8th Grade

Science

At Moses Brown, we challenge eighth graders to dig into the forces that shape our world, and give them the tools to evaluate what they discover.

Students begin with an exploration of Newtonian physics and the laws of motion, using their scientific and mathematical abilities to calculate speed, velocity, and acceleration.  They then learn what keeps things up–Archimedes’s principles of buoyancy that keep boats on the surface, and Bernoulli’s principle that keeps planes in the sky.  They’ll use LabQuest and an array of sensors to collect precise data on the exact speed of tiny race cars on a track, and to measure forces exerted by their own balloon-powered cars.

Inquire

In the winter, students learn about the principles of genetics and the role that dominant and recessive genes play in the development of an organism.  We discuss the scientific, social, and health-related aspects of human sexuality, using an approach guided by evidence-based educational best practices and the aim of making sure all of our students are well-informed, healthy, and responsible.  In conjunction with math class, students learn about the challenges of running a home as they become ‘parents’ of a RealCare baby for a week.  With a roll of the dice, they are assigned a set of socioeconomic circumstances, and must then learn how to create a household budget that balances income and expenses, all while making sure to tend to their computerized baby’s needs.  Parents enjoy seeing their children grapple with these challenges (not so easy, is it, kid?) and getting a glimpse of adult responsibilities.

In the spring, eighth grade scientists delve into the world of simple machines–incline planes, wedges, levers, and pulleys.  They quickly progress from rubber-band-powered cars to catapults, and round out the year by working with a team of classmates to design and build their own Rube Goldberg device.  Using the simple machines they’ve learned about, they find complicated and delightful ways to accomplish simple tasks like popping a balloon, cracking an egg into a frying pan, or launching a pie into the Head of School’s face!

Making Simple Machines

Rube Goldberg devices in-progress

Watch as a group of 8th graders put the finishing touches on the creative Rube Goldberg devices they made as one of their final projects of the year.

 

Newton Rules!

8th Graders test Newton's Laws of Motion

Eighth grade science students recently used bocce balls and brooms to put Newton’s Laws of Motion to the test in the Field House. See the fun they had learning!

Faculty

Tony Pirruccello-McClellan

Middle School Science and Academic Team Leader

About

Tony Pirruccello-McClellan

Skidmore College – B.A.

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