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View the Middle School Curriculum (Grades 6-8)

Humanities | Mathematics | Science | World Languages | Arts | Health & Wellness | Extended Study Week

View the Upper School Curriculum (Grades 9-12)

Humanities | Mathematics | Science | World Languages | Arts | Athletics, Health & Wellness | Extended Study Week


MS Science

Science at Barrie Prep promotes interdisciplinary critical thinking while establishing basic knowledge in the biological, physical, and environmental sciences. Although the science department plans specific curriculum for each grade, the path allows flexibility for individual student needs and Upper School students can take science electives of their choosing. Standard Classes are as follows:

  • Grade 6: Earth Science
  • Grade 7: Life Science
  • Grade 8: Physical Science
  • Grade 9: Physics
  • Grade 10: Chemistry
  • Grade 11: Biology
  • Grade 12: AP Environmental Science
  • Electives are offered based on student interest and faculty expertise, and have included Anatomy, Engineering, and Whaling in recent years.

The department aligns curriculum to the Next Generation Science Standards, reflecting the national conversation in improving science education aligned with Barrie Prep’s mission for student-centered, exploratory learning.

Science 6

Concentrating on the Grade 6 theme of Respect for the Environment, students in Science 6 begin to recognize, understand, and appreciate the holistic nature of science as well as the importance of science in society. This course is committed to experiential learning and the building of scientific skills. Using project-based learning, laboratory work, and a variety of activities, students encounter the following ideas and concepts: mapping; erosion and weathering; geological history and structure of the earth; plate tectonics; volcanoes; earthquakes; and the universe/solar system and Earth's place in it. The course emphasizes the skills of web-based research, experimental design, data analysis, use of laboratory instruments, scientific writing, and oral/visual scientific presentation. There is extensive use of Barrie's 45-acre campus to demonstrate and experience the ideas and concepts discussed. Past PBL experiences include: designing an earthquake resistant structure, developing public service announcements for severe weather, and engineering solutions to everyday student challenges.

Science 7

Upon entering Grade 7, students build upon the 21st century skills that they have already begun to develop in other courses. This year, as part of the grade­ level theme of Respect for Self, students will have both their curiosity and imagination sparked. They will engage in research-based activities in the laboratory that will bring them to a new understanding of their own bodies, and their relationship to other organisms. Many of the inquiry-based class activities will require an examination of how life is characterized, propagated, and maintained. Specific topics include: cell structure and function, reproduction, genetics, evolution, body systems, classification of living things, plant and animal diversity, and ecology. A project-based learning activity is introduced whereby students act as scientists, and are required to collaborate with others, think critically, access and analyze information, solve problems, and communicate effectively. These are also 21st century skills that are reiterated in scientific methodology and Barrie's mission. Past PBL experiences have included designing and planting new Barrie gardens, and researching and proposing the construction of a new greenhouse.

Science 8

In Grade 8, students learn to recognize, understand, and appreciate the holistic nature of science and scientific inquiry. Through discussions, laboratory investigations, and a variety of activities, students explore the following physical science topics: physical and chemical properties of matter; weather, heat, and phase changes; fluids, density, and buoyancy; chemical reactions; and conservation of matter, energy, and momentum. The class culminates with the annual Barrie Boat Races at the end of the school year, which allows students to explore the concepts of density and buoyancy in a fun, 'real world' context. The course aligns with the Grade 8 theme of Respect for Others, as students learn about the importance of science in society and explore the impact that scientific discoveries have on other people. Students are challenged to ask meaningful questions, solve real-world problems, and engage in group discussions to explore complex ideas and build consensus around these ideas. Past PBL experiences have included studying molecular motion, designing 3D printed learning materials, and designing boats from recycled materials to compete in an annual boat race.

Sample Book List:

  • Stronger than Steel: Spider Silk and the Quest for Bulletproof Vests, by Bridget Heos