All SPS students participate in rigorous, standards-based scientific inquiry in preparation for college-level science coursework and competition in the global economy. The science program provides all students with rich, rigorous, engaging and relevant student-centered, developmentally-appropriate experiences in life, physical and Earth science. A unique feature of our middle school science program is its issue-oriented approach. Each unit begins by presenting a real-world problem or challenge designed to engage and motivate students. As the unit continues, students experience activities that broaden their knowledge of concepts and ask them to collect evidence that relates to the initial problem or challenge. By the end of the unit, students have had many opportunities to improve their inquiry skills by engaging in scientific questions, weighing evidence and making informed decisions about the problem or challenge. This inquiry-based approach simultaneously nurtures students’ curiosity about the world around them and fosters rigorous scientific habits of mind.
CCSS for ELA in Science in Grades 6-8:
Our middle school science program supports Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts in Science (CCSS ELA) specifically, and science literacy in general. Students use science notebooks to keep track of evidence/data in their investigations. Then students are continually asked to use that evidence to make informed decisions, and discuss the benefits and trade-offs of those decisions. In addition, every grade has at least one close read of a complex science reading passage per semester.
Middle school science students take classroom quizzes, district unit tests, district benchmark assessments, district mid-year assessments and final assessments. These assessments mark students' progress in learning science content and process skills before taking the Connecticut State NGSS Science Test in 8th grade.