Trimester 1 SLWRP students at Work
Earth Science -- Life Science -- Physical Science
Service-Learning Waste Reduction Project (SLWRP) elective wheel
Some of the techniques and strategies taught in the science department include the incorporation of math strategies, data analysis in content enrichment, laboratory investigations, literacy support using current events and science-based articles enhancing content, weekly to biweekly laboratory investigations, incorporation of technology through Discovery Education, BrainPop, and research lessons in the computer lab. All grades use triple beam balance and other measuring tools of science, and learn to use lab safety techniques and equipment. The 7th graders use microscopes and will perform dissections in spring.
The local community provides excellent opportunity for a variety of science project. One recently completed project was the Service-Learning letter writing “campaign home” which took place during the week of December 17, 2012. Its purpose was to inform families about the plastic bag ban in Alameda County which began January 1, 2013.
We have ongoing use of our surrounding community as an investigation base, for example:
- beach nurdle study with data sent to Dr. Takeda at the University of Tokyo (check out WMS/Alameda Beach on the global pollution map at www.pelletwatch.org)
- beach erosion as part of 6th grade curriculum
- 8th grade will be doing water testing for pH levels, etc.
The science department prepares every year for the Lawrence Hall of Science Fire Assembly, and the ACES assembly (Alliance for Climate Education; see http://www.acespace.org/). This year marks the second anniversary of the lunch recycling program at Wood. This ties in to our school-wide Go Green efforts as well as 6th grade curriculum content.
Additional projects consist of the school-wide Transportation Audit to be done as part of the 6th grade unit on resources. Students will conduct surveys about how students get to school, and will then spend two weeks encouraging people to reduce their carbon footprint by changing transportation methods. At the end of the two weeks, the survey will be conducted again to see if there has been any effect on school culture. We will also have an on-campus electric car presentation by Ford in Spring 2013 (this will connect to the transportation audit), and a 7th grade biodiversity study which will include bird watching and plant identification using a biological key.
Some possible field trips for the future are an 8th grade field trip to the California Academy of Sciences in spring, and a 6th grade spring field trip to Chabot Space and Science Center, including Bill Nye’s Climate Lab.
The Science department collaborates with all department members on a regular and daily basis with curriculum, supplies, and laboratories and investigations.
Some of the enrichment programs in the Science department include Tobacco Education for all grade levels, after-school tutoring on Thursdays, after-school test review sessions (8th grade), school-wide Ocean Guardian Pledge and student monitors of lunchtime recycling.
Wood Middle School is in our 3rd year of a NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Ocean Guardian Grant. In 2011, we received a Congressional Award for our work at Crown Beach. We installed a permanent public information sign with East Bay Recreational Park District. We also received an NOAA award for this work as an Ocean Guardian school.
Some WMS science students have also been recognized for their hard work. A 7th grade former SLWRP student presented at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Plastics conference in September 2012. Last year, two 8th grade students from WMS were accepted into Google’s Summer Camp Program. Another Wood 7th grade student attended Tech Trek (math and science) Camp at Sonoma State University last summer.
The Science department has a unique resource in the school’s location next to the San Francisco Bay. We utilize the beach and bay to enhance and reinforce learning. We have a dedicated staff of science teachers who are here early and late to support student achievement. We strive to prepare our students for high school and beyond with a solid foundation in science, while creating a love of life-long learning.
SLWRP – The Service Learning Waste Reduction Project is a collaboration of the county office of education and Waste Management (Stopwaste.org) with high school and middle schools throughout the East Bay. Schools collaborate to reduce waste on their campus and spread the word to reduce and use less in the community.