Course Overview and Expectations


    Course Description:  

    Welcome, to the exciting world of Science!  We are thrilled to have you in our classes and look forward to a productive and fun-filled year.  Washoe Count School District adopted an Integrated Middle School curriculum in 2016, which mean each year you will be exploring all three science content areas: Life, Physical and Earth Science. The design of this class is to expose you to the dynamic nature of the world around you.  During the course of this school year, we will explore our world and how science impacts our daily lives.  As young scientists, you will continue to learn proper lab techniques and basic skills to prepare you for future science classes. 


    Course Goals:

    1. To identify and critically evaluate information in data, tables, and graphs and know there are multiple methods for organizing items and information.
    2. To evaluate information to distinguish between fact and opinion and know different explanations can be given for the same evidence.
    3. Design and conduct a controlled experiment and know how to use appropriate technology and laboratory procedures safely for observing, measuring, recording, and analyzing data.
    4. Recognize that scientific inquiry includes evaluating results of scientific investigations experiments observations, theoretical and mathematical models, and explanations proposed by other scientists.
    5. Examine the consequences of technologies which can cause resource depletion and environmental degradation, but understand that technology can also increase resource availability, mitigate environmental degradation, and make new resources economical.


    Student Planners:

    Students will be expected to make daily entries into their planner showing objectives, homework, due dates, test days, holidays, and school events.  Using the planner appropriately reinforces accountability and will result in individual and group success.  The planner provides daily opportunities for parent/teacher communication.


    Tracking Grades: 

    At the middle school level, students are required to take the lead role in tracking their class progress; therefore there is a shared responsibility between teachers, parents and the student to check grades for accuracy and to take steps to address missed work in a timely manner to ensure success.


    Hours of Availability:  

    Due to various meetings and commitments, each teacher is potentially available, by appointment, from 7:15 to 7:30 in the morning and 2:15 to 2:40 in the afternoon. You may also e-mail your teacher and she will respond as soon as possible.


    Academic Honesty/Plagiarism:  

    Work assigned to students must be completed in an honest manner. This means doing one’s own work. In cases where students are copying assignments BOTH students will receive a zero on the assignment and referred for disciplinary action. Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of somebody else’s words or ideas. Because of electronic formats, plagiarism has never been easier to commit. This issue is fully discussed in Language Arts and Social Studies classes and the science classes ascribe to the same expectation for citing sources on all assignments. Please consult the documents distributed in Social Studies if you have questions on properly citing resources.


    SmartTech Policy: 

    In order to enhance and facilitate the classroom experience, students are allowed to use their smart technology during class at their teacher’s discretion. All devices must be used appropriately according to the WCSD Technology Acceptable Use Policy. Violation of these policies will result in disciplinary action. If a student volunteers to use their smart technology during a classroom activity, they automatically assume responsibility for the safety of that device.


    Middle School Course Content: 

    (The order of topics does not imply the instructional sequence)

    Washoe County School District Integrated Middle School Science Curriculum – August 2016




    Life Sciences


    Earth and Space Sciences


    Physical Science




    Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

    (Variation, Natural Selection and Adaptations)

    MS-LS4-1, MS-LS4-2, MS-LS4-3,

    MS-LS4-4, MS-LS4-5, MS-LS4-6


    Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits


    Earth’s Place in the Universe

    (lunar phases, seasons, solar system)

    MS-ESS1-1, MS-ESS1-2, MS-ESS1-3,



    Earth & Human Activity

    (Population & Natural Resources)



    Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer

    MS-PS4-1, MS-PS4-2, MS-PS4-3



    (Kinetic & Potential Energy)

    MS-PS3-1, MS-PS3-2


    Forces and Interactions

    MS-PS2-1, MS-PS2-2, MS-PS2-3, MS-PS2-4, MS-PS2-5



    6-8 Engineering








    From Molecules to Organisms: Structure, Function, & Processes


    MS-LS1-6, MS-LS1-7


    Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

    MS-LS2-1, MS-LS2-2, MS-LS2-3,

    MS-LS2-4, MS-LS2-5

    Earth’s Systems

    MS-ESS2-1, MS-ESS2-2, MS-ESS2-3


    Earth & Human Activity

     MS-ESS3-1, MS-ESS3-2

    Matter & Its Interactions

    (Structure, Property of Matter

    & Chemical Reactions)

    MS-PS1-1, MS-PS1-2, MS-PS1-3, MS-PS1-4, MS-PS1-5, MS-PS1-6





    From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

    MS-LS1-1, MS-LS1-2, MS-LS1-3,

    MS-LS1-4, MS-LS1-5, MS-LS1-8


    Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits


    Earth’s Systems

    (Water Cycle & Weather)

    MS-ESS2-4, MS-ESS2-5, MS-ESS2-6


    Earth & Human Activity

    MS-ESS3-3, MS-ESS3-5



    (Energy Transfer)

    MS-PS3-3, MS-PS3-4,