MYP Science - Grade 8

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Summary:
Grade 8 Sciences is an integrated science course that encompasses an equal balance of chemistry, biology and physics. We will explore the key concepts of CHANGE, RELATIONSHIPS and SYSTEMS with respect to energy and chemical transformations in the world that surrounds us. Chemistry topics deal with atoms and molecules as building blocks of the universe, periodicity and chemical bonds. Biology topics offer a holistic application of chemical principles in ecosystems and the environment. In addition, the biology topics will explore genetics and reproduction alongside concepts of nature vs nurture. Physics topics deal with different types of energy (chemical and electrical), how it manifests itself, and what laws govern its transformation. The course focuses on research and experimentation throughout the year, as well as on applied mathematical skills. By the end of this course, students should be able to understand better their surroundings and the changes that are occurring.
 
Units and topics:
Unit 1 – Chemical interactions
  • Describe the structure of atoms
  • Describe the organization of the periodic table
  • Understand different types of chemical bonds (ionic and covalent)
  • State the law of mass of conservation
  • Balance simple chemical equations
Unit 2 - Ecosystems and energy
  • Describe the components within an ecosystem
  • Distinguish between a food web and food chain
  • Explain an ecological pyramid and how energy flows through it
  • Understand and apply concepts of photosynthesis
Unit 3 – Electricity and magnetism
  • Define and describe: 
  • Electricity
    • circuits
    • voltage (V)
    • current (I)
    • resistance (Ω)
  • Outline the important historical figures, events, and products toward the development of modern electricity
  • Understand how batteries and motors are work related
Unit 4 - Genetics and reproduction
  • Describe the concept of nature vs. nurture
  • Mitosis/Meiosis
  • Distinguish between DNA, genes, alleles, and chromosomes
  • Describe the components of DNA, including proteins and base pairs
  • Discuss the benefits and drawbacks to genetic manipulation of human genes.
  • Understand the process of sexual reproduction in humans
  • Describe internal and external changes during puberty and ways to manage them 
Required materials for every class:
 
  ● Charged laptop.  ● Notebook with a hard cover. The pages can be blank (unlined) or lined pages. This notebook must be used just for science class. ● Writing implements - pen, pencil, ruler
 
  ● Covered shoes (mandatory when conducting experiments) ● Calculator ● Earbud or headphones.  ● Graph paper ● A set of colored pencils and highlighters
 
Aims:As stated in the MYP Sciences guide, the aims of MYP science are to encourage and enable students to
  • Develop inquiring minds and curiosity about science and the natural world
  • Acquire knowledge, conceptual understanding and skills to solve problems and make informed decisions in scientific and other contexts
  • Develop skills of scientific inquiry to design and carry out scientific investigations and evaluate scientific evidence to draw conclusions
  • Communicate scientific ideas, arguments and practical experiences accurately in a variety of ways
  • Think analytically, critically and creatively to solve problems, judge arguments and make decisions in scientific and other contexts
  • Appreciate the benefits and limitations of science and its application in technological developments
  • Understand the international nature of science and the interdependence of science, technology and society, including the benefits, limitations and implications imposed by social, economic, political, environmental, cultural and ethical factors
  • Demonstrate attitudes and develop values of honesty for themselves, others, and their shared environment
 
Assessment criteria:
Feedback on and final levels of achievement for assessments are based on four equally weighted assessment criteria 
 
Assessment Criteria
At the end of year 8, students should be able to:
A
Knowing and understanding
  • describe scientific knowledge
  • apply scientific knowledge and understanding to solve problems set in familiar and unfamiliar situations
  • analyse information to make scientifically supported judgments.
B
Inquiring and designing
  • describe a problem or question to be tested by a scientific investigation
  • outline a testable hypothesis and explain it using scientific reasoning
  • describe how to manipulate the variables, and describe how data will be collected
  • design scientific investigations.
C
Processing and evaluating
  • present collected and transformed data
  • interpret data and describe results using scientific reasoning
  • discuss the validity of a hypothesis based on the outcome of the scientific investigation
  • discuss the validity of the method
  • describe improvements or extensions to the method.
D
Reflecting on the impacts of science
  • describe the ways in which science is applied and used to address a specific problem or issue
  • discuss and analyse the various implications of using science and its application in solving a specific problem or issue
  • apply scientific language effectively
  • document the work of others and sources of information used.
 

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