8th Grade Science Syllabus

BCMS 8th Grade Science   
Teacher:  Maggie Spicer                                   
Email:mspicer@bledsoecountyschools.org                                           Phone: 423-447-3212

Dear Students and Parents,

      I am looking forward to a great school year with your child.  I believe that all children should have the opportunity to succeed in every aspect of the Science program.  I feel this will be a rewarding experience for your child and myself.  If you have any concerns or questions please feel free to leave a message at the school or Email and I will contact you as soon as possible.

What Is Science?

Science is an organized way of studying things and finding answers to questions

 Course Overview:  This program is designed for students to explore and understand the natural world, solve problems and create solutions. 
This course will provide...inquiry-based instruction as a critical way of developing conceptual understanding of the science content that is vital for success now and in High School. Students will learn core concepts drawn from physical science, earth science and life science. A seamless integration of science content, scientific inquiry, experimentation and technological design will reinforce in students the notion that what is known is inextricably tied to how it is known.

Your Child will be
engaged in the following:  Reading, researching, mini labs, virtual labs, launch labs, experiments, note taking, technology, designing their own labs, concept mapping, creating models, diagrams, scientific method, inquiry, engineering design method, review games, computers, I Pad's, science video clips, group interactions, integrating Math skills, Reading skills, History and Language Arts, group discussions, hands on activities, graphing, data tables. Science probes, Science mysteries, & more!

(what we will be studying)

•  Inquiry, Technology & Engineering

•  LS: Biodiversity & Change

•  PS1: Chemical Reactions

•  PS2: Properties of Matter

•  PS3: Forces of Nature

(For more information on Science standards for 8th grade see the link below)


Students will learn all of the Tennessee State Standards for 8th Grade Science, which emphasize mainly on physical sciences along with Life and Earth Sciences integrated within the course. The use of well designed, memorable experiences and the application of scientific knowledge and methodology are essential in helping students achieve appropriate comprehension of the content.

Students will improve their ability to learn independently by drawing generalizations from science related articles, books, graphs, charts, and diagrams. Regular opportunities are provided for students to clearly communicate their understanding through oral and written explanations of science concepts.

Students will study the applications of science in everyday life to inspire them to consider pursuing advanced studies in science and explore the wide variety of related career choices available.

Students will understand scientific ways of thinking and work to use those methods to solve real life problems

Students will identify, analyze and use patterns such as cycles and trends to understand past and present events and predict possible future events

Students will identify and analyze systems and the way their components work together to affect each other

Students will see a direct relationship between science education and daily life

Students will gain confidence to pursue personal goals through successful science experience

The following is a list of units that will be covered

1.  Exploring and Classifying Life
(How are things classified?)
2.  Adaptations over Time
(Ideas about evolution, natural selection, variations, relative dating)
3.  Conserving Life
(Biodiversity, conservation)
4.  Measurement
(Descriptions of measurements, drawings, tables & graphs)
5.  Properties and Changes of Matter
(Physical and chemical properties, physical and chemical changes)
6.  States of Matter
(Changes of state)
7.  Inside the Atom
(Models of an atom, the nucleus of an atom)
8.  The Periodic Table
(Introduction to the periodic table, properties of the periodic table)
9.  Atomic Structure and Chemical Bonds
(Why do atoms combine and how elements bond)
10.  Chemical Reactions
(Chemical formulas and equations)
11.  Substances, Mixtures, and Solubility
(What is a solution?, Acidic and basic solutions)
12.  Forces
(Factors that influence the amount of gravitational force between objects, gravity is the force that controls the motion of objects in the solar system)
13.  Magnetism
(What is magnetism, electricity and magnetism)
14.  Inquiry, Technology & Engineering


  1. One 1 1/2 inch binder(please no 1 inch for they are too small)
  2. One glue stick
  3. 1 dry erase marker (this is for student use only and please only darker colors)
  4. Notebook paper and pencil

Classroom Expectations:

  1. Be Respectful

    • Respect yourself
    • Respect others (including ideas and belongings)
    • Respect our school
  2. Be Responsible

    • Complete assignments
    • Take care of books and materials
    • Be a contributing group member
    • Raise your hand if you have a question or comment
  3. Be Ready to Learn

    • Bring books, needed supplies, and homework
    • Be in your seat, ready to work when the second bell rings
    • Listen, participate, and do your best work
  4. Be safe

    • Follow lab instruction
    • Use equipment carefully
    • Clean up and return all materials and equipment



1.  Warning

2.) Conference with teacher

3.) Phone call home and/or referral to Principal


 HOMEWORK POLICY:  Assignments will be due on the date specified by teacher unless student is absent  (See student handbook)

GRADING POLICY:  Daily work, homework, quizzes, tests, labs, and projects will all be included in determining a grade: 

Tests 40%     

Daily Work/Homework 30%      

Quizzes 20%     

Mini-Labs/ Participation 10%

BCMS Web Site------http://www.bcms.bledsoecountyschools.org 

 Skyward: Login------- https://sisbledsoe.tnk12.gov/scripts/wsisa.dll/WService=wsBLEStu/seplog01.w

Glencoe Online Textbook-http://glencoe.mheducation.com/sites/0078901367/student_view0/studentworks_plus_online.html

 ***For access to the online textbook click on students work plus on line and enter the code:


Parent Involvement is all about the children. Participation in your child’s education is proven to boost his or her achievement in school. We are committed to treat parents as partners while keeping lines of communication open and focused on the needs of your child. Mutual trust and respect between parents and teachers is required to maintain a positive learning experience at any school. We believe that your trust in BCMS is required to ensure your child’s success.

