Our challenging standards-based curriculum emphasizes the development of essential skills, the understanding of important concepts, and the ability to apply learning to real-world problems.
Our curriculum includes courses of study for all students in English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, world languages, music, visual arts, physical education, and health. In addition, students take grade-specific trimester courses in technology, research, and study skills which are designed to support their integrated learning experience.
Students at ASMS experience science through the inquiry-based, FOSS curriculum. Each grade completes three to four 6-14 week curricular units which have been sequenced to align to national science standards. Although the emphasis for each unit of study is different, unifying concepts and processes including form and function, scale, conservation of matter, transfer of energy, measurement, and engineering design are addressed at each grade level. Throughout the curriculum, emphasis is placed on the importance of the scientific method; in-class hands-on experiments, student-designed investigations, and participation in national science competitions provide opportunities for students to develop and advance their understanding of and ability to apply the scientific method. When students leave ASMS, they should be confident in their ability to understand the world from a scientific perspective and well-equipped to make informed decisions as citizen-scientists.
Resources: Full Option Science System (Delta Education)
Students begin their eighth-grade year studying Chemical Interactions. They investigate the origination of the periodic table and how it is structured. Students conduct acid-base reactions to learn more about the atomic model, discover the difference between ionic and covalent bonds, balance chemical equations, and determine limiting factors. Students focus on the particle model to understand energy transfer and explain phase change. The unit finishes with a thermal engineering challenge. In the second major unit of study, students apply their linear algebra skills to the Force and Motion unit. Through hands-on investigation, they are able to describe objects based on their relative position, direction of motion, and velocity. The students use free body diagrams to explain the impact of applied force, gravity, and friction on the motion of an object. This year students will complete a smaller unit on Waves. They will look at physical waves, sound waves, light waves, and fiber optic communications. Students explore the fundamental concepts of waves including frequency, amplitude, and wavelength and apply them to an acoustic model engineering challenge. Eighth-grade students complete their middle school science coursework with the Planetary Science unit. This unit emphasizes the integration of content knowledge and skills from previous science courses and the interconnectedness of fundamental concepts across the curriculum. The students study the Moon, learn about the origin of the solar system, and discover other objects in cosmos including composition, atmospheres, and orbital motions.