This unit is designed to be used with an eighth grade science class. It addresses the expected learning outcomes of New Haven’s science curriculum and uses the basic textbooks “Concepts and Challenges in Physical Science” by Globe Book Company and “Matter-Building Blocks of the Universe” by Prentice-Hall, which were adopted by the science department, as a guide to cover this topic. As this unit is designed for the student to do critical thinking about issues that will face them today and tomorrow, the first topic to be presented to them is the Scientific Method. We use this system of problem solving everyday but are unaware of the steps we follow. Therefore, we will start by having the student list the steps in the scientific method from our textbook and relate the steps to everyday situations.
These steps are:
1. Identify and State the Problem.
2. Gather Information
3. State a Hypothesis
4. Design an Experiment
5. Make Observations and Record Data
6. Organize and Analyze Data
7. Suggest Future Experiments and New Hypothesis
If you have access to the computer program “Discovering the Scientific Method” by Focus Media, Inc., you will find this a good way to evaluate their ability to use the scientific method to solve problems. They give the student 3 problems to solve, which are progressively harder to organize and evaluate using data. They enjoy the challenge and usually solve the problems by working together.
Basic Chemistry topics will be discussed and studied at this time so that the student will have some insight with the chemical reactions that take place in the environment.