Physical Science introduces the 8th grade to the experimental subjects of chemistry and physics. The year starts with activities designed to strengthen the students’ abilities to see greater detail in the phenomena they observe.
They embark upon the creative process of designing and conducting experiments to determine if their hypotheses were correct. Students are encouraged to question the explanations of phenomena outside of the classroom as well, and a discussion about the workings of a nuclear power plant, for example, often transforms into a discussion about the ethics of nuclear weaponry. Students use their evolving skills to design submarines, egg-landers, and simple machines. 8th graders have more autonomy in their choice of independent research projects for the Science Fair, which encourages them to take risks and attempt projects that might not result in obvious conclusions.