6th – 8th Grades

The transition years between elementary and high school are critical to generating and sustaining interest in the STEM fields. With that in mind, we’ve created a wide range of lesson plans across a variety of subject-matters to ensure that students are getting hands-on, engaging learning experiences in all their STEM classes.

Mathematics

Science

Additionally, we’ve focused on integrating cross-curricular lesson plans at this level to mirror the real-world integration of math, science, technology, and engineering. This interdisciplinary focus helps reinforce science concepts in the math classroom, while utilizing math principles to better analyze and understand the concepts being discussed in the science classroom. We are also proud to offer a comprehensive curriculum track for 6th and 7th grade statistics. Learn more about this and the rest of our middle school STEM curriculum below.

MATH

Functions

Understanding functions and relationships between variables is a basic building block of mathematics. Fundamental understanding begins with graphing that can be accomplished with our Stacking Blocks or Graphing Kits. Then, utilize our Slope Kit to determine the function of the object within the box. Determine positive and negative slopes or identify as a non-linear function. A great place to integrate physics with math is with investigating the motion generated from our Ball Bearing Catapult, Hoverpuck, or Rockets Kits. The possibilities for integrated STEM learning are endless!

CORE CONCEPTS:

Define, evaluate, and compare functions. Differentiate between linear and non-linear functions and use appropriate functions to model relationships between quantities. Read and construct graphs to describe the functional relationships between two quantities.

Geometry

Think out of the box with our selection of geometry kits! Get outside with our Gliders Kit to practice using a coordinate plane and determine distance travelled using the Pythagorean Theorem. Integrate art with our Pantograph Kits, which draw similar shapes simultaneously, all while demonstrating parallelograms and alternate-interior angles. Investigate real-world problems by becoming architects designing the next Washington D.C. Monument with our Scaling Monuments Kit or find a way out of our Mirror Maze Kit using angles. Whatever lesson plan you’re using with our middle school geometry kits, your students are bound to be engaged by the interactive, interdisciplinary activities involved.

CORE CONCEPTS:

Solve real-world problems involving angle measure, area, surface area, and volume for various geometric figures including cylinders, cones, and spheres. Draw, construct, and describe geometrical figures and their relationships, including congruent and similar shapes and be comfortable with the utilization of rotations, reflections, translations, and dilations to build these relationships. Understand and apply the Pythagorean Theorem.

Ratios & Proportional Relationships

The perfect place for science integration, our ratios and proportional relationships lesson plans feature a variety of science themes for cross-curricular learning. Investigate scale with our Plant and Animal Cell Kits, explore humankind’s environmental impact with our Water Filtration Kit while looking at unit rate, or integrate physics by finding the average speed of our Hoverpuck Kit. Through it all, these math kits will help students see the “why” of what they’re learning. We also offer a series of more traditional manipulatives, including our Portions of a Whole Kit, which builds connects between fractions, decimals, and percentages and our Pantograph Kits which integrate art by drawing two similar shapes in multiple scale factors at once.

CORE CONCEPTS:

Understand ratios and proportional relationships and use this reasoning to solve problems. Understand unit rate. Utilize variables to represent proportional relationships and represent proportional relationships through graphing

Statistics & Probability

Newly emphasized in middle school, statistics and probability is often one of the most intimidating subjects to teachers, and so we’ve worked to make these standards both fun and easy to teach. In fact, we’ve created a comprehensive curriculum track which covers every single stats and probability standard for both 6th and 7th Grade classrooms. This curriculum not only guides students through collecting, graphing, and analyzing data, but also it integrates assorted science and technology concepts throughout. Collect data with our Ball Bearing Catapult Kit or test out various sampling methodologies by probing the depths of the ocean to determine the topography below. Run simulations and explore probabilities with our open-ended Probability Kit. Measure and compare hominid skulls or look at the environmental impacts of invasive species and climate change – all while collecting and analyzing data.

Learn more about this curriculum track and the kits included therein on our 

CORE CONCEPTS:

Understand statistical variability. Summarize and describe distributions, and draw comparative inferences about two populations. Investigate patterns of association in single and bivariate data. Discuss and utilize various sampling methodologies including random sampling. Investigate, develop, and evaluate probability models, including of compound events utilizing tables, tree diagrams, and simulations. Compare probabilities from a model to observed frequencies.

The Number System

Designed to demystify difficult concepts such as fractions, decimals, and percentages, our middle school number system kits focus on simplifying complex concepts into tangible models for hands-on learning. From our intuitive Portions of a Whole Kit, which makes multiplying and adding fractions simple, to our Prime Numbers Kit, which allows students to break numbers down into their primes kinesthetically, these kits create low-pressure, high-outcome learning environments conducive to concept comprehension and retention.

CORE CONCEPTS:

Develop confidence with fractions and decimals, including dividing and multiplying multi-digit numbers utilizing common factors. Understand positive and negative numbers, as well as absolute value, and be comfortable multiplying, dividing, adding, and subtracting such.  Understand rational and irrational numbers, their relationships to fractions and decimals, and establish the ability to accurately approximate irrational numbers.

