Science

By mastering the BHDS middle school science curriculum, students develop their knowledge of the world around them. 

They learn how to ask important questions and answer them. Such questions may be related to a specific scientific problem, or they may be larger questions about how an individual and/or society connects with the environment.

Students see science as a way to organize and understand their world, and additionally, as a tool to use in caring for it.

Study units begin with "essential questions," so that they approach topics with the big picture in mind, and form enduring understandings about their topic by the time they are finished. Students' work is presented in a wide array of formats, such as oral and written reports, map work, models, and debates. 

MS Science News

  • Seventh Graders Meet Sludge—or, What Happens to Our Wastewater, Anyway?

    Posted December 11, 2014

    As a continuation of their study of bacteriology and virology, hard-hatted 7th grade students had the opportunity to explore a fascinating infrastructure that has existed in our community for over 65 years—the Southeast Wastewater Treatment Facility in San Francisco. On this guided tour, students were able to see how 80 percent of the waste water that collects from toilets, sinks, and street drains collects at this one site, to be recycled through filtration methods, a mutualism with bacteria, and various chemical treatments. On an average day, the plant treats 80 million gallons of wastewater, which is released, clean, into the bay. Methane gas generated by the sewage provides 50 percent of the plant's power—as facility director Jonathan Smith informed the highly amused students, "Poop is power."

    Read More
  • Sixth Grade Returns from Engaging and Educational Week at Walker Creek Ranch

    Posted December 10, 2014

    Sixth graders braved the rain and wind during their outdoor education experience at Walker Creek Ranch—a Marin County nature retreat—last week. Students from both campuses hiked to various locations, from pond habitats to creeks to lush bay/oak forests. In the evenings, students participated in night hikes and the famous “barn boogie.” The sixth graders also participated in a solo hike, where they learned to find their way on their own using information cards that provide clues. Walker Creek’s location near Point Reyes allowed students to view the San Andreas fault line during their all-day hike to Walker Peak. In addition to learning about science and nature, this experiential education trip provided our students with an opportunity to discover themselves through physical challenge and the power of working as a team. The week was very engaging for our students, with many hands-on examples of science all around them! MORE PHOTOS

    Read More
  • Eighth Graders Explore Characteristic Properties of Substances

    Posted November 18, 2014

    In recent physics labs, students recorded and observed the melting point of unknown liquids using a new technology piece (Lab Quest). They then analyzed their data to determine if the temperature at which a pure sample boils is a characteristic property of the substance.

  • Seventh Graders Find Bacteriology Infectious

    Posted November 5, 2014

    The seventh graders have been immersed in bacteriology the past couple of weeks. “So far,” said science teacher Matthew Lowe, “they have inoculated their nutrient agar petri dish, created a ‘wild plate’ of bacteria, and now are attempting to isolate a pure culture.” This week, they conducted a quadrant streak—a technique for microbial inoculation in which a single colony is isolated on a culture plate divided into four sections—in hopes of isolating a species of bacteria in preparation for gram staining microscope slides. MORE PHOTOS

  • Plant and Animal Cells Make a Colorful—If Not Edible—Project

    Posted October 23, 2014

    Seventh graders recently engaged in a project called "The Incredible Edible Cell." Using all shapes and sorts of candies immersed in gelatin, students worked in teams to replicate the cellular structures of both plant and animal cells. They then had to justify their choices for using various shapes to represent each cellular component. Inspite of the title and their eye-appeal, the projects were not consumed upon completion! MORE PHOTOS

  • Eighth Graders Apply Design Thinking to Science Experiments

    Posted September 30, 2014

    Through a “design thinking” lens, eighth grade students designed lab experiments to answer the question “Does mass change in a closed system?” Working in teams, they collected quantitative and qualitative data that they used to answer the question and then, using Prezi or PowerPoint, created electronic presentations to reveal their hypotheses and findings to their class community. MORE PHOTOS