How did our planet form, and why does it look the way it does? How does one define life scientifically, and how did it begin? When you look up at the night sky, what do you see? These are some of the questions facing our middle school science students. Sixth graders are exploring the yearlong theme of “The Active Earth,” a study of our planet’s ever-changing geologic processes. Students are examining the structure of the earth and understanding how the planet’s moving plates create conditions that have allowed life to take a foothold here. Seventh graders are focusing on “The Diversity of Life” by looking at cells and DNA. This exploration will serve as the basis for understanding genetics and life history on earth. And eighth graders are examining “The Magnificent Universe,” a unit that focuses on astronomy and builds on the seventh grade life science curriculum. Students look at the solar system pondering the idea of life beyond earth. The eighth graders created “Choose Your Own Adventure” stories about traveling through the universe, taking their classmates to amazing places-planets, galaxies, and even black holes! Come October 23rd you can find our eighth grade astronomers on Swig Field watching the partial solar eclipse that will be taking place just at the end of the school day.