Marie Curie Math & Science Center
Mary-Lou Clare
How We Learn About Life: Grade 7
(designed to follow Study of Integers: Math 7)

Commencement content standard from MST
Students will use mathematical analysis, scientific inquiry, and engineering design, as appropriate, to pose questions, seek answers, and develop solutions. (1)

Students will understand mathematics and become mathematically confident by communicating and reasoning mathematically, by applying mathematics in the real world settings and by solving problems through the integrated study of number systems, algebra, data analysis, probability and trigonometry. (3)

Students will understand the relationships and common themes that connect mathematics, science, and technology and apply the themes to these and other areas of learning. (6)

Students will apply the knowledge and thinking skills of mathematics, science, and technology to address real-life problems and make informed decisions. (7)

Benchmark standards: Intermediate
Content standards (what I want students to know or be able to do) SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY

The central purpose of scientific inquiry is to develop explanations of natural phenomena in a continuing, creative process. (1) o Beyond the use of reasoning and consensus, scientific inquiry involves the use of proposed explanations involving the use of conventional techniques and procedures and usually requiring considerable ingenuity. (1) o Observations made while testing proposed explanations, when analyzed using conventional and invented methods, provide new insight into phenomena. (1)

Students use mathematical reasoning to analyze mathematical situations, make conjectures, gather evidence' and construct an argument. (3)

Students use mathematical modeling/ multiple representation to provide a means of presenting, interpreting, communicating, and connecting mathematical information and relationships. (3)

Students use measurement in both metric and English measure to provide a major link between the abstractions of mathematics and the real world in order to describe and compare objects and data. (3)

Students use ideas of uncertainty to illustrate that mathematics involves more than exactness when dealing with everyday situations. (3)

Students use patterns and functions to develop mathematical power, appreciate the true beauty of mathematics, and construct generalizations that describe patterns simply and efficiently. (3)

Through systems thinking, people can recognize the commonalities that exist among all systems and how parts of a system interrelate and combine to perform specific functions. (6)

The knowledge and skills of mathematics, science, and technology are used together to make informed decisions and solve problems, especially those relating to issues of science/technology/society, consumer decision making, design, and inquiry into phenomenon. (7)

Performance standards  SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY
Formulate questions independently with the aid of references appropriate for guiding the search for explanations for everyday observations. (1) o develop, present, and defend formal research proposals for testing their own explanations of common phenomena, including way of obtaining needed observations and ways of conducting simple controlled experiment. (1) o interpret the organized data to answer the research question or hypothesis and to gain insight into the problem. (1)

make conclusions based on inductive reasoning. (3)

use concrete materials and diagrams to describe the operation of real world processes and systems. (3)

estimate, make and use measurements in real-world situations. (3)

use estimation to solve problems for which exact answers are inappropriate. (3)

describe and represent pattems and functional relationships using tables, charts and graphs, algebraic expressions, rules, and verbal descriptions. (3)

Select an appropriate model to begin the search for answers or solutions to a question or problem. (6)

Describe and explain phenomena by designing and conducting investigations involving systematic observations, accurate measurements, and the identification and control of variables; by inquiring into relevant mathematical ideas ; and by using mathematical and technological tools and procedures to assist in the investigation. (7)

Content standards or outcomes ( unit constructs assessment)

  • Know how to explain the scientific method.
  • Understand the logic of the ways of research.
  • Answer text, quiz and test questions.
  • Apply the principles of research to solving a problem.
  • Relate the steps of the scientific method to an article in The New York Times Science section published on Tuesdays or the Scientific American magazine published monthly.

Performance measures (unit outcome achievement& rubrics, instruments, activities)

  • Perform lab activities.
  • Write a lab report.
  • Construct a research project.
  • State a hypothesis.
  • Prepare an overview of hypothesis.
  • Gollect, organize and interpret data.
  • Present research inferences based upon data.
  • Judge information as being based in science.


Enabling Activities

Demonstrations require close observation recorded in journal with class as whole during one class period

Lab activities are done in groups of three so each student gets lots of manipulation of equipment & supplies in each period of lab work.

Problem solving is usually done in groups of four to get a wider range of ideas to initiate a concept that may take a week or so to develop.

Scope pairs are study buddies who review key concepts for three minutes together after new material has been presented for nine minutes.

Research takes anywhere from a week to a month to find an idea and four weeks of collecting data-parent and family member mentoring is encouraged and welcomed.

Presentations are alone or in twos where research is divided and each partner reports on his or her part and the inferences are collaborative. Many projects involve closely working with a family member. The presentation itself is only a few minutes in duration.

