Sixth Grade Science is teaming with life. Not just with students anxious to learn, but also with living things too tiny to see with the naked eye. Students in sixth grade have been exploring and investigating the microscopic world. Thanks to a grant from 100% for Kids Utah Credit Unions Education Foundation, Morgan Middle School 6th graders have use of a microscope with a digital camera inside. This allows all students to see what is happening on the slide at the same time as it is projected on screen as well as the ability to take photos or capture video for later use. All students in the 6th grade were able to watch swimming protists and other pond water organisms from water sources all over Morgan County. These samples were collected by selected students living close to them.
Utah State Core Curriculum requires students in the 6th grade to learn how microscopic organisms move, acquire energy, and reproduce. Along with learning about microbes found in pond water, they also study bacteria and viruses, and the Fungi Kingdom. Bread samples in the classroom have been sporting all sorts of colors and varieties of mold growth for students to study under magnification. During this unit, students are also learning how to investigate using the scientific method gaining such life skills as inquiry and problem solving.
The three science teachers, Dana Wilde, Monica Russell, and Tara Creager, coordinate weekly to make sure that all students in the 6th grade are getting the same experience in science. We also attend professional development to keep current on the latest methods and information.
Applying things learned in science to life outside the classroom is important, and labs meant to simulate real-life jobs are implemented. We also invite parents who are experts in the field of microbiology to come in and share with the class information about their occupations. They also teach concepts in an applicable manner. This year we were lucky to hear from both Scott Forsberg, a microbiologist that works with pharmaceuticals, and Brian Loveridge, an ER doctor. Research proves that when parents and teachers work together, students benefit.
Later this school year, students in sixth grade science will be studying the properties of heat, light and sound as well as astronomy and space which includes earth, moon, and sun relationships. Plans during those units include a visit from an expert from Clark Planetarium as well as a field trip to their facility in Salt Lake City. Many other learning opportunities await those units as the school year progresses. Great things are happening in sixth grade science at Morgan Middle School.