8th Grade  Science

8th Grade Science

Life Sciences Physical Sciences Science and Technology Scientific Inquiry Scientific Ways
of Knowing

 

Earth and Space Sciences

(Based on State of Ohio
Curriculum Standards)

1. Describe how objects in the Solar System are in regular and predictable motions that explain such phenomena as days, years, seasons, eclipses, tides and moon cycles.
  1. Why Eclipses of the Sun Happen
    This web site shows two animations to help explain what happens during an eclipse. One animation shows the Sun, Earth, and Moon, while the other animation shows the view from the Earth.
  2. Solar System Explorer    Step through the solar system while observing the length of a year on each planet, along with numerous other facts. The current position of all the planets is displayed, and the user can jump forward and backward in time. Learn about Kepler's Law, when planets will align, and why space probes are often launched at certain times.

Gizmos are fun, easy to use, and flexible enough to support many different teaching styles and contexts. 

You will present to your students a visual animated manipulative allowing for an easier and faster teaching pedagogy.

You will discover this tool strategically located throughout the website

2. Explain that the gravitational force is the dominant force determining motions in the Solar System and in particular keeps the planets in orbit around the Sun.
  1. Orbit Simulator
    This interactive activity from ExploreScience allows you to control up to 9 celestial objects and alter their mass, velocity, and direction to understand the effect of gravity on orbits.
    Note: Every Gizmo in the library can be used for up to 5 minutes each per day.
3. Compare the orbits and composition of comets and asteroids with that of Earth.
  1. Understanding the Distribution of Near-Earth Asteroids  You will find a paper that will explain these current findings.

  2. Formation of the Solar System  This is truly a must see power point for you to download if for nothing else to observe the photos.

  3. Formation of the Solar System  This is a presentation showing it a little different.

     
4. Describe the effect that asteroids or meteoroids have when moving through space and sometimes entering planetary atmospheres (e.g., meteor- “shooting star” and meteorite).
  1. Shooting Stars   Simple Power point covering many ideas
  2. Asteroids Meteroids and Comets  Simple Power Point explaining
5. Explain that the universe consists of billions of galaxies that are classified by shape.
  1. Goodard NASA Space Center   Ask an Astrophysics, this website will allow you to ask and answer a lot of questions.
  2. Make up of Galaxies   This presentation was designed by and for the California Institute of technology.  Really quite good and worth downloading.
6. Explain interstellar distances are measured in light years (e.g., the nearest star beyond the sun is 4.3 light years away).
  1. Interstellar distance   You will find this a fascinating presentation on this subject.  This power point was created at Harvard for their students.
  2. Travel through space and time.  Great Power Point showing Lorentz contraction is the shortening of an object along a direction of motion as speed approaches the speed of light.
7. Examine the life cycle of a star and predict the next likely stage of a star.
  1. Imagine the Universe   This Power Point illustrates the finer parts of the Start.
  2. Graphic presentation   You will find a unique graphic presentation from this power point display.
  3. Black Hole   A game where you try to get small masses to hit a target. This is challenging since several "black holes" exert a gravitational force on the moving objects.
  4. Star Spectra  Analyze the spectra of a variety of stars. Determine the elements that are represented in each spectrum, and use this information to infer the temperature and classification of the star. Look for unusual features such as red-shifted stars, nebulas, and stars with large plan
8. Name and describe tools used to study the universe (e.g., telescopes, probes, satellites and spacecraft).
  1. Einstein's Universe and beyond using various tools this is a power point that show you different venues.
  2. Exploration tools to explore the universe.   This power point presentation will Illustrate many ideas.

     

9. Describe the interior structure of Earth and Earth’s crust as divided into tectonic plates riding on top of the slow moving currents of magma in the mantle.
  1. Plate Tectonics  Smart board example SB
  2. Plate Tectonics
    This fantastic site has loads of information on plate tectonics, including online lessons, pictures, diagrams, labs, a dictionary, a review test, and a printable teacher guide in Acrobat format.
  3. This Dynamic Earth
    This web site from the USGS has seven sections covering all aspects of plate tectonics, with great explanations, diagrams, and pictures.
  4. You Try It: Plate Tectonics
    This PBS website teaches all about plate tectonics and what happens at the boundaries. There is even a shockwave activity that allows the user to slide the plates around to make mountains, volcanoes, trenches, and earthquakes
10. Explain that most major geological events (e.g., earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hot spots and mountain building) result from plate motion.
  1. Earthquakes
    This fantastic site has loads of information on earthquakes, including online lessons, pictures, diagrams, labs, a dictionary, a review test, and a printable teacher guide in Acrobat format.
  2. Volcanoes
    This fantastic site has loads of information on volcanoes, including online lessons, pictures, diagrams, labs, a dictionary, a review test, and a printable teacher guide in Acrobat format.
  3. Plate tectonics and people
    This webpage from the USGS explains the positive and negative effects of plate tectonics, such as earthquakes, volcanoes, mountains, fertile soil, and more. This page is part of a larger website on plate tectonics.
     
