• Eighth-Grade Science Learning Objectives

    Eighth-grade students in Clayton will complete the following units:

    Humanity and the Environment
    Students investigate the history and consequences of contemporary global environmental issues and historical examples of a similar issue. The essential questions of the unit are “How do humans impact the environment?” and “How does the environment impact humans?” Students approach these questions through current world issues of water availability, food security, deforestation, human population, and disease.  Students explore these issues through science and social studies and culminate in completion of individual and group components of a research project.

    • Define sustainability and utilize tools for determining and justifying sustainable choices
    • Investigate human impacts on Earth systems
    • Analyze human population data and correlating factors
    • Explore the demands of the human population on Earth and evaluate potential consequences and interventions
    • Investigate and conduct experiments related to five global issues: water, food, population, deforestation, and disease
    • Identify circumstances that lead to the spread of disease and the effects of diseases on populations
    • Observe the role of trees in water and soil quality
    • Study water availability and water quality
    • Investigate the growing food demands of the human population

    Climate Chemistry
    Students study the effects of the changing global climate by gaining an understanding of climate science and chemistry. They investigate matter and its predictable nature, then apply this understanding to climate patterns on Earth. Students explore the factors and processes of determining climate and the causes and effects of global climate change.

    • Investigate the properties of the states of matter and the relationships between pressure, temperature, and volume
    • Classify matter as substances or mixtures, and elements or compounds
    • Explore physical and chemical properties of matter and use them to identify substances
    • Define an atom and determine atomic structure using the Periodic Table as a reference tool
    • Investigate the relationship between the structure and function of an atom in terms of its physical and chemical properties
    • Experiment with reactions to determine evidence that a reaction has occurred and the energy changes involved
    • Explore combustion reactions with a focus on the products of the combustion of impure fossil fuels and how those products affect the environment
    • Investigate the consequences of changing the atmosphere and the role of humans in this process
    • Explore the effect of increased carbon dioxide emissions on the oceans
    • Determine the relationships between concentration and density of solutions to facilitate understanding of ocean currents
    • Describe what drives ocean currents and how ocean currents transport energy around the globe, from equator to poles
    • Observe how climate change impacts the ocean system
    • Describe what drives atmospheric currents and how atmospheric currents transport energy around the globe, from equator to poles

    Ecology II
    Students investigate how ecosystems and populations change over time by studying the relationships between organisms and their environment. Students will focus on factors and conditions that cause an ecosystem or a population to adapt and the consequences of those changes to the ecosystem. They will also investigate human involvement in impacting change to ecosystems, as well as in preservation, conservation, and restoration of ecosystems.

    • Apply understandings of ocean and atmospheric currents to explain the relationships between latitudes, biomes, and climates
    • Compare ecosystems within a biome
    • Explore the interdependent relationships within ecosystems between organisms, populations, and resources
    • Identify the factors of ecosystem dynamics
    • Investigate the changes that occur in ecosystems that could lead to significant shift in an ecosystem and predict the consequences of those changes to that ecosystem
    • Define adaptations and provide evidence of these adaptations over time
    • Identify environmental changes that lead to adaptations within populations
    • Explore the relationship between adaptations and natural selection
    • Investigate how artificial selection impacts ecosystem dynamics