Middle School Science Newsletter

December 2018

As we close out 2018, we hope that the new texts, updated curricular resources, and science academies proved useful in supporting science instruction in Pasco! We are excited to keep pressing forward with our vision for Science and as always, we are thankful for all you do to support our young scientists.

Curriculum Updates

Gr 6:

Teachers should now be working into land forms and ways in which Earth's surface is built up and torn down through processes like erosion and weathering. There are specific connections to landforms within Florida. Teachers can use the resources in the maps to make connections between landforms and Florida's geological history especially around the ideas of deposition and the formation of limestone that makes up much of Florida's bedrock.

Gr 7:

Teachers should now be working in Heat Energy and transfer. Heat flows in predictable ways and may result in a change in temperature and/or state of matter. Teachers will want to highlight experiments that show how heat flows from warmer to cooler objects and the relationship between temperature, state, and particle motion.

Gr 8:

Teachers should now be working into space and completing the carbon cycle and conservation of mass and energy. There is an excellent opportunity to connect the carbon cycle to photosynthesis and how it all relates in regard to the conservation of mass and energy. As teachers enter space, lessons should have students compare the relationships between objects in the universe and can start big (universe) and work to small (our solar system and star) or vice a versa.

Pearson Spotlight

In this section, your science team will look ahead into our Pearson textbook resources to find engaging activities that will help students connect learning throughout the units. It will also highlight opportunities to embed and reinforce our nature of science skills and practices. If you find activities that work well, please reach out to us and let us know!

Gr 6:

Interactivity: Interpret Kinetic Energy Graphs

  • Located in Topic 1, Lesson 2: Kinetic Energy & Potential Energy, in the Pearson Realize digital platform
  • This digital activity allows students to learn the relationship between kinetic energy and the mass of an object and connects that learning to the relationship between kinetic energy and the speed of an object.
  • It connects the standards taught in this unit ( 6.P.11.1 & 6.P.12.1)
  • It can also serve as an opportunity to reinforce the nature of science skills and practices in 6.N.1.1, giving students the opportunity to interpret data in charts, tables, and graphics, analyze information and make predictions.

Gr 7:

Case Study: Earth Power

  • Located in Topic 1, Lesson 2: Heat Transfer
  • Quick and effective activity to reinforce the concept of heat transfer & energy transformations while previewing for the upcoming unit, Layers of the Solid Earth & Plate Tectonics.
  • It can also serve as an opportunity to reinforce the nature of science skills and practices from 7.N.1.5 demonstrating to students how different methods are used in the pursuit of scientific explanation as seen in different fields of science; such as, biology, geology & physical science.

Gr 8:

Interactivity: Distance Learning

  • Located in Topic 2, Lesson 1: Solar System Objects
  • Students will analyze and interpret data to determine scale properties of objects in the solar system
  • Students will also practice with nature of science skills found in standards N.1.1 & N.1.3 by having students analyze data tables with properties of the planets, predict a relationship between a planet's orbital period and distance from the sun based from the data, graph the data, and finally determine whether the data supported or failed to support their original predictions.

Science Fair

Science Fair Support Resources

All Resources designed to support Science Fair can be found on the Secondary Science Learning Network by clicking the Science/STEM Fair Resources Link at the top of the page.

Science Fair Deadline- Action Required

Students identified for the Regional Science & Engineering Fair and accompanying Paperwork are due no later than Dec 20th. Please use this online form to identify who the students are that will represent your school at a the Regional Science & Engineering Fair. The accompanying paperwork (a list of required paperwork is linked here) is due to Mark Butler in the Office for Leading & Learning by Dec 20. Thank you for continuing to support Pasco students in this impactful experience.

Request for Judges

In order to ensure a positive academic experience for our students as they share their scientific research, we are putting out both formal and informal requests for judges. We anticipate over 200 projects from our secondary students.

If you would like to lend your expertise, we would love to have you judge out either or both our regional fairs (secondary or elementary). Judging criteria for the regional fair is fairly short and uncomplicated, but maintains emphasis on the scientific method as a problem-solving technique. If you are interested or know someone* who might be, you can submit your availability online through the digital judges form link.

Your presence at our fair helps motivate and encourage students seeking opportunities to showcase their scientific talent. We certainly appreciate your willingness to sacrifice Saturday time in order to share your experience with them.

*Judges from outside the district will also be asked to complete a Pasco Schools Volunteer Form

Professional Development Opportunities

Quarter 3 Science Academy Nights

Our Quarter 3 Science Academy Nights for Middle School Science Grades 6 & 7 will be offered in January.

Grade 6 Quarter 3 Science Academy Night:

Wednesday, January 16, 2019 from 4-6pm at CCMHS (Register Here)

Grade 7 Quarter 3 Science Academy Night:

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 from4-6pm at CSRMS (Register Here)

Join us as we engage in a model lesson designed from the curriculum maps. See total participation strategies in action, deepen your understanding of the 5E model, network and collaborate with fellow Pasco Science teachers. This PD opportunity includes a stipend for your time and PD points for the follow up activity.

5E Virtual Science Academy

The current Virtual Academy (labeled as Quarter 1) builds our understanding of the 5E model and what it looks like in the classroom for both students and teachers. It also provides planning support, video clips from Pasco science classrooms and suggested resources. The 5E model is represented in Core Action 2 of the Science Instructional Practice guide.

Register for the course through MyPGS (Course 2414) HERE to sign up to participate. Registration will remain open through Nov 30. MyPGS will automatically enroll you in the Canvas course. The courses are listed for 6th and 7th grade, as they are this year's identified grades, however it was built to support 6-8 Science Instruction. So all are welcome to join in our adventure. The course is 4 PD points if completed! See you Online!

Additional Information

Curriculum Map Feedback Form

The Science Curriculum Team has begun the work of making corrections and tweaks to the curriculum maps and resources. Please use this Curriculum Map Feedback Form to provide the Science Curriculum Team with input on our Science Curriculum maps to allow us to continue to refine them. Please be as specific as possible so that the team may constructively review the information and make an informed decision on how to proceed. Your input is critical to continuing to move Pasco Science forward!


Please continue to send us pictures of Pasco students who are engaged in the practice of science through exploration, discovery, research, discussion, analysis, argumentation or investigation. Feel free to use this hashtag to shout out the excellent things your students are doing and tag us @SciencePasco

Want to Contact Us?

Mark Butler



Lesley Kirkley



Jessica Maxwell


Stephanie Sheridan