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We believe the main focus of science instruction has shifted from “learning about” to “figuring out.” At the anchor of every science unit, students are exploring puzzling phenomena and observable events in their world that lead them to discover relevant scientific ideas. 

At MMUUSD, students are actively developing their science and engineering practices across units. They are not just constructing understanding of core concepts, they are also developing the habits that all scientists use. These science and engineering practices are lifelong skills that endure inside and beyond school.

  • Investigating puzzling questions about our world through Inquiry
  • Modeling to describe the way things work
  • Communicating ideas supported with evidence
  • Engineering to design solutions to problems

This way of teaching science enables students to:

  • Develop a deeper understanding of science beyond memorizing facts, 
  • Connect science ideas to their everyday life and interests
  • Experience engineering as they plan and test their solutions to problems 

Big Science Questions Explored in Grade 7

Ecology (Life Science)

  • How do organisms interact with the living and nonliving environments to obtain matter and energy?
  • How do matter and energy move through an ecosystem?
  • What happens to ecosystems when the environment changes?
  • How do humans design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services?

From Cells to Systems (Life Science)

  • How do the structures of cells work together to enable cellular functions?
  • How do the subsystems of organisms work together to enable life’s functions?
  • How do organisms obtain and use the matter and energy they need to live and grow?

Heredity & Genetics (Life Science)

  • How do organisms grow and develop?
  • How are characteristics of one generation passed to the next?
  • How are the characteristics of one generation related to the previous generation?
  • Why do individuals of the same species vary in how they look, function, and behave?

Adaptations & Biological Evolution (Life Science)

  • What evidence shows that different species are related?
  • How does genetic variation among organisms affect survival and reproduction?
  • How does the environment influence populations of organisms over multiple generations?

 

Helping your student learn outside of school

  • Look for opportunities that encourage your child to ask questions about their world
  • Help your child make connections between what they are learning in school and everyday life.
  • Point out how your curiosity about science has impacted your life
  • When your child asks a puzzling question, start by responding “What could we do to find out more about...”
  • Share in the excitement when they solve a problem or understand something for the first time.
  • Read more about supporting your child’s inner-scientist here

Questions you can ask your student

  • What do you notice? What do you wonder?
  • How do you think that works? Why do you think that?
  • How is that idea like something else you know about?

Links to Parent Resources

  • How has the Focus of Science Education Changed? [Short article]

Looking back
These ideas are built upon...

How These Ideas Grow
Across the Grades

Looking Forward 
These ideas are next explored


In Grade 4 students explored the structure and function of various organisms body parts
 

From Cells to Systems
 

In high school Biology students investigate how the physical structure of an object or organism is related to its properties and function.
 

In Grade 5 students analyzed the movement of matter and energy in ecosystems
 
Ecosystems
In Grade 9 Systems Science students study the mechanisms of how  ecosystems change over time
 

In Grade 3 students analyzed the traits in offspring inherited from either or both parents
 

Heredity & Genetics
 

In high school Biology students investigate the connection between DNA, heredity and genetics
 

In Grade 3 students investigated how certain traits passed down from previous generations have advantages
 

Adaptations & Biological Evolution
 

In high school Biology students study how new genetic combinations lead to adaptation and biological evolution