Standard Course of Study for 8th Grade Science

Complete Listing of goals from NCDPI.

coolscnc.gifGoal 1 and 2

How to do Science and utilize Technology

animated_sherlock.gifInquiry is the top choice of all science educators. Not only does a lab a day keep the boredom away, but students also must be actively involved if they are problem solving. Science labs are done in 2 to 4 student groups. Student group work requires different skills to solve problems. Employers need responsible workers who can not only follow instructions but who are trained to think, solve problems, and work with others.

I am 'hands on' science but doing labs isn't always inquiry learning. Many labs are set up like cake baking recipes. This is absolutely necessary to teach students new techniques and lab skills. After students learn a lab technique, I like for them to ideally solve a problem. "Scientists ask good questions and answer those questions." says Matthew Cook, our Duke scientist from TASC. We need to practice science that answers questions we pose in the classroom. Our school science projects are the ultimate use of what we have learned in class about the scientific method during the year.

Technology is a great way to learn many topics; technology is even better when I can use a computer or calculator as a scientific tool. East Lee is fortunate to have a variety of tools in science from the calculator based labs to an array of basic science equipment. The school will be adding computers to each classroom to permit our students to use the latest research and reporting skills in the science curriculum. This wiki space will continue to be utilized as a way for our "scientists" at East to communicate their discoveries in lab work. Refer to Science Projects.

Hydrology: Goal 3

Chemistry: Goal 4 Lessons What in the world is not chemistry?

Chemistry Goal 4 NC Standard Course of Study
Title Page File
List of objectives:



Goal 5: Geology-Change over Time: Remote Sensing. fossils, ground truthing, spectral analysis.


Learning the Major Themes in Science

ani-hello.gifNVTech_medi0015.jpg None of what I teach you will matter if you don't know learn how to learn. Understanding how to learn is a big idea called metacognition. I would like you to become an expert on how to learn science! This skill will transfer to everything else you want to learn. You are actually in charge of your learning; you were not born with a brain that never changes.
Ideas to ponder:
  • We can watch your brain change as you learn new information with brain scans.
  • You control what changes your brain makes in these important middle school and high school years!
  • 95% of our ideas about the brain have changed in the your lifetime!
  • You have to use the information to transfer ideas into different parts of you brain.
  • Why not use the latest methods to assist your learning??
  • brain.jpg

Help your brain acquire and store new information:

  1. What do I already know? What do I want to learn? What did I learn?rotating_scans.gif
  2. How can I use graphic organizers to connect information?
  3. How can I use the material again to let my brain make strong chemical bonds to keep the information handy?
  4. How can I learn best? If I have special wiring in my brain, how can I best learn this information? What is the latest research about my brain's wiring??
Take notes! Don't wait on the teacher to tell you! Practice those note taking skills. You are going to high school!

Always ask what is the big picture?
  1. How does this topic fit into the universe?
  2. How does this topic relate to my life in Lee County?
  3. How is this topic related to other areas of science?
  4. How is this topic related to other subjects I am taking at East Lee?

Look for these ideas; you can put special flags on information.
  • Is this a constant in science? ( speed of light, mass and energy, ect.)
  • What is changing about this topic? How does it change?
  • What vocabulary words are required to understand this topic?
  • What methods do scientists use to study this idea?
  • How has technology influenced what we know about this topic?
  • How was the information determined? How was it measured?

Learning styles can affect your ability to remember information. Even if you have been told you are one specific learning style, try to develop other ways to learn information. Your brain is very flexible. We now know that you can have 1/2 of your brain removed and you can still function normally because your brain has "plasticity". Read more about this in Gifted Hands by Dr. Ben Carson.
  • Who can I tell about this topic? Verbalize this information to one other person.
  • What picture would I draw about this subject if I were an artist?
  • If I wrote a song about this subject, what would I want in the lyrics?
  • If I were writing about this subject, what would form of writing would I use? poetry? fiction?

  • Try to connect information as many ways possible to your life. This helps you learn.
  • We know that the more you come in touch with a new word or idea in your life, the better the chemical connections are in your brain.

Life style

  • If you sleep your 8 hours a day, your brain can rearrange and store information you are learning. The brain works on learning while you sleep.
  • Your brain needs more water than the rest of your body. Try to stay hydrated.
  • Your brain works faster if you are exercising and have plenty of oxygen getting to the brain. Get daily exercise.
  • There really are 'brain foods' that help you learn better. Spinach, salmon, ect. Watch what you eat.
  • Too much stress can interfere with learning; try to use exercise to reduce your stress.
  • Think positive; your brain responds best to positive thinking. animated_see_hear_speak.gif
  • You are growing your brain rapidly in middle school. Help your brain!! The size of your brain doesn't change; the wiring changes. If you are interested in neuroscience, I can give you some great websites and books. Your brain is a fascinating subject.