Make your own free website on

Gloucester Township Public Schools


Glen Landing Middle School - 8th Grade Science Curriculum


All requirements are to be completed by the end of grade 8.  The major focus in 8th grade falls under Physics and Chemistry.  Topics in Earth/Space Science, Life Science, and Environmental Science round out the coursework for the semester.   This curriculum is a work in progress and will be up to date as soon as possible.


I.Scientific Processes

            A.Habits of the Mind

                        1.Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of data, claims, and arguments by

                           completing an independent science project.

                        2.Communicate experimental findings to others in the form of a visual

                           display for the science fair.

3.Recognize through independent investigation that the results of scientific        investigations are seldom exactly the same and that replication is often necessary.

4.Recognize through science project completion that curiosity, skepticism,  open-mindedness, and honesty are attributes of scientists.

            B.Inquiry and Problem Solving

                        1.Identify questions and make predictions that can be addressed by

                         conducting lab investigations.

2.Design and conduct an independent investigations incorporating the use                      of a control.

                        3.Collect, organize, and interpret the data that result from experiments in



                        1.Know when and how to use appropriate safety equipment with all

                        classroom materials.

                        2.Understand and practice safety procedures for conducting science

                        investigations by completing the safety concerns section of a lab report

                        before each lab.

Top of Page


II.Science and Society

            A.Cultural Contributions

                        1.Recognize that scientific theories :

                                    a.develop over time.

                                    b.depend on the contributions of many people

                                    c.reflect the social and political climate of their time.

                                    d.This will be completed by analyzing the structure and

                                          history of  both the atom and periodic table.

                        2.Know that scientists are men and woman of many cultures who often

                        work together to solve scientific and technological problems.

                         EX : Development of the space program at NASA.

                         Ex : Textbook investigations.

                        3.Describe how different people in different cultures have made and

            continue to make contributions to science and technology. Ex : Textbook


            B.Historical Perspectives

                        1.Describe the impact of major events and people in the history of

                          science and technology, in conjunction with other world events.

                          Ex : Geocentric vs. Heliocentric Model of the Solar System.

                        2.Describe the development and exponential growth of

                          scientific knowledge and technological innovations. EX : Study of the

                          Space Program.

 Top of Page

III.Mathematical Applications

            A.Numerical Operations

                        1.Express quantities using appropriate number formats , such

                            as : decimals, percents, and scientific notation. Ex : Lab Data

            B.Geometry and Measurement

                        1.Perform mathematical computations using labeled quantities and

                         express answers in correctly derived units by using the metric system.

            C.Patterns and Algebra

                        1.Express physical relationships in terms of mathematical

                            equations derived from collected data. Ex : Newton’s Laws

            D.Data Analysis and Probability

                        1.Represent and describe mathematical relationships among

                              variables using graphs and tables. Ex :Graphing Density

                        2.Analyze experimental data sets using measures of central

                               tendency : mean, mode, and median. Ex : Velocity/Acceleration of

                                a race car.

                        3.Construct and use a graph of experimental data to draw a line of

                                best fit and identify a linear relationship between variables.

                               Ex : Friction of different surfaces.- Physics Lab

                        4.Use computer spreadsheets, graphing and database applications to

                                assist in quantitative analysis of data. EX : IWB investigation

                                of weather conditions and predicting what may happen next.

                                Also, graphing class data using excel on the IWB.


 Top of Page

IV.Nature and Process of Technology

            A.Science and Technology

                        1.Compare and contrast science with technology, illustrating

                             similarities and differences between these two human endeavors. EX :

                             comparison of telescopes over time and this has contributed to human

                             knowledge of astronomy.

            B.Nature of Technology

                        1.Analyze a product or system to determine the problem it was designed

                           to solve, the design constraints, trade-offs and risks involved in using

                          the product or system, how the product or system might fail, and how

                          the product or system might be improved. Ex : Independent Science


            C.Technological Design

                        1.Recognize how feedback loops are used to control systems. EX : Satellite data and imagery.

                        2.Select a technological problem and describe the criteria and constraints that are addressed in solving the problem. Ex : Roller Coaster Design

                        3.Identify the basic components of a technological system : input, process,output, feedback : Design Rubber Band Cars and Roller Coaster Design. Technology and Computer Sub-Lesson (parts of a computer)

 Top of Page

V.Life Science

            A.Matter, Energy and Organization in Living Systems

                      1.Recognize how science is integrated in to our lives and provide

                         real world examples based on information discussed in class.

