FOSS) Look around . . . you’re in an ecosystem. How do you know? Because there are organisms everywhere. An ecosystem is an organizational unit of life on Earth, defined by a physical environment and the organisms that live there. Organisms depend on their ecosystem for survival. Energy and matter, in the form of food, flow through an ecosystem. The critical role of photosynthetic organisms in creating food is what allows the rest of the organisms in the ecosystem to exist. Disruption to one element of the ecosystem produces waves and ripples that touch every member of the system. Changes may produce pressures in the ecosystem. When change is precipitous, a population may be exterminated. One powerful change agent in just about every ecosystem on Earth is humans. Human mobility, technology, and institutions place pressures on many ecosystems. The first step toward placing less disruptive pressure on natural systems is understanding how they work and what they need to remain healthy. This unit provides students with the first steps along the path of ecological understanding, with the hope that their future steps will be considered and measured, serving the interests of all life.
CLICK HERE to see the Populations & Ecosystems Essential Questions and Vocabulary.