6th Grade Physical Science Syllabus


    Physical Science 6 is a year long physical science course that covers basic middle school physics and chemistry concepts as well as the engineering design process and the nature of science. You will learn about the properties of matter and waves, how materials and atoms interact in physical and chemical changes, the different types of energy in our world, and the forces that affect an object’s motion. We will use observations, laboratory investigations, and problem solving to analyze and understand the science of everyday physics and chemical phenomena. 


    Materials to Bring to Class Everyday:

    • Science only binder (we will keep these in the classroom)
    • Charged iPad  
    • Pen or pencil


    Standards and Benchmarks: 

    The standards addressed in this course are the Minnesota Academic Science Standards for 6th grade. These standards and benchmarks are covered in the following units. 




    Safety, Rituals, Routines 

    1 week 

    Nature of Science and Engineering

    * Practicing the skills and ways of thinking like a scientist

    * Learning and participating in the engineering design process

    * Solving an engineering problem using the engineering design process through research, design, and evaluation

    3 weeks
    plus 2 weeks embedded throughout the year and 3 weeks at the end of the year

    Matter, Chemistry and Heat

    *Learning what matter is made of and observing how it physically and chemically changes form

    *Measuring and experimenting with density, dissolving, compression, and diffusion 

    10 weeks 

    Motion and Energy Transformations
    *Describing the laws of motion and the forces that act between objects 

    *Observing mechanical (potential and kinetic), electrical, chemical, and thermal energy transformations and creating systems where these energy transformations occur

    13 weeks 

    Heat Energy and Waves

    *Describing and experimenting with the properties of sound and light waves

    6 weeks 


    This course uses inquiry activities in an experimental setting, with a strong emphasis on the content and the process of science and the engineering design cycle. We will explore scientific concepts through group and individual work. Activities may include hands-on activities, modeling, projects, scientific investigations, real-world observations, data collection, data analysis and discussions. 



    The goal of this class is for students to demonstrate proficiency or mastery on the science standards.  We will do several practice activities leading up to assessments. If a student does not perform well on one or more parts of an assessment, re-learning and re-assessments are available. 


    Practice assignments (labs, class notes, textbook readings, etc.) will make up 20% of the student grade.  


    Assessments (quizzes, tests, and projects) will make up 80% of the student grade.  

    Students who have completed the practice assignments of a unit as well as a review sheet will be able to retake quizzes when ready. The highest score will be put into Schoology.


    Assessments will be graded on a 4-point scale reflecting how well the learner has mastered each part of the standard.  The proficiency scale is:

    Mastery at advanced level 4

    Proficient at standard 3

    Meets standard at a basic level 2

    Progressing toward meeting at basic level 1          

    Not yet progressing toward meeting/no evidence 0

    Grades and assignments can be accessed at schoology.spps.org


    Instructional Materials: 

    Interactive Science: Introduction to Chemistry, Pearson, 2011 

    Interactive Science: Forces and Energy, Pearson, 2011 

    Interactive Science: Light and Sound, Pearson, 2011 

    Discovery Techbook: Discovery Education  

    (digital curriculum found at spps.discoveryeducation.com) 


    Contact Information:

    Office Phone: 651-325-2500 ext 45266

    Karina Zambreno karina.zambreno@spps.org


    I am looking forward to a fun year of scientific discovery!