                        EX : Physical and chemical changes. Students will go on and create a table in word in which they will list physical and chemical changes observed from the movie presentations. Such must realize that in a chemical change, something new is formed. In a physical change, (such as ice melting), nothing new is formed.

            B.Diversity and Biological Evolution

                      1.Compare and contrast environmental processes on other planets and

                            conclude if life could exist in a given environment.

            C.Reproduction and Heredity

                      1.Recognize the relationship between moon phases and vital human

                             statistics such as child birth numbers.

 Top of Page

VI.Physical Science – Chemistry

            A.Structure and Properties of Matter

                        1.Discuss the three states of matter and the factors that cause a

                           change from one phase to another. EX : Presentation Pro and

                           Classroom Demonstration : Boiling chocolate.

                        2.Explain the difference between weight, mass, and volume.

                              Ex : Mass and Volume Lab

                        3.Understand the relationship between volume, temperature, and

                             pressure of a gas. Ex : Balloon Test, Presenation Pro

                        4.Recognize the differences between physical and chemical properties

                            and changes of matter. Ex : Brainpop technology activity,

                             textbook examples, contests, observation activities.

                        5.Understand the development of the periodic chart and the type

                              of information contained in it. EX : Periodic Table Artwork –

                              research elements and draw a picture of something the

                              element is contained in.

                        6.Recognize the properties and characteristics of metals and nonmetals.

                            EX : Picture slides of different objects – identify metal/non-metal.

                        7.Describe how carbon forms a huge variety of different compounds.

                            EX : Life formation, chemical equations

            B.Chemical Reactions

                        1.Discuss the structure of an atom and what role each part of the

                              atom plays. EX : Drawing the structure of an atom.

                        2.Understand what the three categories of chemical reaction are and

                             how chemical bonds change in reactions. EX : Balancing Equations

 Top of Page

VII.Physical Science – Physics

            A.Motion and Forces

                        1.understand when an object is in motion and find its speed, velocity,

                            and acceleration. Ex : Rubber Band Car construction.

                        2.Discuss Newton’s first law of motion and the affects of outside forces

                            on the motion of an object. Ex : Paper Airplane Physics.

                        3.Explain how one object can exert a force on another object and how

                             the second object can exert and equal force back on the first.
                         EX : Car crash simulation online.

                        4.Discover how rockets are able to fly in space and the forces that

                           keep them in orbit. EX : Building model rockets – describe how

                           the rocket will fly by analyzing flight diagrams.

                        5.Recognize the types and forms of energy and how work and energy

                           are related. EX : Sound Project – studying wave structure and the

                            interaction of different light rays in different mediums.

                        6.understand the law of conservation of energy. EX : Momentum and

                            collisions – video game physics.

                        7.recognize how power and energy are related and how power

                            is calculated. EX : The Physics of Sports

                        8.Demonstrate how heat can be transferred  by conduction, convection,

                           or radiation. EX : Presentation – textbook investigation.

            B.Energy Transformations

                        1.Electricity and Magnets

                                    a.Identify the charges of the protons and those of the electrons

                                          in atoms.

                                    b.Explain why an atom is electrically neutral under

                                       normal circumstances.

                                    c.Describe the effect of the loss or gain of an electron on

                                        the charge of an atom.

                                    d.Compare the effect of an atom losing one electron with the

                                       effect of that same atom losing two electrons.

                                    e.Define the term static electricity.

                                    f.Describe how objects become negatively charged or

                                        positively charged.

                                    g.State how objects with like charges and objects with

                                         unlike charges affect one another.

                                    h.Describe what happens during an electric discharge.

                                    i.Apply knowledge of the behavior of charged objects to

                                         everyday experiences.

                                    j.Define the term electric current.

                           conductors with insulators.

                                    l.Distinguish between open and closed electric circuits.

                                    m.List rules for using electricity safely.

                                    n.Describe the condition under which electric charges produce

                                      a magnet field.

                                    o.Describe how a magnet can be used to produce an

                                        electric current.

                                    p.Describe an energy change that takes place in a generator.
  EX : Constructing series and parallel circuits – there are several different lab investigations that will incorporate the indicators listed above.

                        2.Sound and Light

                                    a.Recognize the cause of waves and describe the 3 main types

                                          of waves.

