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In this course, students will develop their knowledge of organisms by focusing on the structure and function of cells in plants and animals. Students will explore fluids and the diverse applications involved in fluid mechanics while exploring the impact of fluids on industrial processes. The smooth functioning of society depends on a number and variety of systems and students will learn about how the needs of society influences the evolution of systems. Finally, students will learn about the water systems on earth and the important role that water systems play in global ecosystems.
Course Code: SCI8
Curriculum Policy Document: Science & Technology, Grades 1 – 8, 2006 Revised
Course Developer: Virtual Elementary School
Development Date: 2012 (Revised in 2019)
The first unit in the Grade 8 Science course has students explore what is perhaps the most important physical tool a scientist uses – the microscope. The characteristics of living things and the cell theory form the basis for an understanding of the building block of life, the cell, and its components. Students will discover the process of cell division and cellular transport which will assist them as they move forward in this course and in their career as biologists. Finally, recent innovations in microbiology and the impact biological processes have on the environment are examined.
The concept of fluids major influence on our lives is introduced and examined in greater detail with the particle theory. The characteristics of fluids are investigated as they relate to viscosity, density and buoyancy. Humans ability to control the flow of fluids (fluid systems) is reviewed and students will communicate and apply an understanding of the concept when they design and build a pneumatic or hydraulic device. The impact fluids have on our environment, both good and bad, are introduced before being revisited later in the course.
An understanding that along with fluids, structures are everywhere in our lives is developed by examining both natural and man-made structures and their components. The terms mass, weight, work and energy are explored in more detail in Grade 8 and form the basis for an understanding of simple machines and their benefits. Mechanical advantage and system efficiency are terms expose students to the realization that since the beginning of time, especially since the industrial revolution, man has been creating structures to make their lives easier. At the end of the unit, students turn the microscope on themselves and investigate the ways in which they can change their own impact on the environment.
Fluids are revisited, specifically water, this time in a system approach. Water systems on a global, municipal and personal level are investigated in this final unit. The differences between fresh and salt water are examined as well as the importance both have on watersheds, weather and life. The case of Walkerton, Ontario is explored and the resulting policy changes that were made in North America. Water consumption and conservation are familiar terms that are reviewed along with what happens when too much or not enough water are present in an area. Finally, students are responsible for advising the public on a water issue.
Student evaluation in this course is based on the student's achievement of curriculum expectations. The final letter grade represents the quality of the student's overall fulfillment of the expectations for the course and reflects the corresponding level of achievement as described in the achievement chart for the discipline. The final grade reflects the student’s most consistent level of achievement across all units in the course, although special consideration is given to more recent evidence of achievement. There is no final assessment, such as an exam, in this course.