Curriculum Outline

In 8th grade science you will learn about...

  • Matter: How do we think the universe formed? What is everything made of? How do atoms make up elements and how do they interact with each other?  
  • Energy: How do we use energy? What might our ‘energy of the future’ look like?
  • Earth History: How is the earth, and life on earth,  constantly changing?
  • Ecosystems: How do the living and non-living components of earth interact and effect each other? 
  • Life: What are the common structures and  processes that occur in living organisms?
  • Hydrosphere: What is water? Where is it found on earth? How does the presence/absence of water impact life on earth? What is the relationship between humans and water?

Evolution in organisms and landforms: You will learn how humans study the natural history of our earth and explore questions still left unanswered by science.

8.E.2 Understand the history of Earth and its life forms based on evidence of change recorded in fossil records and landforms.

8.L.4 Understand the evolution of organisms and landforms based on evidence, theories and processes that impact the Earth over time.

  • Infer the age of the Earth using evidence from relative dating and radioactive dating.
  • Explore evidence of earth’s history: fossils, ice cores, composition of sedimentary rock, faults, igneous formations in rock layers
  • Explain how environments act as a selective force on populations of organisms. 

Ecology: You will learn how matter and life interact and why this is so important to you!

8.L.3 Understand how organisms interact with and respond to the biotic and abiotic components of their environment.

  • Population ecology; how are populations affected by food, water, shelter and space.
  • Describe relationships; producers, consumers, decomposers, co-existence, cooperation, competition.
  • Explore the relationship between the biotic and abiotic world with the cycling of food, matter and energy
  • North Carolina ecosystems; what is your ecological address?

?Hydrology: This unit  will require you to conduct independent and group research and to apply your knowledge to current events as you explore a subject of great importance to human cultures....water!?

8.E.1 Understand the hydrosphere and the impact of humans on local systems and the effects of the hydrosphere on humans.

  • Explain how water is distributed on earth globally and locally. 
  • Summarize the physical (nutrients and gasses) and biological nature (life forms) of estuaries, marine ecosystems and upwelling environments. 
  • Describe deep ocean technology and the understanding gained from it.
  • Analyze the quality of water supplies in NC based on physical and biological factors....
    • temperature, DO, pH, nitrates, phosphates, turbidity, bio-indicators
  • Describe the connection between human health and monitoring the hydrosphere, establishing water quality standards and water treatment methods. Explore  the role of stewardship. 

Microbiology: Lions, tigers and bears, oh my!!

8.L.1 Understand the hazards caused by agents of diseases that effect living organisms.

8.L.2 Understand how biotechnology is used to affect living organisms.

  • Describe the basic characteristics of viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites relating to the spread, treatment and prevention of disease
  • Describe how nations respond to epidemics and pandemics
  • Immunity
  • Explore how biotechnology is being used to combat disease and the implications of its use.
    • Careers, economics, ethics, implications for agriculture


8.P.1 Understand the properties of matter and changes that occur when matter interacts in an open and closed container.

8.L.5 Understand the composition of various substances as it relates to their ability to serve as a source of energy and building materials for growth and repair of organisms.

  • Describe atoms in relationship to each other in elements, compounds and mixtures.
  • Explain how the physical properties of atoms and their reactivity to each other are organized within the periodic table.
  • Compare physical change (size, shape and state) to chemical change (in temperature, color, formation of a gas or precipitate)
  • Explain how the idea of atoms and a balanced chemical equation support the law of conservation of mass.

 Energy, conservation and transfer:

8.P.2 Explain the environmental implications associated with the various methods of obtaining, managing, and using energy resources.

  • Explore and explain the the attributes of our various sources for energy.
  • Describe what ‘the energy of the future’ might look like.
  • Explain the implications of depleting energy resources.