SCIENCE

Computer Science

In an ever-more-technical world, the demand for individuals with computer science knowledge is rapidly increasing. No matter what grade you start introducing students to computer science and coding, there are essential kits that build the foundation of computer science to help along the way. From our Binary Conversion Kit, which introduces students to how computers communicate, alternate number systems, and magnetism, to our Logic Gate and Flow Chart Stencils, which help students plan out their code on paper before getting caught up in the coding language, we are proud to provide these stepping stones. Moreover, we are developing intentionally interdisciplinary lesson plans which integrate cross-curricular themes from math and science fields, such as by using coding to explore the phases of the moon with our Moon Stages Kit.

CORE CONCEPTS:

Compare and contrast hardware and software. Develop instructions for completing simple tasks using a series of small steps and translate into coding procedures. Utilize computational thinking to solve real-world problems in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Write algorithms and solve questions individually and collaboratively using models. Systematically test and identify logical errors in algorithms. Understand the responsible use of technology and information.

Earth & Space Science

Whether you’re looking beyond our atmosphere, or right here at home, our plethora of Earth and space science kits will provide an easy-to-understand backdrop for the complex and larger-than-life topics covered in this category. Dive beneath the Earth’s surface to discover the geoscientific processes and layers that control the surface features with our Earth Layers and Ocean Topography Mapping Kits or discover the vastness of the Solar System with our to-scale models that include the planets, their rings, and Earth’s moon. Investigate weather and the driving forces behind it with our Weather Front Beads Kit and Coriolis Effect Kits, or replicate ocean currents with our Continents Kit. Then, look into the human impact on the world with our Planetary Temperatures Kit, and Urban Ecology Kit, which explore global warming, and wildlife-friendly urban environments respectively.

CORE CONCEPTS:

Use a model of the Earth-sun-moon system to describe the cyclic patterns of lunar phases and seasons. Describe the role of gravity in the motions within the solar system. Analyze and interpret data to determine scale properties of objects in the solar system such as earth layers and orbital radiuses. Explore surface features and their correlations to plate movements and geoscience processes over history. Utilize evidence to investigate the Earth’s 4.6-billion-year-old history. Show how the motions and interactions of air masses result in changes in weather conditions. Describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates, such as by exploring the Coriolis effect and angle of the earth. Clarify evidence of the factors contributing to global temperature rise in the last century. Design a method for monitoring and minimizing human impact on the environment.

Life Science

The middle school years create an important foundation for understanding the complex biology, ecology, and biochemistry to be explored in high school. In order to create a solid foundation, we’ve developed a wide range of life science kits for middle school. Look at the details of organisms with our Plant and Animal Cell Kits (built to scale!) or explore the purpose and mechanics of the Cell Membrane with our one-of-a-kind kit. Integrate statistics when exploring Punnett squares by comparing expected with actual results with our Genome Generator Dice and Punnett Square Dice Kits and see how dominant and recessive traits impact an organism’s ability to survive and thrive. Investigate natural selection and Darwin’s principle of descent with modification by playing games with our Moths Kit or measuring and investigating our to-scale Darwin’s Finches Kit. Dig deep into mitosis and meiosis and how crossing over creates this diversity within species with our Chromosomes Kit and investigate the structure of DNA with our snap-together DNA Kit.

CORE CONCEPTS:

Provide evidence that living things are made of cells, and use models to describe the function of the cell as a whole as well as how the parts of the cells contribute to the function. Understand the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem. Analyze the effects of resource availability on organisms in an ecosystem. Predict patterns of interactions among organisms. Investigate how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms. Describe the possible effects to the organism from chromosomal mutations. Understand the difference between sexual and asexual reproduction and the variance or lack thereof in corresponding offspring. Analyze and interpret data that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout Earth’s history and construct explanations for the anatomical similarities and difference among modern organisms and between modern and prehistoric organisms to infer evolutionary relationships. Explore natural selection.

Physical Science

Launch into fun with our hands-on physical science kits! From open-explorations with our Wide Meter Stick Ramp and New York Balance Kits investigating simple machines to in-depth examinations of density with our Density Cubes Kit, we offer a wide selection. Whether you’re studying angles and light waves with our Mirror Maze Kit or using our Graphing Kit to interpret the launches from our Pencil Catapult Kit, your students are bound to be engaged in this interdisciplinary fun. Take a cruise with our Boat Kit to determine the best design or take to the skies with our Gliders and Rockets Kits. Investigate non-contact forces with our Gravity, Mass, and Distance Kit and our magnet-integrated Binary Conversion Kit, or look at transfer and conversion of energy with our Energy Rollercoaster Kit.

CORE CONCEPTS:

Apply and test Newton’s Third Law and realize the connections between an object’s motion, the mass of the object, and the forces acting upon it. Develop an understanding of gravitational interactions and other non-contact forces. Construct and interpret graphical displays of data to describe relationships. Relate kinetic and potential energy with the mass and speed of objects. Investigate transfer of energy. Describe and understand the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures and their relation to substances, including how changes in particles occur when thermal energy is added or removed. Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after interaction to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred. Understand conservation of mass. Investigate electric and magnetic forces. Build connections relating waves and energy, and how waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials.

Some of the kits referenced and/or shown here are currently in development and will be added to the library of available kits soon.

ELEMENTARY
K to 5

HIGH SCHOOL
9 - 12

INFORMAL EDUCATION

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