As a survey course, sixth grade science will touch upon a number of content areas through hands-on exploration, research, note taking and experimentation. Because working as a team player is such an integral part of being a scientist, we began our year with team building exercises that will lead to the formation of group norms to be used by all grade six science students.
Maine has adopted the final draft of the Next Generation Science Standards. RSU 5 is working to align our content with these standards as the year progresses and to integrate learning with as many real life applications as possible to enhance student understanding of the role science plays in their everyday life. The specifics of this list may change, but the overall themes will remain the same. Content- will most likely include, but is not limited to:
NATURE OF SCIENCE
- History of Science
- The Process of Inquiry and the Scientific Method
SUMMARY OF TOPICS
Go to this link (In progress as of Sept. 1, 2014. Check back later today.)
The History of the Planet Earth our focus with be plate tectonics and how movement occurs within the earth’s interior and on the Earth’s surface. Ultimate goal: to also get to geologic time scale.
Everything is Connected: Interaction of the Earth’s major spheres with a more specific focus on the role of water through a 6th grade interdisciplinary unit.
Humans depend on Earth’s land, ocean, atmosphere, and biosphere for many different resources. Minerals, fresh water, and biosphere resources are limited, and many are not renewable or replaceable over human lifetimes. These resources are distributed unevenly around the planet as a result of past geologic processes. (MS-ESS3-1)
Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming). Reducing the level of climate change and reducing human vulnerability to whatever climate changes do occur depend on the understanding of climate science, engineering capabilities, and other kinds of knowledge, such as understanding of human behavior and on applying that knowledge wisely in decisions and activities. (MS-ESS3-5)
ENGINEERING AND DESIGN
The more precisely a design task’s criteria and constraints can be defined, the more likely it is that the designed solution will be successful. Specification of constraints includes consideration of scientific principles and other relevant knowledge that are likely to limit possible solutions. (MS-ETS1-1)
ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions
ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution
Although one design may not perform the best across all tests, identifying the characteristics of the design that performed the best in each test can provide useful information for the redesign process—that is, some of those characteristics may be incorporated into the new design. (MS-ETS1-3)
The iterative process of testing the most promising solutions and modifying what is proposed on the basis of the test results leads to greater refinement and ultimately to an optimal solution. (MS-ETS1-4)
TECHNOLOGY: Technology will play an important role as students learn to utilize computers as a tool for learning, data analysis, and communication. Posting to blogs and wikis, using interactive websites and current sources of information are used almost daily as we explore science concepts. Our class blog is used daily and will have important information related to class, homework assignments, links to resources, and more.