Course Description

Hands-on activities, labs, and experiments along with technologies and local resources are combined to fully engage students as productive learners. As per Santa Cruz City School District, age appropriate nutrition, human development (family life) and drug abuse prevention are part of the curriculum as well. Parent information nights are provided to preview materials. The school science fair is an integral part of the science program at Mission Hill.

6th Grade Science: Focus on Earth Science
Sixth grade science is a year-long course of study aligned with the California Science Content Standards and therefore focused on earth science. Some life and physical sciences are also integrated into the program. Units are developed in the following areas:

  • Plate Tectonics and Earth's Structure
  • Shaping Earth's Surface
  • Resources
  • Ecology (Life)
  • Energy in the Earth System
  • Investigation and Experimentation
  • Heat (Thermal Energy) (Physical Science)

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7th Grade Science: Integrated Life Science Studies
Seventh Grade Science is a year-long course in the process of being aligned with the most recent California Science Content Standards. The primary focus is on life science with physical and earth science concepts integrated into our units of study. Units include:

  • Cell Biology
  • Physical Principles in Living Systems
  • Genetics
  • Investigation & Experimentation
  • Evolution
  • Nutrition
  • Earth and Life History
  • Human Development
  • Structure & Function in Living Systems
  • Drug Abuse Prevention

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8th Grade Science: Integrated Life Science Studies
This year-long course combines class lectures and note taking with laboratory activities, reading, and the development of content reading skills, research and class discussion to explore physics and chemistry. Students learn and practice basic scientific skills including metric measurement, the scientific method of problem solving including qualitative versus quantitative analysis and critical thinking. Units are developed around the following content areas:

  • Motion and Forces
  • Structure of Matter
  • Reactions
  • Periodic Table
  • Density and Buoyancy
  • Investigation and Experimentation
  • Earth in the Solar System (Earth Science)
  • Chemistry of Living Systems (Life Science)
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