Sixth Grade Science

Sixth grade science is a year long opportunity to participate in the scientific process. The girls study the inter-relationships, dynamics, and structure of the earth through a variety of hands-on modalities. Students observe a variety of ecosystems, collect and analyze data, and formulate conclusions using their own observations and data as evidence. They use technology both inside and outside the classroom to collect data, build models, and explore many exciting aspects of planet Earth. The girls work together to discuss, discover, and solve complex questions about our planet.

Unit 1: Ecosystems of the World and Field Studies

Our first unit is an exciting tour of the biomes on our planet. Through group-work, research, various technologies, and numerous hands-on experiences, sixth grade students develop an understanding and awareness of Earth’s diverse ecosystems. The skills cultivated in this unit build the framework for our year-long research project. The girls collaborate in small groups to create their own science question and design a method for testing and collecting data. At our field site, Filoli, each team of students monitors a small plot over three seasons. As their culminating project of the year, students create a lab report and poster describing their scientific findings.

Unit 2: Structure and Dynamics of Earth

Using Google Earth the girls safely explore plate tectonics, volcanoes, earthquakes, and the seafloor. Through technology and experimentation, the girls experience how the planet is constantly in motion. This offers an opportunity for students to connect how the dynamics of the planet are interrelated with the earth's ecosystems.

Unit 3: Earth and Life Through Time

We explore many of the fascinating and complex events that lead to the formation of our solar system, planet, and the origin of life. This continues the thread of how living and nonliving things are interconnected and dynamic on our planet. By the end of sixth grade students begin to apply their understanding of Earth systems to the complex topic of climate change. This unit prepares the girls for the seventh grade science topic of evolution.