Ms. Jessica Yates
- 6th-8th Science Teacher
- Hello! Welcome to the Middle School Science page. I believe science is best learned in a hands-on approach, which allows for the scientific mind to really develop. I encourage students to always ask questions and question the world around them. I have high expectations for my students and will ensure they receive the proper tools for success, not only in my class but for the future.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
What's Happening in 6th-8th Science
The Exploratorium offers free admission on specific days – the first one is this Sunday!
Exploratorium Free Days
Hours: 10 am to 5 pm
Pier 15, San Francisco
2017 Annual Free Dates
- Pi Day (Tuesday, March 14, 2017)
- Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 14, 2017)
2017 Free Community Day Dates
- Sunday, January 22, 2017
- Friday, June 23, 2017 (evening hours only, after 5 pm)
- Saturday, September 23, 2017
- Sunday, October 22, 2017
On free days, museum entry is on a first-come, first-served basis.
We also take a field trip to the Exploratorium in 8th grade – see a previous post about a past trip!
The first quarter of the school year is coming to a close on Friday October 27. Here is a summary of some topics and projects we have discussed so far:
6th Grade: investigation on density, Earth’s natural resources (created a comic strip), investigation on whether or not rocks absorb water, weathering (types – mechanical and chemical), soil (students brought in a soil sample to learn more about), erosion, and deposition. Below are images showing students collect data on various objects to determine what density is.
7th Grade: how to use microscopes (viewed cheek cells, Elodea under fresh and salt water), cell structure and function (students drew analogous structures to represent animal cells), investigating why does eating popcorn cause ones lips to dry out (osmosis and diffusion), and where does most of a plants mass come from. Below are images showing students viewing microscopes and collecting data.
8th Grade: reviewed safety and accuracy when conducting experiments, how heat transfers, learned the various states of matter (solids, liquids, gases, plasma), state changes, and an introduction to atoms and the periodic table. Below are images showing students conducting a rainbow lab and focusing on working together and following directions exactly.
Looking forward to the rest of the year!
Over the last two weeks some students came back to NDV for a math review and science enrichment. For the math review, students went over basic foundational skills involving decimals, fractions, proportions, and algebra. One group of students investigated what would happen when people are presented with a calorie food menu vs. an exercise food menu – would they change their order and choose healthier options once they saw how long they would have to exercise? Another group calculated the number of minutes people would have to exercise depending upon the restaurant and the exercise they conducted. The last group of students investigated whether the International Olympic Committee should change racing events so that distances are proportional to athletes heights. Below is an image of each group presenting and sharing their results to the class – they all did an amazing job.
For science enrichment, students learned about roller coasters through creating their own paper roller coasters. We watched videos and discussed the fundamentals of potential energy, kinetic energy, and speed. Once the roller coasters were completed, students conducted a speed experiments to calculate which parts of the coaster were the fastest. Below are a few images of groups with their roller coasters.
I hope everyone enjoyed their summer break and is fully rested for another amazing school year. 6th graders – it was wonderful to met some of you over the summer and review some math and science skills. I look forward to meeting the rest of you this week. Get excited for our week long trip to Yosemite in April! 6th and 7th graders – begin thinking of a scientific question to investigate for the science fair that is held in January. 8th graders – here’s to an outstanding last year learning chemistry and physics.
See everyone on Thursday and Friday,
Congratulations again to the 6th and 7th graders who are moving on to compete at the San Francisco Science Fair. Projects are installed at the San Francisco Zoo February 20 – February 21. The projects are then judged and finalist interviewed. February 25 is the Awards Ceremony! Public viewing of the projects is available February 20 – February 25 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Good luck students!
This year the 6th graders will be attending science camp at Yosemite from April 2 – April 7. Tonight there is an informational meeting in the school auditorium, 5:00pm. Looking forward to seeing everyone there!
Hello All – wanted to share two upcoming science events occurring in the Bay Area!
Discovery Day at AT&T Park – Saturday, 11/5/16, 10AM – 4PM
AT&T Park becomes a science wonderland when the Bay Area Science Festival concludes again with this FREE science extravaganza. The entire ballpark is packed to the rafters with science content: on the field, at every entry/exit, and every level of the ballpark. With more than 150 hands-on exhibits, get ready to unleash your inner scientist.
A Science and Mathematics career conference for young women in 6th – 8th grade. When and Where: Saturday November 19th at San Francisco State University.
Welcome Back NDV Families!
I hope everyone had a wonderful summer and is ready to take on another school year. I am excited to meet all the 6th grade students and parents – this year we will take a week long trip to Yosemite. 6th and 7th graders: start thinking of that Science Fair project. 8th graders: let’s have an amazing last year with Chemistry and Physics.
Looking forward to seeing everyone in class on Friday.
Earth Science (6th grade): we will learn about processes related to the Earth, which includes weathering and soil, erosion and deposition, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, the atmosphere, weather, climate, and ecology. For a more detailed description, please see the California science standards starting on page 27.
Textbook: Focus on Life Science, Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0-13-201272-3
Life Science (7th grade): we will learn about processes related to life, which includes cells structure and function, genetics, evolution, viruses, bacteria, protists, fungi, structure and function of plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates, and the human body systems. For a more detailed description, please see the California science standards starting on page 31.
Textbook: Focus on Life Science, Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0-13-201272-3
Physical Science (8th grade): we will learn about processes related to chemistry, physics, and astronomy, which includes matter, elements, atoms, chemical reactions, acid and bases, carbon chemistry, motion and energy, forces, space, the solar system, stars, galaxies, and the universe. For a more detailed description, please see the California science standards starting on page 27. Textbook: Focus on Physical Science, Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0-13-201270-7
65% Assessments: Includes tests, quizzes, labs, and projects.
25% Daily Assignments: Includes homework and classwork.
10% Participation: Includes involvement in class discussions, asking and answering questions, appropriate class behavior, prepared for class, and effort.
*see Middle School Handbook, page 2, for what qualifies as an “A”
Google Classrooms: Announcements and assignments will be posted here. To join, go to the website and click the + in the upper right hand corner. Use the code given in class to add.
Quizlet: Will be used to reinforce key terms, study for assessments, and for homework assignments. Usernames must include first name and last initial (I must know who you are). To join, go to the website and in the search bar type the class name:
Earth Science (6th grade) 2017-2018
Life Science (7th grade) 2017-2018
Physical Science (8th grade) 2017-2018
IntoScience: This is a fairly new program that allows for a more interactive online science experience. It will be used for class activities, assignments, and as a study tool. A unique username and password will be given (same as Mathletics).
Classwork: often labs or various projects. If not completed in class, will be taken home as homework.
Ecology Club Meetings: about twice a month, during Middle School lunch (schedule TBA)
Any Middle School student may join Ecology Club at the beginning of the school year. Members should have a love of the environment and a passion for making the world greener. We will do various environmental friendly projects throughout the year. Members are also in charge of the recycling and compost program at NDV.
Focus: spread the message of reducing waste and re-instill a love of nature to members!
Last week the 8th graders went to the Exploratorium for the day. They had a wonderful time and learned a lot. Some favorite activities were the brain games against each other.