Middle School Science


Department Philosophy

Science at Tarbut V'Torah emphasizes hands on learning experience while engaging students in the most current body of scientific knowledge and technologies. Students can choose from a diverse array of courses that are offered at multiple levels including, college preparatory, honors and six AP courses. As students progress through the courses, they build on previous knowledge and skills. Graduates of the Science department are well versed in the Scientific Method, independent thinkers who can understand and solve real world problems.

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • Grade 6

    Earth Science
    In 6th grade earth science students explore concepts in geology, ecology, classification, and comparative anatomy. The semester begins with the Earth on the largest scale: the structure of the Earth and how the transfer of energy shapes the Earth, as we know it. In studying convection, conduction and radiation, students learn that the movement of earth's tectonic plates results in continental drift. This drift produces a variety of natural phenomena such as earthquakes, tsunamis, mid oceanic ridges, volcanoes and evolution over time. Understanding how these processes produce and create the abiotic landscapes surrounding them prepares students to then look at the biotic life on Earth. The next unit of study is ecology, where students learn about the intricate workings of ecosystems. They connect this material to previously learned concepts as they discuss evolution and conservation, and the role geology plays in shaping biomes. During the course of this unit students also explore various local ecosystems. Students then continue to narrow their focus by looking at major phyla of animals and plants; by identifying characteristic traits, and by seeing how traits have changes over time, students gain an appreciation of the role of evolution in creating animal and plant species. The final unit provides an introduction to comparative anatomy, in which students are also introduced to the workings of organ systems in humans and in other phyla.
    Grade Level: 6
  • Grade 7

    Life Science
    Topics covered in the 7th grade include the scientific method, the Periodic Table, beginnings of chemistry, biochemistry, cell structure, and genetics; the goal of this course is to begin at the foundations of life and build to understanding the chemistry of the cell. Each unit is accompanied by hands-on activities to allow students real-life discovery of the major themes of study. Students will learn to use scientific tools for observation and measurement such as the compound light microscope and triple-beam balance. They will engage in teamwork during laboratory exercises and also practice independent research. This year focuses on preparing students for the role of mathematics in science, and the role of chemistry in defining life.
    Grade Level: 7
  • Grade 8

    Physical Science
    In 8th grade physical science, students explore the natural phenomena that surround them. The year is a study of both the basic principles of chemistry and physics. Students experiment with the properties of matter and the states of matter as they progress towards a solid understanding of the differences between compounds and mixtures. Students build boats as they explore Archimedes Principle and the concepts of buoyancy and density.

    There are also a number of experiments to understand phase change as a physical property. The semester culminates with students using their vast knowledge of the physical and chemical properties of matter to separate mixtures and break apart compounds. Students begin the second half of the year with an exploration of motion and forces. They investigate the concepts of momentum, acceleration, velocity, terminal velocity and gravity through the experimental process. Students will replicate Galileo's experiments with inclined planes and then go on to understand aspects of Newton's three laws of motion. The end of the year is electric for all students as they investigate work, machines and energy. Here they dig deeper into understanding the concept of conservation of energy, the energy of waves and an introduction into electricity.
    Grade Level: 8
TVT Community Day School is a TK-12 Independent Community Day School in Irvine, CA
Founded in Loving Memory of Naomi Gelman Weiss