Middle School Science Newsletter

January 2019

Welcome back! We hope that your break was restful and you had opportunities to enjoy your time off. 2nd semester is such an exciting time as we roll into the second half of the year and can make very purposeful connections to prior learning. It's also exciting because of Science Fair!

Curriculum Updates

Gr 6:

Teachers should be beginning 2nd semester with energy transfer & motion. Teachers can use activities and resources from the curriculum maps to have students use examples to explain the Law of Conservation of energy, both visually and linguistically. Teachers should have students conduct experiments that differentiate between potential and kinetic energy, measure speed, and graph the results of this data.

Gr 7:

Teachers should now be working into the internal and external sources of energy that have continuously altered the features of Earth. Teachers will want to provide opportunities for students to describe the layers of solid earth including the lithosphere, hot convecting mantle, dense metallic liquid and solid core. Teachers should help students make connections between identifying patterns within the rock cycle and how they relate to surface events and sub-surface events.

Gr 8:

Teachers should now be in space and working with students to deepen their understanding of Earth in space and time through learning about the influence of gravity and energy in the formation of galaxies. Lessons should aim to further student understanding of gravity by recognizing the effect gravity has on the motion of objects in our solar system. Teachers can have students create models of solar properties that show rotation, structure of the sun, speed, movement, temperature, and atmospheric conditions.

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.

Regional Fair -- Parent & Coordinator Information (Schedule, map, etc)

Linked below is a coordinator's memo as well as student letter with directions for the regional science fair. Please provide a copy to each of your school fair winners designated to participate in the district fair. A sincere thank you goes out to all of you that worked so hard to provide this opportunity at your schools. We know it is an immense amount of work and are so grateful for all you did to host a fair at your school.

Regional Fair -- Parent & Coordinator Information (Schedule, map, etc)

Urgent Request for Judges

We are still in need of judges for both fairs. In order to ensure a positive academic experience for our students as they share their scientific research, we need 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 February.

Grade 6 Quarter 3 Science Academy Night:

DATE CHANGE Wednesday, February 13, 2019 from 4-6pm at CCMHS (Register Here)

Grade 7 Quarter 3 Science Academy Night:

DATE CHANGE Wednesday, February 6, 2019 from 4-6pm 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