Scientific Explorations Seven

Ages 12 to 13

Semester One

Week 1-5
Unit - Solutions
Discipline - Chemistry
Unit Description - This unit will provide students with an introductory exploration of chemistry, focusing on the essential characteristics of solutions such as solubility and pH.
Foundational Reading - Boyle's The Sceptical Chemist
Experiment - Live Lab: Exploring the factors that affect solubility.
Writing - Report: How can the concept of solubility be used by drink manufacturers?

Week 6-10
Unit - Electricity
Discipline - Physics
Unit Description - This unit will investigate the foundational principles associated with electricity, a form of energy that increasingly dominates humans' lives. The unit will explore both the theoretical and practical aspects of electricity.
Foundational Reading - Benjamin Franklin & Electricity (History and Present Status of Electricity)
Experiment - Live Lab: The factors that affect the resistance of a circuit.
Writing - Report: How can knowledge of electrical resistance be used to improve peoples' lives?

Week 11-15
Unit - Energy in Food
Discipline - Biology
Unit Description - This unit will explore the essential food molecules that humans rely on for survival. Students will learn about the differences between these molecules and how the body extracts energy from them. 
Foundational Reading - James Joule & the Calorie
Experiment - Live Lab: The variable amounts of chemical energy stored in food products.
Writing - Essay: How to explain the world's obesity epidemic?

Semester Two

Week 1-5
Unit - Genetics & Evolution
Discipline - Biology
Unit Description - This unit will introduce the essential concepts underlying the field of genetics and examine the ethical issues associated with genetic engineering.
Foundational Reading - Darwin's On the Origin of Species
Experiment - Digital Lab: Exploring the evolution of species over time.
Writing - Essay: Should genetic engineering be allowed?

Week 6-10
Unit - Humans' Effect on the Planet
Discipline - Ecology
Unit Description - This unit will examine the impact humans have on the planet, exploring the effect of greenhouse gas production on the Earth's climate system.
Foundational Reading - Julian Steward & Cultural Ecology
Experiment - Digital Lab: Looking at how increasing levels of CO2 affect climate.
Writing - Essay: What is the better approach to climate change -- prevention or adaptation?

Week 11-15
Unit - Forces & Linear Motion
Discipline – Physics
Unit Description - This unit will explore the laws that govern motion, explaining why objects move the way they do.
Foundational Reading - Newton's Laws of Motion
Experiment - Live Lab: Examining how objects transfer energy during collisions.
Writing - Report: How can the principles of force be used to explain a car crash?