TCJMS 8th Grade Science

Current and Past Homework

August 28 - September 5:
Play Nim with your friends and parents, or the online computer (see link below).  Try to discover the secret of the game.  Keep track of your results, and be ready to share in class.

September 6:
Take Home Quiz on Nim is due.  Make sure you know the secret of how to win.

September 12:
Read pages 2-5 of your book, section 1.1.  Be ready to discuss in class.  We will do this experiment this week. 

September 13:
Do the Dancing Penny Experiment at home with your parents (if they want to help).  See whether or not you can get the penny to dance and think about why you did or did not succeed.

Dancing Penny Experiment

Materials: glass bottle with opening no larger than a penny, one penny, bowl.

Find a bottle with an opening smaller than the diameter of a penny.  Leave the bottle and a penny in the freezer for 15 minutes.  Take the bottle and penny out.  Put the penny over the opening of the bottle, and use a little water on the lip of the bottle to ensure an airtight seal.  Fill a large wide bowl a few inches with hot water (from the tap) and place the cold bottle in the container.   Wait and see if the penny starts to dance.

September 18:
Print out and read the pages about the paper towel project.

September 19 and 20:  Chapter One Exams.
Review Chapter 1 for in-class exams. 

October 4:
Redos of Chapter 1 Exam are due.

November 3, Friday:
Final Paper Towel Reports are due.

November 15, 16, 17:
Open and Closed Book Tests on Chapter 2.  Exam Review

November 22 (before Thanksgiving):
Get a buddy for Product Fair, or decide to work alone. Read Product Fair,and start thinking of an idea.  Hand in a short (< 1 page) description of your idea with the names of both partners if working with partners.

November 22:  Redos of Chapter 2 Exams Due. (to count on first trimester report cards)

November 22: Watch this video explaining our fun Mentos Experiment.

December 15:  Read Archimedes Handout.  Complete Review Sheets below,
December 22:  Finish your market survey for Product Fair.  Hand in a rough draft.

January 12:     Design three experiments to test your product. 

Hand me a copy and get approval before you start to do the experiments and write them up.

January 16-17:   Chapter 3 Exams - Review.
Class handouts can be found below in the Syllabus

January 26:  Redos for Chapter 3 exams are due. 

January 29:   Product Fair - Three experiments and lab reports due.  Build project.
                      (Research tests and reports - section 4).

February 9:  Product Fair - product comparison essay, and cost report due.
                     (Sections 3 and 5).

February 10:  Print out Chapter Review Sheet and Study. 

February 15-16: 
Chapter 4 Exams - Review
See syllabus below for class handouts, if your child misplaced any. 

February 16:  Product Fair - organization chart, advertising, and conclusions due.

March 5:        Redos for Chapter 4 Exams due.

March 9:        Product Fair - proofread and edit all sections.  Final report due.

March 14:               Product Fair Event.  Bring materials to school for setup.
Wednesday 7-9 PM                  Posters and presentations.

March 27-28:       Chapter 5 Exams - Review

April 13,
Friday Before DC:   Redos for Chapter 5 Exams are Due.  No extensions.

May 3,
Thursday:  Final Sludge Reports Due in Class - Two points per day late penalty.

May 4:      Bring in a 9V Battery to Class.

May 14:     Practice Balancing Equations - Fixed set here.  Random timed practice here.

June 4, 5:    Chapter 6 Exams - Study Hard!  No Redos. - Review
                   Bring in textbooks from home.

Interesting Links

Introduction to Physical Science is a course that focuses on teaching students to ask good scientific questions, design experiments to answer those questions, make the right conclusions, and write reports documenting the process.  The subject matter focuses on properties of substances and uses concepts from chemistry and physics, and to some extent biology.  There is also some basic mathematics that comes into play.  Class will be a mixture of supervised hands-on experiments, discussion, and lecture. 

Primary Text: 
Introductory Physical Science (IPS), sixth edition

Expectations and Assessment:

Students are expected to engage in all class activities and experiments, to ask and answer questions, to complete all handouts, to follow classroom rules, and to behave respectfully toward fellow students and the teacher.  Keeping an orderly notebook, with all handouts and all classwork on book problems will help a student prepare better for exams, and understand the material.

Every month or so, there will be chapter exams, both closed book and open book, testing basic facts and concepts respectively.  To prepare for exams a student should review all class handouts, every book problem we did in class, and study the web review sheets below.

There is one major project in each term.

