Unit 1: Composition of Matter
Essential Question(s): What are the fundamental particles of matter and how do they behave?
2005 NYS Standards: 4/3.2, 4/3.3, 4/4.3
AtomsIn this unit, the students will learn about the basic particle of matter, the atom. They will learn about the fundamental parts of the atom including the protons, neutrons and electrons. The concept of atomic number and atomic mass is also introduced in the course. Finally, The students will compare and contrast neutral atoms, isotopes, and ions.
ElementsThe unit continues with a study of elements and the periodic table. The students will learn about the creation and constitution of elements. They will be able to find any element’s name, chemical symbol, atomic mass, and atomic number on the periodic table. They will also determine if an element is a metal, nonmetal, solid, liquid, gas, or synthetic at room temperature.
CompoundsThe unit concludes with learning how elements form compounds. The concept of a molecule is introduced and the students will read common chemical formulas. Properties of acids and bases are introduced as well as the pH scale.
Unit 2: Wave Energy
Essential Question(s): What types of waves transmit energy and how do they do so? How do waves transmit sound and light?
2005 NYS Standards: 4/4.4
WavesThe wave energy unit begins with a study of the parts of a wave. This includes the amplitude, frequency, height, crest, and trough. The two basic types of waves are also introduced. The students will compare and contrast transverse and longitudinal waves.
SoundThe sound unit introduces sound and the causes of sounds. The concept of echo and reverberation is introduced. The students will determines how the pitch and loudness of a sound wave is determined by the frequency and amplitude of a sound wave.
Light and the Electromagnetic SpectrumThe electromagnetic spectrum is introduced with an emphasis on light radiation. The introduction of colors is given as well as the concepts of reflection and refraction of light waves.
Unit 3: Plant and Animal Cells/Plants
Essential Question(s): What are the basic building blocks of plants and animals? How do plants meet their needs and respond to theirenvironments?
2005 NYS Standards: 4/1.1, 4/4.4, 6/2.1, 4/4.3, 4/5.1, 4/5.2, 4/6.1, 4/6.2
Plant and Animal CellsAn introduction to cells begins with the cell theory. The students will learn about the fundamental organelles and their functions found in plant and animal cells. The process of photosynthesis in a plant cell is discussed.
Adaptations of PlantsMany key aspects of the way that plants have adapted to survive are covered in this unit. Seed germination, the need for roots, stems and leaves on a plant are covered. The students will learn about the process of photosynthesis in the plant leaves. The students will also compare and contrast vascular and nonvascular plants.
Unit 4: MotionEssential Question: How do you describe the motion of objects?
2005 NYS Standards: 4/5.1
MotionThe concepts of speed, average speed, and velocity are introduced in this unit. The students are exposed to many of the forces that play a role in the motion of objects particularly gravity and friction. Newton’s laws of motion are also covered in this unit.
Unit 5: Microscopes
Essential Question: How do you manipulate a microscope to view microscopic objects?
2005 NYS Standards: 4
MicroscopesThe students are introduced to the microscope. They are introduced to the parts of a microscope as well as how to view specimens with it. The concept of lens power is covered. The students will view prepared slides, and make their own wet mount and well mount slides.