During Unit 1, students will learn about how interactions on the microscale result in phenomena on the macroscale, whether they be chemical reactions, obtaining energy from food, or accelerated climate change. Over the course of the lessons, students will learn about the Small Particle Model, and use the rules to explain physical phenomena such as energy exchange through conduction convection and radiation, phase changes, chemical change, and the interactions between greenhouse gases and light. The overarching principle that unites all of the lessons is that of energy, whose exchange fuels all of the aforementioned changes. Students will carry out experiments, develop models, and continue to engage in argumentation through Claims, Evidence, Reasoning in order to understand fundamental topics in chemistry on both scales. The unit project will involve a student generated research project regarding climate change, global energy usage, or the greenhouse effect.
During Unit 2, the ecosystems unit will introduce students to the study of life science at Boston Latin School. Students will begin by studying populations, and the factors that impact their survival. Students will create and monitor crickets for several weeks in order to investigate self-written research questions regarding their survival and health. Students will then investigate how different populations interact within various ecosystems to exchange energy, and how scientists monitor and track these varied interactions. The importance of biodiversity and social behavior will also be considered in light of the impacts from and for humans. Throughout this introductory unit, students will gain proficiency with the Claims, Evidence, Reasoning (CER) framework for scientific argumentation. There will be special focus on scientific data collection, organization, and graphing through class activities and laboratory investigations.