Science in Middle School at ACDS is about inquiry, problem solving, hands-on learning, experimenting in the lab and utilizing technology to understand science.
At ACDS, we believe children learn science best by actively doing science. Our Middle School science curriculum integrates science, technology, engineering and math – STEM/STEAM – in a blend of lab activities and demonstrations, digital simulations, and small group projects, in addition to traditional lecture and textbook study.
Middle School science at ACDS presents a rigorous introduction to chemistry, biology, physics, environmental science, engineering design, genetics and earth science. The concepts students survey in their texts and lecture sessions come to life when they design and conduct science and engineering investigations, providing first-hand experience with applying scientific methods and "doing good science."
Our students learn to think like scientists. They develop a passion for scientific rigor that leads them to pursue and excel in their coursework through high school and beyond.
What's happening in the science lab?
If you walked into our dedicated science lab, there could be any number of activities underway, including:
- Straw Glider Inquiry Lab: Students create straw gliders to see which designs help their planes go the farthest.
- Edible Plate Tectonics: Using Milky Ways (continental) and Hershey's (oceanic) to represent converging plate boundaries.
- Soft Landing System: Students create a model of soft landing system — think Mars Rover — to keep their eggs from breaking when dropped.
- Heating Earth's Surface: Students use temperature probes connected to the computer to determine which type of rock absorbs the most heat.
- Recreating Mendel's Pea Experiment Lab: Students plant and grow peas and then identify the differentiating traits of the peas.
- Discovery Cell Lab: Students create slides with red onion to be able to study a plant cell.
- Looking at the Stomata of a Leaf: Students use nail polish to get an imprint of the stomata on a leaf, and then discover the structure by looking at the slides under the microscope.
- Extracting DNA with Fruit Lab: Students extract DNA from kiwis, strawberries and bananas.
- Dissections: Students dissect earthworms, squid, frogs and owl pellets.
- Physical and Chemical Changes Lab: Students use sugar cubes to discover the differences between physical and chemical changes.
- Making Water Rockets Lab: Students use water rockets to see the relationship between gas and pressure.
- Building Compounds Lab: Students use molecule kits to make different compounds, including water and propane.
- Kool Aid Concentration Lab: Students learn to calculate molar mass to make different concentrations of Kool Aid.
In addition to our robust Middle School science curriculum, students can choose from a variety of STEAM-related electives, including Biomimicry: Inventions Inspired by Nature.