11. Use models to analyze the size and shape of Earth, its surface and its interior (e.g., globes, topographic maps, satellite images).
  1. Reading Topographical Maps   Understand how topographic maps work by creating a three-dimensional landscape and observing the corresponding contour lines. See how mountains, depressions, valleys and cliffs are represented on topographic maps. Fill in the landscape with water to demonstrate that contours are lines of constant elevation.
12. Explain that some processes involved in the rock cycle are directly related to the thermal energy and forces in the mantle that drive plate motions.
  1. Rock Cycle  You will learn by using a Smart Board lesson  SB
  2. Rock Cycle    Play the role of a piece of rock moving through the rock cycle. Select a starting location and follow many possible paths throughout the cycle. Facts about each location will be presented, along with images of particular types of rocks.
  3. Plate Tectonics  Move the Earth at various locations to observe the effects of the motion of the techtonic plates, including volcanic eruptions. Information about each of the major types of plate collisions is shown, along with the typical location on the Earth

     

13. Describe how landforms are created through a combination of destructive (e.g., weathering and erosion) and constructive processes (e.g., crystal deformation, volcanic eruptions and deposition of sediment).
  1. Earthquake - Determination of Epicenter   Using multiple earthquake recording stations, determine the epicenter of an earthquake by analyzing the arrival of the primary and secondary waves at each recording station. Real‑time charts are generated, providing data that allows for the triangulation of the epicenter
  2. Plate Tectonics  Move the Earth at various locations to observe the effects of the motion of the techtonic plates, including volcanic eruptions. Information about each of the major types of plate collisions is shown, along with the typical location on the Earth
14. Explain that folding, faulting and uplifting can rearrange the rock layers so the youngest is not always found on top.  
15. Illustrate how the three primary types of plate boundaries (transform, divergent and convergent) cause different landforms (e.g., mountains, volcanoes, ocean trenches).
  1. Understanding Plate Motions
    This excellent webpage from the USGS explains the three different types of plate motions and the results of each, with great pictures and diagrams. This page is part of a larger plate tectonics web site.
  2. You Try It: Plate Tectonics
    This PBS website teaches all about plate tectonics and what happens at the boundaries. There is even a shockwave activity that allows the user to slide the plates around to make mountains, volcanoes, trenches, and earthquakes.

Life Sciences

1. Describe that asexual reproduction limits the spread of detrimental characteristics through a species and allows for genetic continuity.
  1. Chicken Genetics  Breed "pure" chickens with known genotypes that exhibit specific feather colors, and learn how traits are passed on via codominant genes. Chickens can be stored in cages for future breeding, and the statistics of feather color are reported every time the chickens breed. Punnet squares can be used to predict results.
2. Recognize that in sexual reproduction new combinations of traits are produced which may increase or decrease an organism’s chances for survival.
  1. Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium  Set the initial percentages of three types of parrots in a population and track changes in genotype and allele frequency through several generations. Analyze population data to develop an understanding of the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Determine how initial allele percentages will affect the equilibrium state of the population.
3. Explain how variations in structure, behavior or physiology allow some organisms to enhance their reproductive success and survival in a particular environment.
  1. Effect of Temperature on Gender   Determine the gender of birds and geckos as they hatch in an incubation chamber. Control the temperature of the chamber, and record data to determine if the temperature has an affect on the gender of either species.
  2. Rabbit Population by Season    Observe the population of rabbits in an environment over many years. The land available to the rabbits can be adjusted, as well as the weather conditions, in order to compare the effects of urban sprawl and unusual weather on wildlife populations.
  3. Seed Germination   Perform experiments with several seed types to see what conditions yield the highest germination (sprouting) rate. Three different types of seeds can be studied, and the temperature, water and light in the germination chamber can be controlled. No two trials will have the same result, so repeated trials and data analysis can be used.
4. Explain that diversity of species is developed through gradual processes over many generations (e.g., fossil record).
  1. Mouse Genetics (Fur Color)  Breed "pure" mice with known genotypes that exhibit specific fur colors, and learn how traits are passed on via dominant and recessive genes. Mice can be stored in cages for future breeding, and the statistics of fur color are reported every time a pair of mice breed. Punnet squares can be used to predict results.
  2. Mouse Breeding    Breed "pure" mice with known genotypes that exhibit specific fur and eye colors, and learn how traits are passed on via dominant and recessive genes. Mice can be stored in cages for future breeding, and the statistics of fur and eye color are reported every time a pair of mice breed. Punnet squares can be used to predict results.
  3. Mouse Genetics    An introduction to mouse genetics where the basics of probability and statistics are presented before you choose which mice to breed for multiple generations. Determine the genetics that control the fur and eye color of the offspring.
  4. Virtual Skeleton   This is another outstanding website that will allow you to see the human body.   A Must see website. 4 Star
5. Investigate how an organism adapted to a particular environment may become extinct if the environment, as shown by the fossil record, changes.
  1. Building DNA   Construct a DNA molecule, examine its double helix structure, and then go through the DNA replication process. Learn how each component fits into a DNA molecule, and see how a unique, self-replicating code can be created.
  2. Human Karyotyping      Sort and pair the images of human chromosomes obtained in a scan. Find differences in the scans of the various patients to find out specific things that can cause disease, as well as the gender of the person.

