The Middle School Science program at Albany Academy for Girls is designed to provide opportunities and build upon interests of students fostered in our Lower School program and prepare them for the Upper School.
The curriculum is designed to help students learn about living things and their world, in a way that best suits the learning needs of girls. Continuing the emphasis of the Lower School on hands-on experiences and a cooperative approach to problem solving, students are introduced to the process of scientific inquiry. Middle School Science students learn to formulate hypotheses, collect and evaluate data, and explain their findings to others, both orally and in writing.
All Seventh & Eighth Grade students participate in the Middle School Science Symposium, presenting the results of their research to a broader audience of parents and local representatives of the scientific community.
The scientific method serves as a guide for the development of individual and group investigations. Students investigate life’s beginnings from the perspective of astronomy. They study life sciences using an interdisciplinary approach that includes microbiology, evolution, biodiversity, and classification. Students complete two to three long-term projects that utilize the Internet as well as print resources.
Concepts of Earth Science are examined in an interdisciplinary focus. Ecological systems integrate biology with the physical sciences of chemistry and geology. The exploration of physical sciences offers applications in mathematics, environmental sciences, and mineralogy. Laboratory activities include classroom investigations as well as field studies. Students become technologically proficient with their computers by utilizing and creating web quests, tables, and graphic presentations.
The major systems of the human body are studied through cooperative learning activities and inquiry investigations. Topics include: bones, muscles, skin, foods, digestion, senses, and the circulatory, respiratory, nervous, and reproductive systems. Human genetics and a study of inheritance patterns round out the course.
Grade eight Science is a foundation course in chemistry and physics that prepares the student for in-depth studies at the high school level. The course features extensive experimentation in both disciplines. Students will be introduced to applications of data acquisition technology. Chemistry topics include structure, periodicity, and reactions with emphasis placed on acids and bases, carbon chemistry, and nuclear chemistry. Physics topics include energy, motion, forces, waves, and light.