Science

Department Staff
Mrs. Samantha Joll (Middle School Science)
sjoll@westville.k12.in.us

Mrs. Jerianne Koehm (High School Science)
jkoehm@westville.k12.in.us

Mr. Adam Beck (High School Science)
abeck@westville.k12.in.us


Course Descriptions
• Seventh Grade Science
Seventh grade Science students, by examining the chemical and physical forces of nature, will study the Scientific Method, relationship between matter and energy, analyze natural, scientific, and technological systems. Students will communicate their results in written, visual, and oral form.

• Eighth Grade Science
Eighth grade Science students will examine the laws of Science by concentrating their focus on the structure, function, and adaptations of living organisms. Utilizing the Scientific Method they will explore the characteristics of life, cell structure and function, genetics, classification, and adaptations. Included in their studies will be a unit on the historical aspects of Science through researching a wide variety of Scientists. These Scientists will include, but will not be limited to, engineers, musicians, artists, physicists, chemists, zoologists, and a variety of entrepreneurs. Students will include in their studies, experimentation, microscopic work, demonstrations and will present their work in oral, visual and written form.

• Biology
Biology is an introductory course designed for all students to study the concepts, principles and theories that enable them to understand the living environment. They recognize that living organisms are made of cells or cell products consisting of the same materials as all other matter. Students investigate, through experimentation and field studies, how living organisms function and interact with each other and their environment.

Students also gain an understanding of how the scientific establishment operates through examples of historical events. Through the study of these events, they understand that new ideas are often rejected by scientists, but that unexpected findings may occur and blossom through the contributions of many other researchers.

• Earth Science
Earth and Space Science is designed for all students to have an understanding of the world in which we live. Students investigate, through experimentation and field study, the universe, Earth and the processes that shape the Earth. They understand that the Earth operates as a collection of systems that may be changing. Students connect the concepts of energy, matter, conservrtion and gravitation to the Earth and the universe.

Students will also gain and understanding of how the scientific community operates through historical events. Through the study of these events, they understand that ideas are sometimes rejected by the community, but may eventually bring about new ideas or thoughts by future researchers.

• Chemisty
Chemistry provides the students with and in-depth coverage of the fundamentals of chemistry. Students will develop a good understanding of the general structure of the atom and the role the main parts of the atom play in properties of matter. They will investigate the nature of chemicals, chemical changes and the role of energy in those changes through exploration, problem-solving skills, and laboratory experiences. They will examine historical events to see how new ideas are limited by the knowledge at that time, how they are often rejected, and how the ideas grow and change through contributions of other scientists.

• Physics
Physics allows students to learn how physics describes the natural world, using quantities such as velocity, acceleration, force, energy, momentum and charge. Through experimentation and analysis, students develop skills that enable them to understand the physical environment. They learn to make predictions about natural phenomena by using physical laws to calculate or estimate these quantities. Students will acquire an awareness of the history of physics and its role in the birth of technology. They will be able to communicate what they have learned orally, mathematically, using diagrams and in writing.

• Integrated Chemistry-Physics
Integrated Chemistry-Physics introduces the fundamental concepts of scientific inquiry, the structure of matter, chemical reactions, forces, motion, and the interactions between energy and matter. This course will serve students as a laboratory-based introduction to possible future course work in chemistry or physics while ensuring a mastery of the basics of each discipline. The ultimate goal of the course is to produce scientifically literate citizens capable of using their knowledge of physical science to solve real-world problems and to make personal, social, and ethical decisions that have consequences beyond the classroom walls.