In our middle school Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) classes, we teach our students what it means to be scientists. We ask questions about the role of science today and about the potential of every person to become a scientist. We also study the lives of many of America’s early builders. Some were scientists and engineers.
Every week, STEM students choose projects from a list of projects that relate to the month’s STEM concepts. Students report regularly on their projects. Mentors help them refine data gathering methods, analyses, and conclusions.
Math is used extensively in STEM classes, so students have access to Williamsburg’s Math Lab tutors any time they need help. However, students do not earn math credits through STEM math usage. They must sign up for a separate math course to earn math credits.
Science classes revolve around scientific expeditions. Expeditions have objectives and themes to guide learning. Expeditions culminate in a summit project that requires the scientific skills and knowledge of the entire class to complete. The summit project drives learning and unites the class in a united effort.
Each scientific expedition requires mathematical, technological and engineering skills. As we continue the expedition, we also draw connections among related topics.
STEM expeditions cover the following topics.
STEM 6/7A: Edible Garbage – Students use the scientific method to learn about states of matter, food decay, and food waste. They conclude the semester by donating two or more hours of service to the homeless and hungry.
STEM 6/7B: Biomes and Bees – Students learn about plant and animal systems and about the cycles of life on the Earth. They come to understand their own “circle of impact” and learn ways to sustain and care for our beautiful planet. They also learn about the Colony Collapse disorder in bee colonies and end the term by participating in the Bee Cause Project.
STEM 6/7C: Life-size Science – This expedition explores life sciences with a focus on human biology. Students learn about ten body systems and build replicas of them. They research one human disease in depth and then share their findings with classmates at the end of the term.
STEM 6/7D: Worst Case Scenario – This expedition focuses on Earth Science, including weather systems. We look at how technology and innovation enables preparedness and emergency response. In the Summit Project, we spread awareness about or help refine our community emergency preparedness plans.
STEM 8A: Real Science – under revision. Details will be posted soon.
STEM 8B: Amusement Park Physics – under revision. Details will be posted soon.
Middle School STEM
|Courses||Recommended Grade||Credit||Delivery Format||Prerequisites||Versions|
|STEM 6/7 A||6/7||0.5||Live||None||Classic/Honors|
|STEM 6/7 B||6/7||0.5||Live||STEM 6/7 A (Recommended)||Classic/Honors|
|STEM 6/7 C||6/7||0.5||Live||None||Classic/Honors|
|STEM 6/7 D||6/7||0.5||Live||STEM 6/7 C (Recommended)||Classic/Honors|
|STEM 8 A||8||0.5||Live||None||Classic/Honors|
|STEM 8 B||8||0.5||Live||STEM 8 A (Recommended)||Classic/Honors|