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Middle School

The goals for middle school science include learning and practicing scientific habits of mind (what it means to think like a scientist), nurturing a love for science, and exploring core scientific concepts.

In Grades 6-8, Innovators will:

  • Foster a curiosity about the natural world and a love of science
  • Formulate questions to understand problems better
  • Plan, design, and carry out investigations
  • Collect, analyze, and interpret data
  • Observe and record physical phenomena
  • Use models
  • Communicate theories that are supported by evidence
  • Learn core disciplinary concepts in earth and space science, life science, and physical science
  • Learn from the research of others
  • Move from concrete to more abstract thinking
  • Better understand the relationship of structure and function in the world around them, systems and cycles, and the causes and effects of complex phenomena and systems
  • Learn how to do science and think like scientists

Course Offerings

Grade 6 Science 

Grade 6 Science is designed to bring Innovators onboard to what science will look like while at NEIA. Our time spent together will teach the Innovator how to communicate as a scientist and design meaningful investigations based on thoughtful questions. We will begin by looking at intersections that exist between the scientific method and the Human-Centered Design process. The course will then teach the Innovators about how their brain works so that they can articulate what they need as a learner. From here, innovators will conduct investigations around rocketry, weather, and climate.

Grade 7/8 Science Year

Grade 7/8 Science is designed to begin to open the eyes and minds of our Innovators to the world around them so that they can be active and informed citizens. With a focus on our local community, the curriculum will ask the innovators to identify the parts of our ecosystem so that they can better identify their place within it. We will spend time creating field guides for our local ecosystem and collecting data that will be used for long-term studies to monitor the health of this complex environment around us. Innovators will also conduct investigations around sports science, flight, and space.

Upper School

In Grades 9 and 10, Innovators take a two-year science sequence that develops the disciplinary core ideas in life sciences (biology, environmental science) and physical sciences (chemistry, physics) and then take electives in Grades 11 and 12.

Drawing on NGSS and the Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Framework, Innovators will explore essential questions, such as:

  • How do organisms live and grow?
  • How can one explain and predict interactions between objects and within systems of objects?
  • How and why do organisms interact with their environment, and what are the effects of these interactions?
  • How are characteristics of one generation passed to the next? How can individuals of the same species and even siblings have different characteristics?
  • How do human activities impact the environment?
  • What evidence shows that different species are related?
  • How can one explain and predict interactions between objects and within systems of objects?
  • How is energy transferred and conserved?
  • How are waves used to transfer energy and send and store information?

Science in grades 9 and 10 develops these core disciplinary concepts:

Life Science (Biology, Environmental Science)

  • From molecules to organisms: structures and processes
  • Ecosystems: interactions, energy, and dynamics
  • Heredity: inheritance and variation of traits
  • Biological evolution: unity and diversity

Physical Science (Chemistry, Physics)

  • Matter and its Interaction
  • Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
  • Energy

Science electives. After completing grade 9 and 10 science, Innovators may select various electives that may include the advanced study of biology, chemistry, physics, environmental science, and engineering.

Course Offerings

Science 9 

Science 9 has a solution-oriented approach to science where innovators are now pushed to better understand and come up with creative solutions to some of the most pressing issues facing our world. Innovators will be making connections with scientists active in the fields we will be studying and spending time keeping current with discoveries and innovations in the news. Over the course of the year, innovators will be taking deep dives into the topics of stored energy and battery technology, disease, food, and astrophysics.

Science 10 

Prerequisite: Science 9

Science 10 has a solution-oriented approach to science where innovators are now pushed to better understand and develop creative solutions to pressing issues that are facing our world. Innovators will be making connections with scientists active in the fields we will be studying and spending time keeping current with discoveries and innovations in the news. Over the course of the year, innovators will be taking deep conceptual dives into the areas of water, transportation, climate change, and bioethics.