                                    b.explain the properties of waves including speed, wavelength,

                                        and frequency.

                                    c.discuss the different types of seismic waves and how they

                                        are detected.

                                    d.define what sound is and factors that affect its frequency

                                        and pitch.

                           how sonar and ultrasound are used.

                                    f.understand what the electromagnetic spectrum is and how

                                        energy waves are positioned on it.

                                    g.discuss how different forms of energy waves are used.

                                    h.recognize how light is reflected by objects and is capable

                                       of causing colors.

                                    i.understand how light is used in telescopes, microscopes,

                                       and cameras.

  EX : Major Sound Project – the sound project is based on the indicators listed above - one activity is to “mix” two songs together and then be able to identify if they are demonstrating constructive or destructive interference.

Top of Page

VIII.Earth Science

            A.Earth’s Properties and Materials

                        1.Study how Earth’s crust is formed and differentiate between

                                the processes involved. Ex: IWB Presenation

                        2.Speculate how the faulting and folding change the appearance of

                          earth’s surface. Ex : Design an earthquake proof structure.

                        3.Demonstrate how to find the epicenter of an earthquake. Ex : IWB presentation.

            B.Atmosphere and Weather

                        1.Identify major sources of fresh water and the percentages of fresh

                             water that is usable. EX : Real world data analysis.

                        2.Compare and contrast the weather of Earth to the weather

                               and atmospheric conditions that exist on other worlds.

            C.Processes that Shape the Earth

                        1.Describe various types of volcanic eruptions and their geologic forms.

                        2.Describe the changes in Earth’s surface caused by waves.

   Ex : Planetary Geology – we will study the geology of different  planets and compare each planet to Earth.

            D.How we Study the Earth

                        1.Identify the main branches of science and compare and contrast the role of each in studying the Earth . Ex : textbook investigation, video presentations, guest speakers.

                        2.Identify the main branches of Earth Science : Oceanography, Meteorology, Geology, and Astronomy ex : Textbook investigation.

 Top of Page

IX.Astronomy and Space Science

            A.Earth, Moon, Sun System

1.Apply Kepler’s three Laws of Planetary Motion by predicting the location of a new planet.

2.Hypothesize how our solar system formed and complete research to back up the hypothesis.

3.Compare and contrast the inner planets in terms of similarities and differences.

                        4.Diagram the moon and its phases. Compare the moon’s phases to those

                              of Venus and Mercury.

                        5.Compare the outer planets similarities and differences and contrast

                             with the inner planets.

6.Predict the paths of  the asteroids, comets, and meteors in our solar system.


            B.Solar System (see above)


                        1.Contrast the layers and features of our sun.

                        2.Construct a diagram on how stars are formed.

                        3.Relate light speed and distance to stars.

                        4.Analyze the H-R diagram and how stars are plotted on it.

                        5.Predit the death of our sun based on astronomical data.

                        6.Compare neutron stars and black holes and predict how they form.

            D.Galaxies and Universe

                        1.Identify the make up of the universe.

                        2.Formulate a hypothesis regarding how optical and radio telescopes are

                              used to study the universe.

                        3.Predict what is learned by studying ultraviolet, x-ray, and gamma rays.

                        4.Describe and Predict our exploration of space – both manned and


                        5.Compare and contrast the three classifications of galaxies.

                        6.Theorize the structure of  the Milky Way Galaxy.

                        7.Compare and contrast red shift/violet shift and what this tells us about

                               the direction that the galaxies are moving.

                        8.Outline the Big Bang Theory and hypothesize the future of the universe

                                   may be.

 EX : We will complete the above indicators using data from the internet and through activities on the IWB. We will do textbook investigations and minor labs to study the major concepts of astronomy. Some real world investigations will be used such as charting sunsets and studying the motion of planets in the night sky.


 Top of Page

X.Environmental Studies

            A.Natural Sytems and Interactions

                        1.Compare and contrast the systems on Earth with other planets and identify why life is or is not possible on other worlds.  Ex : Examine Mars Data and conclude if life was every present or possible on Mars. 

            B.Human Interactions and Impact

                        1.Compare and contrast the various types of energy and discuss their impact on the environment along with the use of fossil fuels.

EX : Environmental conditions and impact are covered throughout the astronomy unit. EX : Comparing the environments of different planets or hypothesizing what would happen if Shoemaker-Levy had hit the Earth instead of Jupiter in 1994.

Top of Page