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 seventh-grade year exploring the engineering design process as they use computer-assisted design (CAD) and 3D printing to design and fabricate a rubber band-powered race car. With an emphasis on the systematic approach to problem-solving, rapid prototyping, and design evaluation, students move through several iterations of their car design. This unit culminates in a 7th-grade car race at the end of October. The second unit is Populations and Ecosystems. By raising milkweed bugs in a supportive habitat, students learn about reproductive potential and factors that ultimately limit the population growth of a species. They also develop an understanding of the underlying mechanisms of change in populations (genetics) and discover that organisms best adapted to their environment tend to survive and pass their traits to subsequent populations. The second major unit of study is Electronics. The Electronics unit provides students the opportunity to work slowly and systematically with electronic components to build circuits, measure and monitor electrical properties, and construct meaningful explanations for the powerful interactions taking place in their systems. Students will also design, construct, and evaluate a series of increasingly complex electronic devices as they focus on the engineering design processes. Students will then create computer code to automate their devices. Seventh-grade students complete the year with the Weather and Water unit. Students monitor local weather conditions by using meteorological instruments to measure temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, wind direction, and speed. They learn how key concepts such as density, heat transfer, the particle model, and the water cycle help us understand the weather. They also learn how the tilt of the Earth and its relationship to the Sun affect weather around the world.