New Middle School Science Curriculum Integrates Subjects
Parents may remember sitting in their seventh and eighth grade science classes and learning biology throughout an entire year without touching on other disciplines. Those days are in the past at Crossroads with the help of a new middle school science curriculum.
“All science is connected, and our new science curriculum reflects that,” says science teacher Sarah Tolch, who spearheaded the changes. “It used to be that biology was here, there was no math, and chemistry was over here,” she says, gesturing to another side of the room. “They all feed into each other, and they always have. We just didn’t teach them that way, and we didn’t expose students to that format until they got to college.”
With the new curriculum, students will be better prepared to succeed in more challenging classes in high school, such as Advanced Physics, AP Biology, and AP Environmental Science. The curriculum now includes physics and incorporates data science and basic statistics.
“We have started to align with mathematics and physics with the help of the science and math departments,” adds Sarah. “Integrated Science A now starts with the basics of energy, not just on a macro scale (roller coasters, baseballs, etc.), but on an atomic scale, so we’re working in chemistry concepts. We build from a mindset that everything is connected, and our students are really engaged and excited about the work.”
The curriculum is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards, which were written by working scientists and college professors. “If we think of ourselves as a college prep school, we are providing scaffolding for what colleges want our students to know in order to succeed in advanced science coursework.”