Middle School
MS Curriculum


Middle School science emphasizes hands-on application of the scientific method. Students practice the scientific method of developing hypotheses and devising experiments to test them and learn safe use of scientific laboratory tools, building a base of comfort and competence that will be put to further use as students take on more sophisticated concepts in higher-level courses.
The fifth and sixth grade programs explore physical science, including such topics as elementary physics, earth science, climate, astronomy, water and abiotic cycles. The seventh and eighth grades comprise a two-year life science program that encompasses biotic cycles, ecology, evolutionary biology, human biology and topics in basic chemistry, molecular biology and botany. All Middle School students use Hackley’s 285-acre campus for observing biotic and abiotic factors within the system and participate in ongoing data collection projects.

Science Courses

List of 4 items.

  • Science 5

    Students begin their middle school science coursework in the fifth grade with an introduction to the inhabitants of Hackley’s natural environment. Utilizing Hackley School’s rich outdoor environment of forests, wetlands, and fields, students will learn to identify and explore the natural history of some of the common members of both our flora and fauna.

    After a study of our local, natural world, students investigate astronomy, and finally an introduction into the world of physical science. Concepts relating to astronomy, forces, motion, and energy are developed through a variety of hands on experiments, demonstrations, and textbook readings. Real-world applications of these concepts are presented in order to encourage an understanding of how the content of the course relates to the students’ everyday lives. In between each topic students will participate in team-based STEM projects that improve their investigative skills
    Text: Prentice Hall Science Explorer: Astronomy
  • Science 6: The Physical World

    In this course students will study the general nature of the Earth by examining the forces that shape it both at the surface and below. Beginning with the study of Geology, students will study rocks and mineralogy in depth. Followed by a study into Plate Tectonics, we will explore how dynamic forces deep within the Earth create tectonic activity. Later we will introduce the science of surface processes that shape the Earth, and the major role of water. Finally, the course will culminate with the exploration of the properties of water and water as natural resource. In addition, students will learn the nature of scientific inquiry by participating in the laboratory inquiries and activities throughout the year.
    Prentice Hall Science Explorer, Inside Earth
    Prentice Hall Science Explorer, Earth's Waters
  • Science 7: Life Science

    Biology is the study of life and living things, including their structure, function, growth, evolution, ecology, and taxonomy. This course emphasizes three key themes in life science: the connection between structure and function, the evolutionary relationships between living things, and the interdependence between organisms and on their environment within ecosystems.

    Concepts and content are explored through laboratory work, reading and writing assignments, collaborative research projects, computer applications, and classroom discussions. Hackley’s nature trails also provide an outdoor classroom and laboratory for active, hands-on investigations of local ecology. In the laboratory, students learn to work both cooperatively and autonomously, to use equipment properly and safely, to make observations carefully and thoroughly, and to reason scientifically.

    Texts: Prentice Hall Science Explorer: From Bacteria to Plants
  • Science 8: Chemical Topics in Biological Systems

    Science 8 is designed to build off of the skills acquired in Science 7. Science 8 provides an exploration of chemical and biochemical processes within the body. The course focuses on ways in which stored chemical energy and chemical compounds are used by humans to accomplish biological functions and the very important relationship between structure and function in biological systems. It begins with modern genetics, using a biochemical lens to look at cells, DNA and proteins. It then turns to the study of many of the major biological systems in the human body.

    Texts: Prentice Hall Science Explorer, Human Biology