8th Grade Science

During the month of October, 8th grade scientists have been busy learning about climate change, and some of it’s related chemistry, as well as making initial plans for their science fair projects.

During the very first lab of the year, the “Color Change Lab”, students made observations and many noticed that only certain substances caused Bromothymol Blue (BTB) to turn yellow. Many noted that if the substance had an H+ in the formula, the substance turned yellow in the presence of BTB, and when the substance had an OH- in the formula, the substance stayed blue.

These observations served as a foundation for the studies of Climate Change, Ocean Acidification, and Global Warming. After researching some of the basics of climate change to prepare for the Climate Strike, students began to learn more about the related chemistry of the pH scale, and molecular structures. Students built models of the molecules they had been studying during our Climate Change Unit such as carbon dioxide, water, methane, carbonic acid, and even glucose (related to cellular respiration and photosynthesis.)

In addition, students learned about the carbon cycle by roleplaying as a carbon molecule. Many students noticed that they ended up in the atmosphere and the ocean A LOT of the time. Students then built a visual model that represented the process of carbon emissions that result in ocean acidification. It was exciting for students to model the burning of fossil fuels by mixing the baking soda and vinegar to produce the carbon dioxide absorbed by the model ocean.

In the last few weeks, students have begun their initial planning for their science fair projects by coming up with their question or engineering idea, conducting research, and are at the stage of figuring out their materials and methods. By the end of this week students should be ready to set up their projects to collect data.

We will jump back into science content during the remaining portion of November and by December 9th we will begin analyzing science fair data.