Course Syllabus for Life Science 2009-10 Schoolyear
Sept.    Experiments, Teamwork, and Safety:  Students will become familiar with basic experimental design and scientific method. Students will develop an understanding of what a working lab team is and how to constructively contribute to one. Students will learn how to work safely in the lab and how to use safety equipment and procedures.  

Oct.- Nov.    Living and Nonliving: Students define what the characteristics of life are and use those characteristics to identify living and nonliving things. Cells and Microscopic Life:  Students will learn about cells as dynamic systems and use microscopes to investigate them.  Students will identify microorganisms they culture in “miniponds”.

Dec.    Seeds, Plant Systems, and Plant Reproduction:  Experiments center on plant adaptations and strategies for competing for resources and for reproduction and seed dispersal.

Jan.    Snails, Insects and Animal Behavior:  Students will design and conduct hands-on experiments to investigate animal behavior in a controlled experiment. Students will communicate their findings to their peers.

Feb.-Mar.    Populations and Ecosystems:  Students will investigate the interactions of individuals within populations, and populations of species within ecosystems. This unit will introduce students to the complex interactions of adaptation, natural selection, and genetic variation that make ecology fascinating.

Apr.- Jun.    The Human Body and Its Systems:  Students will learn about the major systems in the human body and how they work, including health problems and their prevention. Systems studied will include brain and nerves, skeleton and muscles, heart and lungs, reproductive system, immune system, and digestive system.

Daily work:    Daily work must be kept in the classroom in the student’s science folder. Students will have a lab notebook in their folder kept organized according to lab standards.

Homework:    Approximately once per week, some longer projects, some short assignments.  Late homework will not be accepted except in the case of excused absence. Homework will be announced in the middle school update every Friday, please check with your student to make sure they have completed it each week!

Labs:    Students will work in cooperative groups for labs.  Cooperation with team
members and safety in the lab are a must, and will be graded.

Tests: Announced and reviewed for in class, and  MUST BE STUDIED FOR!