The best middle school science curriculum for 2023 is here, and and it’s called Introduction to Science Experiments.
The Spring 2023 (Jan-May) section for the live online middle school science course has regular, online, twice weekly meetings on Mondays and Wednesdays starting at 11:05 AM PST (Pacific time) / 2:05 PM EST. It starts on January 30, 2023 with a Parent Conference. The schedule has complete info about the dates and times.
The course covers the lab related topics usually covered in a middle school physical sciences class. It includes an emphasis on lab safety, and it teaches learners to apply the scientific method to setting up and conducting experiments. The course includes simulated data so that online learners may safely and easily participate in experiments without needing to set them up at home. Pricing information can be found in our simple Pricing Table under the Live Learning course option.
Lesson 1: The Scientific Method
The best middle school science curriculum starts at the beginning, with the scientific method. It’s all explained by an actual scientist. How does the scientific method really work? What does it look like in action? What does it feel like to be a scientist implementing the scientific method? These are the themes that we will explore in this course. A little hint, though, it has a lot to do with reading, writing, and, occasionally, some arithmetic. Plus we’ll see how experiments really work, without needing to set up any complicated apparatus at home.
Lesson 2: Before The Experiment
Most of the important experimental work happens before the experiment actually even takes place. A good experiment needs to have a good goal to start from. And a good experiment needs a good, safe procedure to follow. The procedure should indicate exactly what data is collected during the experiment, and a data table will be designed to record the measurements.
Lesson 3: Safety Check
Importantly, there’s a safety check performed before any experiment begins. It’s just proper scientific technique, and it’s followed by all respectable school, government, and private laboratories in the world. Learners will understand what we mean by laboratory safety and handling hazardous materials. That way, they will be prepared if they ever set foot in a proper chemistry laboratory. We will also learn how to read a material safety data sheet (MSDS). One reason this is the best middle school science curriculum is because it actually teaches students about real world safety practices, which are important in modern schools and workplaces.
Lesson 4: During The Experiment Part I
Before starting the actual experiment, we will examine the measurement devices that will be used. Will have examples with common household measuring cups and rulers so that you can follow along with the discussion of measurement at home. Recording a scientific measurement is not just as simple as making a kitchen recipe measurement. We will learn how to deal with precision and bias when making scientific measurements.
Lesson 5: During The Experiment Part II
We will discuss proper technique for writing down scientific measurements from an experiment. In particular, we will pay attention to the precision of the measurements. We will also focus on having the correct units on all the measurements in the data table. We will make a data table and practice, in pen, to get comfortable with recording measurements.
Lesson 6: After The Experiment Part I
We will talk about a simple calculation based on the measurements. Using percentages, we can take the results of a specific experiment and make them more general and comparable the other experimental results. You won’t need a calculator, since these things are easily done on the web these days. We will discuss measurement precision and how it relates to experimental error.
Lesson 7: After The Experiment Part II
The most important part of the scientific method is doing an error analysis after an experiment. This is how we gain insights as to how to improve the experiment, make it better, and allow scientific progress to happen. In the error analysis, we will trace experimental errors back to the measurements. We will write a paragraph, in pen, to get comfortable discussing experimental errors.
Lesson 8: Final Presentation
The young scientists taking the course will have the option to make and share final presentations. There will be a written format, as well as an opportunity to practice their public speaking skills in an oral presentation format. It will be a capstone project, assembling parts that were completed in the previous seven lessons. The true power of the scientific method happens when we share our results in public for an open discussion, and we invite the learners in the class to participate in the final presentation. The group participation is the most fun and rewarding part of the best middle school science curriculum!
It’s important to develop a few critical science skills at the middle school level. The idea is to be successful in later, more advanced science courses having a laboratory (lab) component. It’s quite common for young learners to know lots of science facts, yet not understand how the scientific method really works.
Our program, which is the best middle school science curriculum, covers the following critical learning outcomes.
1. Develop science writing skills to quickly make lab reports. You’ll need to make dozens of lab reports to graduate high school on an academic track to or get a B.S. college degree.
2. Expressing results as percentages. Scientists uses percentages to express results on a relative basis, so that results are comparable across different experiments. This requires division.
3. Use a calculator to divide numbers with decimal points.
4. Round results to a reasonable number of decimal points. More decimal points is not better.
5. Understand Safe Science, read chemical safety information, and identify hazardous materials.
6. Know that science is changing. Fast. Most of the “modern” textbooks were written long ago when society had different expectations of science ethics and safety. We will introduce the concept of green chemistry.
This is the best middle school science curriculum for 2022-23 because it actually shows young learners how the scientific method really works.
It’s important that all middle school students take a class like this. Without this information, it won’t be possible to get credit for high school lab science courses in the future.
Unlike most courses about the scientific method, this class was designed and is taught by an actual scientist.