Physical Sciences

1. Describe how the change in the position (motion) of an object is always judged and described in comparison to a reference point.
  1. Vectors    Manipulate the magnitude and direction of two vectors to generate a sum and learn vector addition. The x and y components can be displayed, along with the dot product of the two vectors.
2. Explain that motion describes the change in the position of an object (characterized by a speed and direction) as time changes.
  1. Atwood Machine  Measure the height and velocity of two objects connected by a mass-less rope over a pulley. Observe the forces acting on each mass throughout the simulation. Calculate the acceleration of the objects, and relate these calculations to Newton’s Laws of Motion. The mass of each object can be manipulated, as well as the mass and radius of the pulley.
  2. Torque and Moment of Inertia   One of the simplest machines is a see-saw lever. Place up to eight objects on the lever at different locations and try to balance it. Calculate net torque and moment of inertia based on the positions of the objects and the mass of the bar. The mass of each object can be changed, and the fulcrum position can be shifted as well.
  3. Freefall Laboratory   Investigate the motion of a ball, including terminal velocity, as it is dropped to the ground. Several different objects can be dropped through various media from different initial heights as the position, velocity, and acceleration are measured
3. Explain that an unbalanced force acting on an object changes that object’s speed and/or direction.
  1. 2D Collisions
    This interactive activity from Explore Science lets you deal with 2D elastic/inelastic collisions on a flat (or tilted) table and even use magnetic pucks! You can adjust a wide variety of parameters including mass, initial velocity, and direction.
    Note: Every Gizmo in the library can be used for up to 5 minutes each per day.
  2. Air Track
    This interactive activity from Explore Science models a basic air track with two blocks. You can change the coefficient of restitution, initial masses, and velocities.
    Note: Every Gizmo in the library can be used for up to 5 minutes each per day.
  3. Roller Coaster Physics   Adjust the hills on a toy‑car roller coaster and watch what happens as the car careens toward an egg (that can be broken) at the end of the track. The height of three hills can be manipulated, along with the mass of the car and the friction of the track. A graph of various variables of motion can be viewed as the car travels, including potential, kinetic, and total energies, and the x and y components of position, velocity, and acceleration.
4. Demonstrate that waves transfer energy.
  1. Energy of a Pendulum   Perform experiments with a pendulum to gain an understanding of energy conservation in simple harmonic motion. The gravity, length and mass of the pendulum can be adjusted, as well as the initial starting angle of the pendulum. Data (tables, bar chart, and graphs) of the potential and kinetic energies are shown as the pendulum oscillates.
5. Demonstrate that vibrations in materials may produce waves that spread away from the source in all directions (e.g., earthquake waves, sound waves).
  1. Seeing sound waves
    This interactive web site helps students understand the principles of sound waves by watching virtual hands clapping. Content-specific vocabulary is both labeled and spoken. After watching and listening to the example, drag your mouse over the graphics to discover more.
  2. What is Sound?
    This interactive web site uses great animations to explain how sound travels as a wave through air molecules. After the explanation you can listen to various sounds at different frequencies.

Science and Technology

1. Examine how science and technology have advanced through the contributions of many different people, cultures and times in history.
  1. Examine how science and technology have advanced by  Andrea Trivisonno
2. Examine how choices regarding the use of technology are influenced by constraints caused by various unavoidable factors (e.g., geographic location, limited resources, social, political and economic considerations).  
3. Design and build a product or create a solution to a problem given more than two constraints (e.g., limits of cost and time for design and production, supply of materials and environmental effects).  
4. Evaluate the overall effectiveness of a product design or solution.  

Scientific Inquiry

1. Choose the appropriate tools or instruments and use relevant safety procedures to complete scientific investigations.
  1. Fire Extinguisher Training
    Module from Oklahoma State University offering a guided tutorial and quiz over the proper use of fire extinguishers. Ideal for safety training for the Science or Vocational lab.
     
2. Describe the concepts of sample size and control and explain how these affect scientific investigations.  
3. Read, construct and interpret data in various forms produced by self and others in both written and oral form (e.g., tables, charts, maps, graphs, diagrams, symbols).  
4. Apply appropriate math skills to interpret quantitative data (e.g., mean, median, mode).  
Scientific Ways of Knowing
1. Identify the difference between description (e.g., observation and summary) and explanation (e.g., inference, prediction, significance, importance).  
2. Explain why it is important to examine data objectively and not let bias affect observations.