# Lab activities include each participant being responsible to be able to explain to group what is going on after correcting any misconceptions with me, knowing what step of the procedure they are on and understanding what they are looking for

Problem solving involves brainstorming and recording an approach to a problem and attempting to illustrate method leading to solution with a diagram and data that is labeled and tabled (put into a chart)

Research follows the same process as what students study. Thought provoking applications of terms learned are reinforced as part of the evaluation of the research topic.

Presentations occur at the front of a class arranged in a circle. Any items can be used -large demonstration table, blackboard, journal, student made props and anything that students want to provide or use.

  • Journal keeping: actions from demonstrations and observations from labs

diagram directions
question sessions
student reactions
parent reflections
writing and illustrating

  • Modeling of peer exemplars: lab reports

model constructions
research projects

I Scientific Method:Way of Knowing
A What steps make up the scientific method?
B How did Van Helmont use scientific method?
Lab: Measuring with Scientific Units
C What is difference between hypothesis and theory?

II Measurement in Science
A Why are Systeme Internationale units easy to use?
B What are Systeme Internationale units for measuring length, mass, volume, speed, time & temperature?

III Using scientific method
A What are processes scientists use in acquiring new knowledge?
B What steps are used in experimenting?

IV Scientific Tools & Technology
A How do light & electron microscopes differ?
B How does technology help life scientists discover new knowledge? Lab: Investigating with a Microscope

V Review
A Outlining Scientific Method
B Summary and Vocabulary
C Check your knowledge
D Check your understanding
E Apply your knowledge
F Extend your knowledge
G Double bubble charts
H Flash splash cards

VI Evaluation
A Student Journal Keeping
B Laboratory Reports
C Text Ouestions and diagram interpretation directions
D Chapter Quiz and Test
E Parent Input & Feedback via journal comments
F Research Project, Report and Presentation


Is your name at the top of the research report?

Have you followed the framework for the research report?

Have you gone to Edit: Spelling to check document?

Is your hypothesis in the form of a question and does it have a question mark?

Is your data easy to interpret with the use of your legend?

Are your observations and reflections summarized on a weekly basis?

Do you give a reason for every reaction in your reflections?

Do you refer to your data in your conclusion?

Do your inferences answer your hypothesis?

Does your bibliography follow the format used by your school(you have been given the form by your social studies and science teachers, it is posted in the Mac labs and extra copies are available in the library)?

Have you been attentive to your proof reader's corrections, directions, questions and suggestions and made the appropriate changes?

Have you added your proof reader's name at the end of the report (pr: name)?


3 - Exemplary

  • Demonstrates thorough understanding of scientific method, control & variable, data collection & interpretation,hypothesis & inference.
  • Uses appropriate strategies to solve problem.
  • Applied statistics are accurate.
  • Inferences are logical & directly related to hypothesis.
  • Exceeds requirements of scientific method.

2 - Satisfactory

  • Demonstrates understanding of scientific method, control & variable, data collection & interpretation, hypothesis & inference.
  • Uses appropriate strategies to solve problem.
  • Computations are mostly correct.
  • Written explanations are effective.
  • Inferences are mostly logical and mostly related to hypothesis.
  • Satisfies all requirements of scientific method.

1 - Nearly Satisfactory

  • Demonstrates understanding of most of the concepts of scientific method, control & variable, data collection & interpretation, hypothesis & inference.
  • May not use appropriate strategies to solve problem
  • Computations are mostly correct.
  • Wriften explanations are satisfactory.
  • Inferences are mostly accurate.
  • Satisfies most requirements of scientific method.

O - Unsatisfactory

  • Demonstrates little or no understanding of the concepts of scientific method, control & variable data collection & interpretation, hypothesis & inference.
  • May not use appropriate strategies to solve problem.
  • Computations are incorrect.
  • Written explanations are not satisfactory.
  • Inferences are not accurate.
  • Does not satisfy requirements scientific method.

3 D 4 U 2 C  

One picture is worth a thousand words.

One model is worth a billion.

A model is a good way to see something from all directions.

A model has three dimensions: length, width and height.

A model has bold, bright neon colors to attract attention and interest.

A model is rugged and can be easily handled.

A model is neat and simple.

Use the maximum dimensions of 20 centimeters by 20 centimeters by 20 centimeters or 20 cm.  X 20 cm.  X 20 cm for a total volume of_____centimeters cubed.

Add a wide ribbon with a color key for:
name of what is being modeled ,
its importance in life science or biology.
bioengineer (your name)
each part of model with its corresponding color and job

Have fun!

**This unit contains worksheets that cannot be reproduced due to copyright laws ***


St. Thomas Aquinas College, 125 Route 340, Sparkill NY 10976-1050