California School for the Deaf

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Middle School » Science


Middle school science class on a field trip

The Middle School science program is composed of six semesters (equivalent to three academic years) of science coursework from grade six to eight. The program is arranged to achieve scientific literacy for all of the students. The basic scientific fields of study and the topics listed below are addressed throughout the Middle School science program.

A typical year of study may include: (courses vary)
Experiments, class projects, science fairs, research (using software, internet, encyclopedias, resource books), in-class demonstrations, video and laser disk presentations, textbooks, and lecture are all used in an effort to assist the students discover the various concepts from the California State Standards.

The students are encouraged to make connections between what they study and their own daily experiences and/or what they are exposed to on the Internet, T.V., and other media sources. The students are asked to reflect upon the ever changing world of science research and the advancements that are made.

More information on the standards listed below can be found at


- Plate tectonics explains important features of the Earth’s surface and major geologic events.
- Topography is reshaped by the weathering of rock and soil by the transportation and deposition of sediment.
- Heat moves in a predictable flow from warmer objects to cooler objects until all objects are at the same temperature.
- Many phenomena on the Earth’s surface are affected by the transfer of energy through radiation and convection currents.
- Organisms in ecosystems exchange energy and nutrients among themselves and with the environment.
- Sources of energy and materials differ in amounts, distribution, usefulness, and the time required for their formation.


- All living organisms are composed of cells, from just one to many trillion, whose details usually are visible only through a microscope.
- A typical cell of any organism contains genetic instructions that specify its traits. Those traits maybe modified by environmental influences.
- Biological evolution accounts for the diversity of species developed through gradual processes over many generations.
- The anatomy and physiology of plants and animals illustrate the complementary nature of structure and function.
- Physical principles underlie biological structures and functions.


- The velocity of an object is the rate of change of it’s position.
- Unbalanced forces cause change in velocity.
- Elements have distinct properties and atomic structure. All matter is comprised of one or more of over 100 elements.
- The structure and composition of the universe can be learned from the study of stars and galaxies, and their evolution.
- Chemical reactions are processes in which atoms are rearranged into different combinations of molecules.
- Principles of chemistry underlie the functioning of biological systems.
- The organization of the Periodic Table is based on the properties of the elements and reflects the structure of atoms.
- All objects experience a buoyant force when immersed in a fluid.