7/8th Grade
Science Curriculum Choices


Our 7th/8th grade curriculum options support viable instructional experiences that integrate life, physical and earth/space science.  The program options include: Activate Learning (IQWST) and Amplify Science. 

Please review the 7/8th grade pilot summaries below and then fill out the feedback form. 


This Unit, What Makes Up Earth’s Natural Resources?, focuses on two big ideas: 

Planet Earth is made up of natural resources that humans rely on and use in a variety of ways.

Each of these resources, regardless of state of matter, is made up of atoms, joined together in particular configurations called molecules. 

Throughout the unit, students use a Driving Question Board (DQB) to shape and support student understanding. The DQB is revisited often and added to throughout the Unit.  In addition, a Word Wall is used to support new language concepts and provides support for scientific conversations and writing. During instruction, students: 

  • Begin by investigating air and considering everyday experiences of smelling odors as a context for learning that air moves and that odors move in the air. 
  • Complete investigations/labs to develop and revise a particle model for the structure of matter.
    • This student created model explains that matter is made up of particles in constant motion with empty space between them.
  • Build upon information through labs, demonstrations, observations, investigations, readings, the DQB, and activities to build upon their particle model of matter. 
    • Students learn what is means to be “made up of” molecules and that molecules are made of atoms. 

The unit concludes with students using their particle model of matter to explain a real-life situation. Students conclude that a particle model of matter works for all of Earth’s natural resources and investigate fossil fuels derived from those resources. 

To access IQWST’s (7th) unit materials for a deeper look at the unit, please click here.


Students, acting as Engineering Interns for the fictional company Futura, participate in an Engineering Internship to design a tsunami warning system. 

  • Engineering Internships are designed to immerse students into the life of an engineer, tasked with designing a solution to a real-world problem by using information they learn throughout the unit. The Internship consists of three phases: Research, Design, and Proposal. 

In the Research Phase, students are introduced to the Engineering Internship during which they will prepare to design a tsunami warning system that address three project criteria: maximize average warning time, minimize false alarms, and keep costs low. Students:

  • Investigate wind-driven and tsunami waves in a first-hand experience using a physical model. 
  • Perform background research by reading a project dossier.
  • Use the Design Tool, TsunamiAlert, to research patterns in earthquake and tsunami locations.
    • Students use this interactive tool to design tsunami warning systems, test them, and analyze the results. 

This phase concludes with students writing a project summary demonstrating their understanding of the goals and constraints of the project.

In the Design Phase, students use the TsunamiAlert Design Tool as a part of the Design Cycle. 

  • Students learn the value of the engineering design process as a way to make informed decisions.

Feedback Form

To provide feedback on the 7/8th grade curriculum options please click here.  Be sure to select “7/8th Grade” on the form!  Para acceder a la página de comentarios en español, haga clic aquí.

To get a deeper look at the curriculum materials from the unit of study being piloted, please click here.