Minnehaha’s rigorous Middle School curriculum cultivates the potential in each student, while teachers identify and support individual needs. Whether it’s learning geography in phy-ed or history lessons in art, interdisciplinary learning takes place throughout all curricular areas.
- Fine Arts
- Social Studies
- Sacred Studies
- World Languages
- Physical Education & Health
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!
We 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.
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
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.
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.
Successful daily life requires number sense, problem solving, abstract thinking, logical thinking, and basic data interpretation. In Middle School, your child will advance in their skills in these areas through classes such as math foundations, algebra, geometry and honors algebra. Students will expand their skills, learn new concepts and prepare for higher level math like calculus and statistics at the Upper School.
Whether solving equations, calculating surface area, or determining probabilities, your child will be guided at their pace and level by our expert teachers.
The solution to many of the problems that will arise in the future will require problem solving, mathematical thinking and technological solutions. Minnehaha students will be prepared for the jobs in the future (that do not even exist yet!) because they have developed problem solving skills through their academic career.
Our English literature and writing courses are designed to develop a love of reading and grow confident and clear writers. This is done primarily through immersion in a student-centered learning environment that stimulates and nurtures students to practice and apply reading and writing skills and strategies through student-chosen projects.
Your child will develop a strong foundation of reading accuracy, comprehension, and vocabulary and will also practice a variety of writing styles. In addition, lively classroom discussions bring reading and writing to life, as students discuss topics and themes present in the books the read and the writing of their peers.
In social studies, your child will be challenged to interpret diverse sources of information and develop complex arguments with evidence. As a result, your child will build curiosity about the world and understand how human institutions function, so that they can build healthier relationships with God and others.
In Middle School, your child will learn how to interpret a map, analyze the Industrial Age, use evidence from texts to support their arguments and address state or local policy issues. Your child will begin to understand how history, government, the economy, power and institutions have an impact on our world; through this understanding, your child will be more prepared for making an impact!
The learnings in social studies are critical for developing a view of the world, and deepening students' openness and curiosity about people and the world. Through research, hands-on activities, group projects and guided discussion, your child will grow in wisdom and knowledge and in the relationships with others.
Our faculty strive to provide an open space for thoughtful discussion and questions as they arise while students participate in our sacred studies courses.
In Middle School, students interact deeply with the Bible as they become more familiar with the stories and the book of the Bible. Students obtain a general knowledge of the Bible as literature and as the Word of God. More importantly, they are taught to see the biblical narrative as a framework for understanding themselves and for finding eternal purpose in their study, play, and work. We believe that the Bible teaches what is true about God and about who we are in relation to God, others, and creation.
Studying World Languages gives your child an opportunity to learn about and connect with other cultures. The curiosity that studying world languages fosters spills over into all disciplines of study.
In Middle School, your child will study Latin, French or Spanish. In addition to learning vocabulary words and grammar, your child will learn to evaluate information and diverse perspectives that are available through the language and its cultures. Through classroom activities and interaction with peers, your child will develop the ability to negotiate meaning in spoken or written conversations to share information, reactions, feelings, and opinions.
Your child will begin to have a greater understanding and appreciation of other cultures, as well as a deeper sense of empathy as they study World Languages at Minnehaha Academy.
Middle School phy ed is a time for students to explore a wide range of sports and athletics. Students play field hockey in the field house, soccer out on the sports fields, and volleyball in the gym. Our phy ed teachers keep students moving their bodies in fun, upbeat activities that promote health and wellness. In health class, students learn how to stay healthy and care for their bodies.