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Secondary - Eighth Grade

Growth in Science Teaching (GIST) Activities


Standard I: Students will understand the nature of changes in matter.

Objective 1: Describe the chemical and physical properties of various substances.

Objective 2: Observe and evaluate evidence of chemical and physical change.

Students make observations of various phenomena to try and determine if a physical or chemical

change has occurred. During this process, students also make conclusions about evidences of a

chemical change occurring.

  • ILO 1: Use science process and thinking skills.
  • ILO 3: Demonstrate understanding of science concepts, principles and systems.

Objective 3: Investigate and measure the effects of increasing or decreasing the amount of energy

in a physical or chemical change, and relate the kind of energy added to the motion of the particles.

Objective 4: Identify the observable features of chemical reactions.

Students design and conduct experiments to investigate factors that affect the rates of reactions.

  • ILO 1: Use science process and thinking skills.
  • ILO 4: Communicate effectively using science language and reasoning.

Standard II: Students will understand that energy from sunlight is changed to chemical energy in plants, transfers between living organisms, and that changing the environment may alter the amount of energy provided to living organisms.

Objective 1: Compare ways that plants and animals obtain and use energy.

Objective 2: Generalize the dependent relationships between organisms.

Students explore the nature of science investigating a “mystery cube”. The investigative knowledge

gained from this exploration is then used to investigate food chains and ecosystems on

the “biological box”.

  • ILO 1: Use science process and thinking skills.
  • ILO 6: Demonstrate understanding of the nature of science.

Students practice forming and testing hypotheses through compare and contrast methods and

the analysis of data to construct a working definition of a predator.

  • ILO 1: Use science process and thinking skills.
  • ILO 3: Demonstrate understanding of science concepts, principles and systems.

Objective 3: Analyze human influence on the capacity of an environment to sustain living things.


Standard III: Students will understand the processes of rock and fossil formation.

Objective 1: Compare rocks and minerals and describe how they are related.

Objective 2: Describe the nature of the changes that rocks undergo over long periods of time.

Objective 3: Describe how rock and fossil evidence is used to infer Earth’s history

Objective 4: Compare rapid and gradual changes to Earth’s surface.


Standard IV: Students will understand the relationships among energy, force, and motion.

Objective 1: Investigate the transfer of energy through various materials.

Students design and conduct an experiment investigating the role of energy in determining the

amplitude of a water wave.

  • ILO 1: Use science process and thinking skills.
  • ILO 4: Communicate effectively using science language and reasoning.

Students design and conduct experiments that explore factors affecting the volume and pitch of

sound waves.

  • ILO 1: Use science process and thinking skills.
  • ILO 4: Communicate effectively using science language and reasoning.

Students design and conduct an experiment investigating how different strengths of sunscreen

affect the transmittance of UV light.

  • ILO 1: Use science process and thinking skills.
  • ILO 4: Communicate effectively using science language and reasoning.

Objective 2: Examine the force exerted on objects by gravity.

Students make observations and conduct experiments to study the effects of mass and air

resistance on the acceleration due to gravity. Students also determine that gravity is an

accelerating force.

  • ILO 1: Use science process and thinking skills.
  • ILO 4: Communicate effectively using science language and reasoning.

Students make inferences about the effect of distance on gravitational force and how the amount

of mass present affects gravitational force.

  • ILO 1: Use science process and thinking skills.
  • ILO 4: Communicate effectively using science language and reasoning.
  • Straw Towers

Students are given a bag of building materials with the assignment to construct the tallest tower

that will support the weight of a softball.

  • ILO 5: Demonstrate awareness of social and historical aspects of science.
  • ILO 6: Demonstrate understanding of the nature of science.

Objective 3: Investigate the application of forces that act on objects, and the resulting motion.

Objective 4: Analyze various forms of energy and how living organisms sense and respond to

energy.