8th Grade


The Eighth Grade Physical Science program takes students on a journey into the world of actions, reactions, force and motion - the world of Chemistry and Physics.

The primary goal is to spark students’ natural curiosity about the world around them, and compel them to ask questions, conduct independent investigations and seek unique solutions as they explore matter, chemical reactions and the laws of physics. Throughout this course, students use evidence to support claims, evaluate data and draw logical conclusions.

Hands-on class activities are uniquely developed to explore the scientific method, design thinking/engineering design process, matter, atomic structure, the periodic table of elements, chemical reactions, force, motion (including Newton’s Laws of Motion), and amusement park physics. We use a variety of resources, including the Discovery Education Science Techbook, as well as various technology applications including, but not limited to, Quizlet, Sutori, Socrative, and Flipgrid video, allowing students to demonstrate mastery of key course concepts in differentiated ways.

Essential Questions

  • How do I think and behave like a scientist?
  • How do atoms interact to construct matter?
  • What role does physics play in how a roller coaster works?
  • How can robotics technology further impact our future in a positive way?
  • Learn more about our Science curriculum:
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    8th Grade Science

    • Foundations of Science

      • Scientific method
      • Design/engineering thinking process
      • Metric system
      • Lab equipment/lab safety
      • Significant digits and scientific notation


      • Construct and program a robot using the Vex Robotics Design Systems to perform a prescribed task
      • Construct an autonomous mobile robot


      • Properties of matters (chemical and physical properties)
      • States of matter
      • Changes in matter (chemical and physical changes)
      • Density, mass, and volume

      Atomic Structure

      • Basic atomic structure (protons, neutrons and electrons)
      • Electron configuration (unabbreviated and abbreviated)
      • Valence electrons and Lewis dot notation
      • Ions and isotopes
      • Periodic Table of Elements and periodic trends

      Chemical Reactions

      • Types of chemical reactions
      • Counting atoms/writing formulas
      • Moles, molarity and Avogadro’s Number
      • Balancing equations and the Law of Conservation of Mass

      Social Justice and Science

      • Socioeconomic status and the use of human subjects in experiments
      • HeLa cells (The story of Henrietta Lacks)
      • Ethics of human experimentation

      Motion and Force

      • Nature of force and motion
      • Distance vs. displacement
      • Reference point
      • Friction, acceleration, and gravity
      • Speed and velocity
      • Adding, subtracting, and measuring force
      • Vectors (adding and subtracting forces)

      Roller Coaster Physics

      • Design thinking/roller coaster design project
      • Gravity and g-force
      • Newton’s Laws of Motion (1st, 2nd and 3rd)
      • Potential and kinetic energy