Science 8 Syllabus (Fall 2014)

Course Goals

  • To develop scientific modes of thinking.
  • To understand how the human body functions.
  • To understand the behaviour of gases and liquids from a molecular-level perspective.
  • To understand the behaviour of light and other forms of electromagnetic radiation.

Curriculum Delivery Strategies

  • This is a laboratory science course.  Whenever possible, learning will be built around student-run observations and experiments.  Traditional lecture and homework activities will be used to consolidate and extend knowledge developed through real-world activities.
  • Assignment descriptions, homework, resources, lecture notes, and student work (with permission) will be posted on the course website:, accessible also through the FH Collins homework website.


Dates in this schedule are approximate and subject to change.

  • Unit 1: Hydrology & Fluid Dynamics (7 Weeks).   How do disc brakes work? Why is it  hard to bike against the wind?How was the Yukon River Valley formed? What causes tides? Why is Whitehorse warmer than Yellowknife? How can we tell if an ecosystem is healthy?
    Introduction to force and pressure. Kinetic molecular theory,  states of matter, and density.  Force, temperature, and pressure. Hydraulic machines. Glaciation and erosion.  Aquatic ecosystems. Effects of salinity and temperature variations in the Earth’s oceans.
  • Unit 2: Cell Biology & Body Systems (5 Weeks).  What are we made of? What happens to your food after you eat it? Why do we get sick – and how do we get better?
    Use of a microscope. Structure and function of animal and plant cells. Diffusion and osmosis. Body systems, with an emphasis on the immune system.
  • Unit 3: Optics  (4 Weeks). Why is the sky blue? How do glasses work?
    Waves & the electromagnetic spectrum. Properties of visible light. Human vision.
  • Review (1 Week).

Thinking Skills

Science is not a collection of facts; it is a way of thinking about the natural world based on observation, experimentation, and logical argument.  Here are some of the skills we will be explicitly working on this year.

  • Designing experiments.
  • Collecting and presenting data.
  • Communicating experimental results.

Assessment & Evaluation

The evaluation philosophy of this class is that your grade should represent your learning and nothing else.  Homework completion will be checked regularly and recorded, but will not count as part of your grade. All marks (including homework records) will be made available 24/7 to students and parents at

  • Final Exam (no retakes): 20%
  • 5 Unit Tests (retakes allowed): 30%
  • Weekly quizzes (retakes allowed): 20%
  • Laboratory Experiments (resubmissions allowed): 20%
  • Individual Science Project (resubmissions allowed): 10%