Course Description

This course is aligned with Florida’s Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for 7th grade science. This class focuses mainly on life sciences, with additional discussions of scientific inquiry and energy. The students will review the nature of science and how to design an effective experiment. They will practice using the scientific method in order to answer a question about their lives. The students will then learn about sound and light, including why light reflects and why some materials allow light to pass through while others do not. They will then learn about energy transformations and the first and second laws of thermodynamics. The rock cycle and the types of rock, including what they tell us about the Earth’s history, are then discussed. The students will learn how and why the Earth changes through events like earthquakes and volcanoes. They will then learn about ecosystems, how much they can support and why, and how they can be damaged. The students will also learn about how organisms can interact with each other in terms of biodiversity and symbiosis. The flow of energy in ecosystems is explained through the interpreting of food chains and food webs. The students will then learn about how organisms and species evolve over time through natural selection and in response to changes in the environment. Finally, the students will learn about heredity and reproduction, including how to use a Punnett square to predict the traits of offspring.

Course Objectives

  • Describe the scientific method and explain the value of observation and measurement in scientific investigations.
  • Describe the general nature of the Solar System, the Earth and Moon and their movements.
  • Explain how various Earth materials are formed and how the Earth changes over time through storms and other natural events such as volcanic eruptions.
  • Explain the concepts of force and motion and describe simple machines.
  • Know the systems of the human body and their functions.
  • Explain how living things respond to their environment and change over time
  • Understand concepts of ecology, and define terms such as habitat, ecosystem, producer and consumer.
  • Know resources that we obtain from the Earth and the affects of human population on those resources.
  • Explain how air and water become polluted.
  • Describe what biodiversity is and why it is important to Earth.

1- Introduction
1- Introduction
2- Understanding Plagiarism
3- Course Description
4- Pretest
Assignment: Pretest
5- Course Links
6- MLA Formatting MSWord 2007
7- MLA Documentation updates
8- MLA Citation
9- MLA Incorporating Sources

2- The Practice of Science
1- Objectives and Vocabulary
2- What is Science?
3- Other Forms of Scientific Investigation
4- Observations
5- Variables and Constants
6- Independent and Dependent Variables
Assignment: Independent and Dependent Variables
7- Repeated Trials
Assignment: Repeated Trials
8- Review

3- The Scientific Method Project
1- Objectives
2- The Scientific Method Project
3- Project Guidelines
4- Scientific Methods Steps 1 and 2
Assignment: Scientific Method Steps 1 and 2
5- Scientific Method Step 3
Assignment: Scientific Method Step 3
6- Scientific Method Step 4
Assignment: Scientific Method Step 4
7- Scientific Method Step 5
8- Scientific Method Step 6
9- Scientific Method Step 7
Assignment: Scientific Method Steps 5-7

4- Energy: Sound and Light
1- Objectives and Vocabulary
2- Introduction to Energy
3- Sound
4- Speed of Sound
5- Hearing Sound
Quiz: Sound
6- Light
7- Colors
8- Reflection
Assignment: Reflection Art
9- Transparent, Translucent, Opaque
Quiz: Light
10- Shadows
11- Review and Quiz
Quiz: Light and Sound

5- Energy: Transformations
1- Objectives and Vocabulary
2- Energy
3- Kinetic and Potential Energy
4- Energy Conversion
5- Hydroelectric Dams
Assignment: Energy Conversion
6- Heat
7- Heat Transfer
Assignment: Heat Transfer
8- Laws of Thermodynamics
9- First Law of Thermodynamics
10- Conservation of Energy
Quiz: Total Energy
11- Second Law of Thermodynamics
12- Review and Quiz
Quiz: Energy: Transformations

