Skip to main content
7th Grade Science Teachers
Contact Sue Boudreau  Sue Boudreau (925) 258-6279 Science
Contact Marshall Sachs  Marshall Sachs (925) 258-6281 Science

7th Grade Science

Project-Based Science 2018-19

How does the Earth Work?

Investigate the physics, chemistry and biology of our planet with Chrome Books, activities and projects in the lab and outside.

1. Introductions: Who we are and overlaps with others. How we’ll work together. What you already know and want to know about how the Earth works and about the current fire season. We’ll consider what exactly IS science? We’ll look at threats to the Earth and look for signs of credible hope - a year-long investigation. You’ll participate in the Socrates Café, online research, video clips and team building challenges. See start of year ideas. [PBL, creativity, collaborative norms for creative groups, critical thinking and finding and citing reliable sources]

2. Solar Ovens Make a solar oven to cook a mini marshmallow into a mini s’mores.  Investigate heat transfer and optics. Learn more about the greenhouse effect, climate change and the role of solar ovens in developing countries. Research and make a posters to show real solar ovens used in the world with labels showing how they work.. [Thermodynamics, engineering, optics, scientific surveying, energy transformation, climate change.]

3. Grow Food Garden Project (start planning just before rains.) Lasts through year. What will we grow? How? Research, share your plan and vote for the best ones. Prepare, plant, tend, improve and harvest! [Soil science, nutrient cycling, photosynthesis, horticulture, agriculture.]

4. Timeline of Life and Earth: Learn about it then develop a scale that younger kids will instantly understand, to show the main events in the evolution of life on Earth. Maybe a tetherball string, a day or the length of the Del Rey playground.  [Earth history, scale, cognitive psychology, math, art, teaching skills]

5. Survive the Next Big Ones: Why are we at risk from earthquakes? How big is the risk and what can we do to stay safe? Learn all about plate tectonics and earthquake engineering with labs and challenges. [Plate tectonics, seismic engineering, teaching inquiry skills]

6. The History and Hazards of the Hills: How did the hills behind the school form? Investigate the uplift and erosional forces, dig a hole and learn about how the soil formed. Model the forces with sand and sandwich models, hoses and mud. Learn more about fire, landslides, sinkholes and flooding, Find out how the Earth’s resources are used to make your favorite stuff. [Geomorphology, tectonics, erosion, deposition, soil science, surveying]

7. Survive the Next Big Ones Interactive Exhibition: Design and make an interactive exhibit that starts with a challenge question ‘Can you…? to teach Del Rey students and your parents about concepts and safety to do with fire, floods, landslides and earthquakes. [Project planning, communication, teaching skills]

8. Genetics: DNA and protein synthesis, GMOs, gene editing with CRISPR and implications of genetic engineering for the future. [Genetics, developmental psychology]

9. Sex Ed: Learn the science behind sexual reproduction in plants, animals and us, including the genetics of gender, the gender spectrum, development, pregnancy and The Question Box [Sex education, reproductive system]

10. Track a local species to see what is happening to it’s population. Figure out why. Get set for taking environmental action for your next project. Includes eco games, the state of life on Earth and true stories of hope. [Food webs, ecology, populations and the cascade effect]

11. The Take Action Project: All year, you will be collecting ideas for problems to effective and informed action on: What are YOU inspired to do? Make a small change in your own life that will help the world, then scale it up – what if everyone made that same change? What could the effect on the whole world be? Make an ad for others to take effective action to make the world a better place. Your ad will be played at the TAP Film Festival. [Sustainability, environmental science, climate change, resource shortages, plastics problems]

Take-a-Break Days:

Cool News in Science!: You’ll get regular opportunities to keep up with ANY area of science through TED talks and the very latest magazine articles.

Creative Collaboration Games: To hone our ability to work, learn and innovate together.

Picture It!: Take beautiful and informative pictures to illustrate concepts we are studying from the real world. Add to our classroom art/science gallery. You’ll do at least one per unit.

Signs of Credible Hope: Look for scientifically valid ideas that are helping to solve a threat to our future.

What kind of ‘Creative’ are you? Card sorts to find quotes that resonate and inspire you.