Grade 7 Pre AP Science 71-74: Course Overview
Course Name: Pre AP Science 71- 74

Pre-AP Integrated Science 7 is the second year of a standards-based, coordinated, three year integrated middle school science program. This course emphasizes concept and skill development and contains a balance of physical, biological, earth/space, and environmental science topics. Each unit focuses on applying the Scientific Process in one major scientific concept that is developed through a thematic approach. Students construct their own understanding through a student inquire-based approach. Activities include open-ended investigations, small group discussions, exploratory writing and reflective reading tasks, and long-range topics. In this course, the pace is accelerated and the content explored in greater depth and breadth. Class assignments and activities build on and expand higher level thinking skills of analysis, synthesis, evaluation, concepts, inference, content and skills, and integrate units that promote scientific connections. Students are provided opportunities for extension and application of content and processes. Additionally, students are encouraged to participate in independent research projects and/or community services activities. Major scientific concepts: Science processes, ecology, diversity and adaptation in living things, the environment and human society, plate tectonics and geology, the solar system, technology and society, and human health topics that include reproduction, growth and development.
Prerequisite: Demonstrated high performance and staff recommendation.
Course Length: 1 Period Length: 1 Grade Level: 6-8 Credit per Semester: 1



Enduring Understandings - important ideas that students should carry with them years beyond the instruction received this year.
  • Scientists investigate the world around them and communicate to others through the scientific process.
  • The scientific process is the basis of an integrated approach to understanding our world. (topic/problem, testable question, hypothesis, procedure)
  • Scientists use a plan to carry out an investigation (variables, control, data, observations, investigations).
  • Scientists select, appropriate tools to collect, organize, and record data using the metric system in tables, charts, and graphs. Scientists analyze data for reliability, validity to form conclusions. Scientists analyze data to infer past and predict future events.
  • Scientists ask questions based on their investigations and these questions can lead to new investigations.
  • Scientists communicate the results of their investigations in many formats and appropriate ways.
  • Scientists identify, determine, compare, and control variables. Scientists must be objective and bias free when examining their work. Scientists communicate their results using various methods. Scientists use models to predict change.
  • The climate is a determining factor in supporting the types of organisms within a biome
  • The diversity of living things impacts how they interact with each other and their environment.
  • Food chains show transfer of energy within an ecosystem. Food webs are made of many food chains.
  • The availability of resources is a major limiting factor in determining the number of organisms an ecosystem can support.
  • Biotic and abiotic factors are recycled in an ecosystem.
  • Identification of various organisms is based on specific criteria.
  • Genetic diversity within a species promotes its survival.
  • Decomposers play an essential role in the recycling of resources in an ecosystem.
  • The world population uses both renewable and nonrenewable resources. The world is affected by the interrelationship of science and technology. New technology continually impacts human activity.
  • New technology continually impacts human activity.
  • Experiments must be controlled and have reproducible results.
  • Scientists identify, determine, compare, and control variables. Scientists must be objective and bias free when examining their work. Scientists communicate their results using various methods.
  • Scientists use models to predict change.
  • Safety is a primary concern with all laboratory techniques.
Essential Questions - most important “big picture” questions students should be able to answer after completing learning activities.


  • What is a testable question that leads to a proposed hypothesis? How is a testable question developed
  • How do scientists design a plan for investigating a testable questions? How is an investigation organized?
  • How do scientists develop and perform a scientific investigation? What are the independent/manipulated and dependent/responding variables? What is the standard of control?
  • What are the appropriate tools, technologies, and measurement systems used by scientists?
  • How do scientists interpret and evaluate data? How do scientists infer/predict past and future events?
  • What new questions have arisen based on unexpected results of the investigation? How is scientific information effectively communicated to specific audiences?
  • How is scientific information effectively communicated to specific audiences?
  • How does climate determine the biomes' ability to support life?
  • How do changes in populations affect the balance of an ecosystem? How do adaptations affect an organism's survival in an ecosystem? How are energy and matter transferred in food webs and chains? Why does energy decrease as it moves through the food chain?
  • What resources are available in different environments? What causes biotic and abiotic materials to cycle in an ecosystem?
  • How and why are classification systems based on the structure of organisms? How has the advent of DNA analysis impacted the classification of organisms? How does diversity encourage survival of a species?
  • How are the matter and energy of ecosystems recycled? What would happen if there were no decomposers?
  • What are the differences between and uses of renewable and nonrenewable resources?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of using technology to solve problems?
  • How has technology influenced the way people work? What are advantages/disadvantages created by new technology?
  • How do people use science and technology in their professional lives?
  • How do controlled/uncontrolled variables affect the outcomes of experiment
  • How do you identify, compare, and control variables in an investigation?
  • How does bias, opinion, and evidence affect the way science is communicated in various media?
  • What are some different sources and methods a scientist uses to collect and record data?
  • How can models help us predict future outcomes?
  • What are safe laboratory practices?