This unit is an effort to generate excitement and enthusiasm toward physical and natural sciences and, while integrating the two, provide a foundation for future learning and continued study in each scientific field. The natural resources, minerals and geological environments of Connecticut support some of the major areas of physical science that are currently being taught in middle school curriculums. As students cover these areas they will broaden their applications to include the study of the earth and thus be able to understand the connection between physical science and their natural world. The physical science topics of matter, energy, force and motion will support the study of different types of rocks, identification of minerals, crystal structures and the earth’s changing surface. For each topic being explored, general background information, relevant vocabulary, Connecticut resources and hands-on activities will be presented. All activities will be in a consistent format and activities will also lend themselves to a cooperative learning setting. The unit will also provide opportunities for technology to assist and support instruction, and suggestions for relevant field trips and pertinent resources available in Connecticut and the Northeast.
(Recommended for Physical Science and Earth Science, grades 6-8)