Minnehaha Academy

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Science in Middle School

Middle School science classes at Minnehaha Academy are discovery-driven explorations of the world around us.

It’s in Middle School when students learn not only how to use the tools of professional scientists, but also how to think like a scientist. Middle School students have access to the tools of the trade and learn how to use AutoCAD, kilowatt hour meters, and blood pressure cuffs – just as a few examples. Students participate in leading edge science studies that rely on observable data and current scientific knowledge. When students move to the Upper School, they are prepared to think and learn like a scientist!

Middle School EngineeringWe believe that students learn best when they get plenty of time for hands-on experimentation and observation. That’s why, if you visit our science classrooms, you’ll see students designing and conducting their own experiments in the classroom labs, building and testing robots and models, or you might not see them in the lab at all! That’s because they’re outside investigating the habits of non-migratory birds, collecting samples from the natural world, or making other interesting observations related to life or earth science.

It’s in Middle School when students learn not only how to use the tools of professional scientists, but also how to think like a scientist. Students participate in leading edge science studies that rely on observable data and current scientific knowledge.

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Science Courses in Middle School

As students move through Middle School they build on scientific knowledge and learning from previous years. Students have the fantastic opportunity to learn from the Project Lead the Way curriculum, which focuses on a hands-on classroom learning model.

  • Sixth Grade – Robotics/Design and Modeling/Properties of Matter
  • Seventh Grade – Life Science
  • Eighth grade – Earth and Space Science

Science Project Examples


Bird Project

Minnehaha Academy seventh graders explore ornithology, the study of birds, by taking part in a bird project. BirdSleuth is a citizen-science program sponsored by Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, New York. Throughout the project, students learn to identify birds, build bird feeders, and collect data. The data that the students collect is submitted onto an online database called ebird.

The ornithologists at Cornell use the data submitted by students, as well as people from all over the world, to help answer important research questions about bird populations and conservation. Students also use the data to answer research questions of their own.

Studying Energy
In grade 8, all students study one energy topic in-depth and then design and run their own inquiry investigation to learn more about that topic.  Many of the investigations done by our Middle School students require that they integrate the skills they have learned in math classes to analyze their data, and the writing skills they have learned in their language arts classes to communicate those results.