Teacher Contact Information

Maggie Spicer
8th Grade Science

Available Times
Planning Period
:05 M-F

Course Description:  This program is designed for students to explore and understand the natural world, solve problems and create solutions.  

In addition to meeting the state science standards, this course is designed to provide hands-on experiential learning. Students should expect to find the curriculum rigorous and engaging as the course will include:

Reading, researching, virtual labs, quick labs, experiments, note taking, technology skills, designing their own labs, concept mapping, creating models, diagrams, the scientific method, inquiry, the engineering design method, review games, computers, science video clips, group interactions, integrating Math, Reading, History and Language Arts, group discussions, graphing, data tables, Science probes, Science mysteries, & more!

In this course, the material will be presented to the students in various ways. Lectures, labs, peer grouping, independent work, and peer teaching are examples of what students will be participating in.


Disciplinary Core Ideas for eighth grade include:

        ETS1: Engineering Design

        LS1: Biological Change: Unity and Diversity

        PS1: Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions

        PS2: Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer                          
        ESS1: Earth’s Systems  

        ESS2: Earth and Human Activity


8.PS2: Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions  1) Design and conduct investigations depicting the relationship between magnetism and electricity in electromagnets, generators, and electrical motors, emphasizing the factors that increase or diminish the electric current and the magnetic field strength. 2) Conduct an investigation to provide evidence that fields exist between objects exerting forces on each other even though the objects are not in contact. 3) Create a demonstration of an object in motion and describe the position, force, and direction of the object. 4) Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object. 5) Evaluate and interpret that for every force exerted on an object there is an equal force exerted in the opposite direction.

8.PS4: Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer 1) Develop and use models to represent the basic properties of waves including frequency, amplitude, wavelength, and speed.2) Compare and contrast mechanical waves and electromagnetic waves based on refraction, reflection, transmission, absorption, and their behavior through a vacuum and/or various media. 3) Evaluate the role that waves play in different communication systems.

 8.LS4: Biological Change: Unity and Diversity 1) Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change in life forms throughout Earth’s history. 2) Construct an explanation addressing similarities and differences of the anatomical structures and genetic information between extinct and extant organisms using evidence of common ancestry and patterns between taxa.  3) Analyze evidence from geology, paleontology, and comparative anatomy to support that specific phenotypes within a population can increase the probability of survival of that species and lead to adaptation. 4) Develop a scientific explanation of how natural selection plays a role in determining the survival of a species in a changing environment. 5) Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the technologies that have changed the way humans use artificial selection to influence the inheritance of desired traits in other organisms.

 8.ESS1: Earth’s Place in the Universe 1) Research, analyze, and communicate that the universe began with a period of rapid expansion using evidence from the motion of galaxies and composition of stars.   2) Explain the role of gravity in the formation of our sun and planets. Extend this explanation to address gravity’s effect on the motion of celestial objects in our solar system and Earth’s ocean tides.

 8.ESS2: Earth’s Systems 1) Analyze and interpret data to support the assertion that rapid or gradual geographic changes lead to drastic population changes and extinction events. 2) Evaluate data collected from seismographs to create a model of Earth's structure. 3) Describe the relationship between the processes and forces that create igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. 4) Gather and evaluate evidence that energy from the earth’s interior drives convection cycles within the asthenosphere which creates changes within the lithosphere including plate movements, plate boundaries, and sea-floor spreading. 5) Construct a scientific explanation using data that explains the gradual process of plate tectonics accounting for A) the distribution of fossils on different continents, B) the occurrence of earthquakes, and C) continental and ocean floor features (including mountains, volcanoes, faults, and trenches).

 8.ESS3: Earth and Human Activity 1) Interpret data to explain that earth’s mineral, fossil fuel, and groundwater resources are unevenly distributed as a result of geologic processes.  2) Collect data, map, and describe patterns in the locations of volcanoes and earthquakes related to tectonic plate boundaries, interactions, and hotspots.

 8.ETS1: Engineering Design 1) Develop a model to generate data for ongoing testing and modification of an electromagnet, a generator, and a motor such that an optimal design can be achieved. 2) Research and communicate information to describe how data from technologies (telescopes, spectroscopes, satellites, and space probes) provide information about objects in the solar system and universe. 

(For more information on 8th grade standards, see resource links below)


  1. One 1 inch binder
  2. Notebook paper and pencil
  3. Composition Book


  1. Raise your hand if you have a question or comment
  2. Bring all science materials to class so you are prepared
  3. Be respectful
  4. Follow directions
  5. Obey all school and safety rules

CONSEQUENCES:  Phone call home, Student/Teacher/Parent Conference,
 Loss of Activities, 
Quiet Lunch, Relocation, Team Court and/or Office Referral are all possible consequences at teacher’s discretion

HOMEWORK POLICY:  Assignments will be due on the date specified by the teacher unless the student is absent  (See student handbook)

GRADING POLICY:  Daily work, homework, quizzes, tests, labs, and projects will all be included in determining a grade:  

Tests 40%     

Daily Work/Homework/Labs 30%      

Quizzes 20%     

Quick-Labs/Journals/Participation 10%


 BCMS Web Site------http://bcms.bledsoecountyschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=392567&pageId=4539461&portletInstanceId=413876&action=edit&portletAction=edit

 Skyward: Login------- https://sisbledsoe.tnk12.gov/scripts/wsisa.dll/WService=wsBLEStu/seplog01.w

Tennessee Middle School Grade 8 Interactive Science (online textbook and resources)-------http://bcms.bledsoecountyschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=392567&pageId=4539461&portletInstanceId=413876&action=edit&portletAction=edit

Tennessee Department Of Education


Bledsoe County School System


8th Grade Standards