8th Grade Science Syllabus

Teacher Contact Information

Maggie Spicer
8th Grade Science

Available Times
Planning Period
1:35-2:20 M-F

Course Description:  This program is designed for students to explore and understand the natural world, solve problems and create solutions to achieve the necessary qualities and conditions to support learning environments in which students can develop the knowledge and skills needed for post-secondary and career pursuits, and be well-positioned to become curious, lifelong learners throughout their adult lives.  

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, engaging & relevant to today's world as the course will include:

Technical reading, researching, virtual labs, quick labs, scientific investigations, note taking, technology skills, designing labs, concept mapping, creating models, creating and interpreting diagrams, the scientific method, inquiry, the engineering design methods, review games, utilizing computers, science video clips, group interactions, integrations of Math, Reading, History and Language Arts, group discussions, graphing, data tables, science probes, solving 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 just some of the ways students will be engaged.


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)


Classroom Policies, Rules & Procedures, Science Safety Practices & Rules, Forces, Magnetism & Electromagnetism, Characteristics of Waves, Electromagnetic Waves

2nd 9 WEEKS
Earth, Moon & Sun, The Solar System, Stars, Galaxies and the Universe, Introducing Earth & it's Resources, Minerals & Rocks, 

3rd 9 WEEKS
Plate Tectonics, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Erosion & Deposition, A Trip Through Geologic Time Scale

Change Over Time, review for state assessment, review for high school after state assessments (microscopes, measurements & graphing)

***Engineering Design, Scientific Inquiry, Data Collections, Data Analysis, Data Interpretations & Evaluations, Scientific Communications, Developing Scientific Models & Systems, Designing and Conducting Controlled Investigations, Constructing Explanations & Designing Solutions to Explain Phenomena or Solve Problems, Research, Constructing Scientific Explanations & Descriptions, Comparing & Contrasting Scientific Processes & Concepts, Creating Demonstrations, Mathematical Computational Thinking, Describing Relationships Between Scientific Processes, Engaging in Arguments from Evidence to Identify Strengths and Weaknesses in a Line of Reasoning, Identifying the Best Explanations to Resolve Problems & to Identify the Best Solutions, Observing Patterns, Explaining Cause & Effect in Relationships, Understanding Scale Proportions & Quantities, Energy & Matter Conservation, Structure & Functions of Systems & their Parts, Stability & Change of Systems, Using appropriate tools and equipment to apply Safe Laboratory Habits & Procedures, Thinking Critically and Logically to Analyze & Interpret Data, Draw Conclusions & Develop Explanations that are based on Evidence & free from Bias, Developing an Understanding of Scientific Principles & Student Directed Real World Projects will all be embedded in the lessons throughout the school year 

  1. one 4 oz bottle of Elmer's School Glue (or similar brand) no large bottles please, students must carry this in their backpacks
  2. 1 pocket folder
  3. 1 composition book
  4. mechanical pencils
 HOMEWORK POLICY:  Assignments will be due on the date specified by the teacher unless the student is absent  (See student handbookI do not assign homework often!Dancing People.png.  If homework is assigned it may consist of reviewing concepts taught that day through summaries, notes, enrichment tasks and/or reinforcement worksheets, reviewing for a quiz or test, completing a reinforcement concept/assignment that was taught that day and student did not have time to complete due to an interruption and/or did not use class time wisely.

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

Tests 40% 
Daily Work/Homework/Labs/projects 30%      
Quizzes 20%     
Quick-Labs/Journals/Participation 10%


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


1.  Verbal Warning
2.  Reflection sheet and *possible teacher/student talk
3.  Phone call home and *possibility of revocation of privileges
4.  Office referral
*teacher discretion


I will be implementing "Capturing Kids Hearts" into my classroom expectations.  The goal is to build relationships and grow the group. This involves a social contract for each class created by the students for the students and myself.  This program will encourage students to become quality leaders, reduce social anxiety, help students to become more responsible, increase motivation, promote social skills, promote optimism, increase communication skills, reduce misbehavior & disrespect while maintaining  boundaries and preserving relationships with peers and teachers and hopefully win their hearts to lead them to their personal best. 


 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