Grade 6 Pre AP Science 61-64: Course Overview
Course Name: Pre AP Science 61 - 64


Pre-AP Integrated Science 6 is the first year of a standards based, coordinated three year middle school science program. This course emphasizes concept and skill development and contains a balance of physical and biological 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 an inquiry-based approach. Activities include open-ended investigations, small group discussions, exploratory writing and reflective reading tasks and long-range projects. 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 service activities.
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.
  • All matter exists in specific states (e.g. solid, liquid, gas, plasma) and has characteristic chemical and physical properties. Matter can be separated using procedures based on characteristic properties.
  • Elements are pure substances that can not be broken down by routine laboratory procedures; compounds are pure substances that are formed by the combination of elements in definite proportions. All forms of matter are composed of one or more of the elements.
  • The Periodic Table of Elements is both a tool and an organized arrangement of the elements that demonstrates the underlying atomic structure of the elements.
  • There are measurable properties of kinetic and potential energy. Energy cannot be created nor destroyed.
  • Different simple machines produce different mechanical advantages.
  • 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?
  • What is the difference between a physical and chemical change?
  • How do controlled/uncontrolled variables affect the outcomes of experiments?
  • How can substances be separated chemically or physically?
  • How can matter be classified?
  • What does the arrangement of elements in The Periodic Table of Elements tell us about an element?
  • How can force and motion be identified and measured?
  • How do you recognize the advantages of different simple machines?
  • How can we recognize the changes in energy?
  • 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?