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Eighth Grade Science: Students Explore, Discover, and Create

Eighth-grade science is laboratory and fieldwork oriented, allowing maximum opportunity for students to “do” science and to take advantage of the incredible resources available in the Bay Area.

Presidio Hill School’s eighth graders hone their understanding of and ability to apply nine essential practices of science and engineering to include:

  • Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
  • Developing and using models
  • Planning and carrying out investigations
  • Analyzing and interpreting data
  • Using mathematics and computational thinking
  • Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
  • Engaging in argument from evidence
  • Obtaining, evaluating and communicating information
  • Using technology mindfully and ethically

These essential practices provide the foundation for a year of explorations, discoveries and creations. Students use each and every lab, exploration and culminating project as an opportunity to measure, document, analyze, describe and apply relationships as they observe, conclude, generalize, test and apply key relationships and underlying phenomenon related to the big ideas of motion, forces, energy, atomic structures, the periodic table of elements, chemistry, acid/base and redox reactions.

The year includes nine design challenges that culminate in a celebration where students participate and compete in Math and Physics Day at Great America. This celebration requires students to apply and extend their understanding of the Next Generation Science Practices as they engineer and build lunar landers; design, construct and race boats; run inertia races; manufacture trebuchets; and construct model roller coasters. Students enjoy sharing their final projects and competing against Middle School and High School students from all over Northern California.