Middle School: Systems

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This year, we'll think about things in terms of systems, for example: the Earth as a system; the human body as a system; a cell as a system; computers as systems.

Systems interact with each other, but each can be pictured (modeled) as a discrete thing, that has certain things going on inside, but takes in inputs and produces outputs that affect other systems around it.

We'll start by talking about the Earth as a System.

General Resources


  • Quizzes: 25%
  • Projects and Reports: 50%
  • Exams: 25%


Earth Systems

Earth History



  • Energy Cycle
  • Water Cycle
  • Geologic Cycle
  • Carbon Cycle


Biological Systems

Genetics and Evolution



Organ Systems


Atoms and Molecules

  • Assignments
    • Memorize the first 20 elements in order of their atomic number.
    • Create notecards for the first 20 elements using Bohr diagrams to show their electron shells.


Organic Chemistry

Extracting DNA Project

Computer Systems


  • Parts of a computer:
  • Dissecting a computer
  • Raspberry Pi's
  • Microcontrollers
    • Arduinos


  • Operating System
  • File System
  • Programs and applications
  • Programming


  • How the internet works: [1]
  • Using the internet safely:
  • Discussion topic: Net nutrality

Outdoor Education

This year's trip is to Eminence, MO where we will work on teambuilding and Earth Science. Teambuilding will include high and low challenge activities, an overnight canoe trip on the current river, rock-climbing, and caving. Earth Science will focus on the formation and history of the Ozark Mountains in terms of plate tectonics and karst (limestone) geology.

Our program is run through Discovery Ministries who we have worked with for a number of years (this will be my third trip with them) who have provide a safe, thoughtful, and fulfilling experience in the past. Although they are a religiously affiliated organization, our program will be secular.


Additional Information:

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