6- Earth Structures
1- Objectives and Vocabulary
2- Rocks and Minerals
3- Igneous Rocks
4- Sedimentary Rocks
5- Metamorphic Rocks
Handout: Types of Rocks
Assignment: Types of Rocks
6- Weathering
7- Erosion
Quiz: Erosion
8- The Rock Cycle
Essay: The Rock Cycle
9- Rocks: Clues to the Past
10- Layers of the Earth
11- Layers of the Earth (Continued)
Assignment: Layers of the Earth
12- Review and Quiz
Quiz: Earth Structures Unit Quiz

7- The Changing Earth
1- Objectives and Vocabulary
2- Moving Plates
Handout: Pangaea
Assignment: Pangaea Project
3- Types of Plate Movement
4- The Moving Earth
5- Earthquakes
Worksheet: The Moving Earth
Essay: Earthquake Safety
6- Volcanoes
7- Eruptions
8- Active and Inactive Volcanoes
Worksheet: Volcanoes
9- Mountain Building
10- Ocean Ridges
11- Review and Quiz
Quiz: The Changing Earth Unit Quiz
12- Midtest
Assignment: Midtest

8- Ecology and Ecosystems
1- Objectives and Vocabulary
2- Ecology and the Environment
3- Living and Non-Living
4- Interactions with Biotic and Abiotic Features
Worksheet: Biotic and Abiotic
5- Limiting Factors
6- Carrying Capactiy
Worksheet: Limiting Factors and Carrying Capacity
7- Organization of the Environment
Quiz: Organization in the Environment
8- Ecosystems
9- Habitat
10- Habitat Loss
11- Extinct and Endangered Animals
12- Global Warming
Quiz: Polar Bear: Case Study
13- Saving Species
Assignment: Saving Species
14- Review and Quiz
Quiz: Ecology and the Environment Unit Quiz

9- Organism Interaction and Balance
1- Objectives and Vocabulary
2- Biodiversity
3- Symbiosis
4- Mutualism
5- Commensalism
6- Parasitism
Assignment: Symbiosis in your Home
Essay: Research Assignment: Relationships
7- Changing Nature
8- The Balance of Nature
9- Cooperation and Competition
Handout: Animal Needs
Handout: Endangered Wolves
Handout: Bringing Wolves Home
Handout: Reintroducing Grey Wolves
Assignment: Wolves Return to Yellowstone: A Case Study
10- Review and Quiz
Quiz: Organism Interaction and Balance Unit Quiz

10- Energy Flow in the Ecosystem
1- Objectives and Vocabulary
2- The Source of Energy for Life
3- Producers, Consumers, and Decomposers
Quiz: Producer, Consumer, and Decomposer
4- Food Chains
5- Food Webs
6- Losing Energy
7- Humans in the Food Web
Assignment: Your Food Chain
8- Eating Low on the Food Chain
Worksheet: Food From a Distance
9- The Web of Life
10- Review and Quiz
Quiz: Energy Flow in the Ecosystem

11- Evolution and Diversity of Organisms
1- Objectives and Vocabulary
2- Organisms and Species
3- Responding to the Environment
4- Adaptations
Handout: Adaptations Research
Assignment: Adaptations Research
5- Variation Among Animals
6- Mutations
Essay: Variation and Mutation
7- Natural Selection and Adaptations
Handout: Natural Selection Lab
Assignment: Natural Selection Lab
8- The Fossils Record
9- The Age of Fossils
10- Review and Quiz
Quiz: Evolution and Diversity of Organisms Unit Quiz

12- Heredity and Reproduction
1- Objectives and Vocabulary
2- Asexual Reproduction
3- Sexual Reproduction
Worksheet: Asexual and Sexual Reproduction
4- Genes
5- DNA
6- Dominant and Recessive Traits
7- Punnett Square
Assignment: Mr. Mars Man Lab
8- Mutations Part 2
9- Selective Breeding
10- Genetic Engineering
Worksheet: Genetic Engineering Research
11- Review and Quiz
Quiz: Heredity and Reproduction
12- Post-test
Assignment: Post-test

13- Course Evaluation
Handout: Course Evalulation
Assignment: Course Evaluation