Course Description

If you don't have a goal, you don't get anywhere.

- Graden Kirksey (one of the authors of your textbook)

I. Essential Questions

A. How do scientists know what they know?
B. How does measuring matter help us to understand the physical world?
C. What are substances and how do they affect our lives?
D. What are the operational differences between elements and compounds?
E. Why do we think all matter is made of atoms?

    This course is about DOING SCIENCE: experimenting, thinking and discovering evidence to support an idea. In the grand scheme of things your grade in this course will have little affect on the rest of your life. Still, you wish to do the best you can because learning builds on previous skills, understanding and knowledge. Doing your best also feels good. The scientific purpose of this course is for you to discover, for yourself, the evidence to support the idea that all matter is made of atoms. You will be required to do a tremendous amount of thinking instead of memorizing. We, Ms. Hakhamimi and Mr. Kahn, sincerely hope you are up for the challenge.

II. Purposes of the Course: For students to:

A. learn how to refer to EVIDENCE to support a conclusion.
B. acquire useful LABORATORY SKILLS.
C. become more CAREFUL READERS.
D. develop scientific REASONING and PROBLEM-SOLVING skills.
E. learn how to COMMUNICATE ideas.
F.  become more SELF-RELIANT.
G. increase their KNOWLEDGE of the physical world.
H. learn how to become a better learner.
I.   learn from nature, their teacher, and each other.

III. Methods

        A. Experimentation. This includes:
                1. Conducting experiments.
                2. Collecting and analyzing data by constructing tables and graphs.
                3. Drawing conclusions
                4. Organizing and presenting experimental write-ups in a laboratory notebook.
        B. Guided reasoning: based on experimental results.
        C. Word problems of various levels! Some challenging but rewarding. Don’t give up; try something!
        D. Classroom discussions about experiments, word problems, real-life applications of concepts, etc
        E. Extra Credit to explore course topics or go beyond the course and/or present in a mode
                 of their choice. 3D Game Lab Quests as well.
IV. Assessment and Grading Guidelines- Grades are EARNED by you, the student.
   Participation, assignments and assessments are considered OPPORTUNITIES TO ACHIEVE!

        A. Homework checked daily (point value varies)
        B. Open book quizzes (point values 5-30)
        C. Experimental write-ups in lab notebook (10-20 points)
        D. Chapter tests with 5x7 index notecard (100 points)
        E. 1st and 2nd semester exams (100 points each)
        F.  3D Game Lab Quests
        G. Student conduct during class will affect your grade.