The first and third term projects will be done primarily in class.  Students will work on these projects in groups of 3-4 and submit these reports using Word and Excel.  The Product Fair, in term II, will be done primarily at home. 

Final grades each term are based on individual test scores (40%), class participation, initiative, readiness, behavior, and consistency in following class rules (25%), and the project for that term. (35%).

Exam Redos:
If a student did not perform well on an exam, because he/she
  • had a panic attack
  • did not study
  • misunderstood what was expected
  • ran out of time
  • did not grasp the material clearly enough even after hard work and study
  • was not feeling well
  • underperformed
  • etc
that student may do a "redo" of the exam at home on his/her own time after we review the exam in class.  A "redo" means a detailed write-up of all correct answers with explanations and proof of understanding.  Anything cursory, careless, or lacking in substance will not be accepted.  A redo is supposed to prove knowledge and competence.  A "redo" should be typed or written neatly on separate pages and attached to the original exam.  A redo of a 20 question multiple choice test, can easily be 5 or more handwritten pages.  Redos may be discussed with friends, parents, me, or any helpful knowledgable person.  It is not a "retest".

The grade on a "redo" is averaged with the original grade on the exam.  So for example, if someone got 4/20 on a multiple choice exam, and then did a perfect redo, the new score would be the average of 4 and 20, namely 12.  On a very difficult exam, 12/20 can conceivably be curved to a B-.  Redos help you learn and help your grade.  Redos must be handed in within one week after the exam is returned and reviewed in class.


1.  Introduction: 
The game Nim as a model for discovery - play it at home!  Units of Measurement, Using lab equipment.
Reference:   Play Online, Class Notes, Chapter 1.

2.  Volume and Mass:

Techniques of measuring mass and volume of liquids and solids.
Reference:   Chapter 1.

3.  Paper Towel Experiment
Compare attributes of paper towels.
Develop criteria for determining the best paper towel and the best value.
Write lab report using Word and Excel. 
Reference:  Class and Web Notes.

4.  Conservation of Mass:
Testing mass changes in closed systems.  Making and interpreting histograms.
Reference:  Chapter 2.   Exam Review

End of Term I

5.  Product Fair:
Groups will work together to develop an idea for a product, do market research and comparison, develop and test the product, advertise the product, and do a cost/price analysis.  A final report is due late February.
Reference:  Class and Web Notes.

6.  Characteristic Properties of Matter:
Freezing/Melting Point, Boiling Point, and Density.  Learning to distinguish and identify substances.
Reference:  Chapter 3.

Review/Preview of Chapters 1-3:  Density, Two Problems and an Experiment
Significant Digits Review Sheet
Density of Liquid Experiment
Density of Gas Experiment
Freezing-Melting Point Experiment
Boiling Point Experiment

Color Wars - What's the largest stack of colors you can make with salt, water, and food coloring?
And the winner...  Elana and Leah with ten colors!! 

Exam Review for Chapter 3.

7.  Solubility:
Comparing concentrations of saturated solutions.  The effects of temperature on solubility. 
Solubility of Gasses.  Byproducts of dissolving - Hydrogen.
Reference:  Chapter 4.

Measuring Concentration of Saturated Solution Experiment
The Effect of Temperature on Solubility
Solubility of Different Solutes in Different Solvents
Solubility of Carbon Dioxide in Water
Hydrogen - a Byproduct of Dissolving Magnesium in Sulfuric Acid

Exam Review for Chapter 4.

End of Term II

8.  Separation of Mixtures:
Fractional distillation, separation by filtration, separation by floatation, fractional crystallization, paper chromatography.
Reference:  Chapter 5.

Fractional Distillation Lab
Filtration Lab
Fractional Crystallization Lab

Exam Review for Chapter 5.

9.  Sludge Project:
Receive a mixture of solids and liquids, develop procedures for separating substances, perform procedures, analyze and identify substances.  The practical use of characteristic properties.  Lab report is required.
Reference:  Web notes, Chapters 3-5.

10. Compounds and Elements:
Decomposition and synthesis.  The concept of constant proportions.
Reference:  Chapter 6.

The Decomposition of Sodium Chlorate
The Decomposition of Water
The Synthesis of Zinc Chloride
Three Copper Experiments

Exam Review for Chapter 6.  There are no redos for Chapter 6 - so study hard!
Equation Balancing Practice - Fixed Set
Equation Balancing Practice - Random Set and Timed

End of Term III

Are You Ready for the Summer? 
Herzl, Ramah, Chi, Other?
Have Fun!!!!!


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