The middle school science curriculum is an inquiry and Project Based Learning (PBL) program that focuses on building 21st century skills, ethical thinking, a passion for science, and a deep understanding of the scientific method.
PBL is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to a complex question, problem, or challenge. Curriculum is organized around authentic real world driving questions that lead students to discover answers through innovation and experimentation. A variety of scientific disciplines are included in each driving question framing one of the PBL units. This approach allows for a spiraling of content throughout the four year science program and provides students with the opportunity for choice.
Different science disciplines are studied each year -- always emphasizing the scientific method and lab report writing and exploration via inquiry based, hands-on and minds-on science.
In grades 5-8, science meets 5 periods in a 7-day cycle. 4 out of the 5 classes are 50 minutes long and the other class is a 100 minute class.
Recent science electives include: GeoChallenge Team (National Geographic sponsors a national competition where middle school students work in teams of four to six to come up with real-world solutions to real-world problems); Gardening Club (students learn about gardening practices while they plant, grow, and harvest flowers, vegetables and herbs in the BC rooftop garden); and Zero Waste Elective (Berkeley Carroll is a Zero Waste School, and this elective helps make sure that the middle school is doing everything that it can to meet the goals that have been set).