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Science & Nature

8th Grade Middle School Science /Lab

This 20-week course provides hands-on experiences that engage and help the student to understand the basics: Scientific Method, Earth's structure and processes, Space, Force, Motion, Waves, Matter, and Chemistry.
Patricia Valdez
150 total reviews for this teacher
3 reviews for this class
Completed by 9 learners
50 minutes
per class
Once per week
over 20 weeks
year olds
learners per class
per learner - per class

How does a "Multi-Day" course work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

How Outschool Works

Available Times


Mon, Jan 9, 2023

Jan 9 – May 22, 2023 (20 weeks)
3:00 – 3:50 PM
Don't see a time that works for you?


Class Experience

We do use an online textbook for this class and other website references to complete this course. Youtube videos and worksheets are also incorporated into the learning process. There are no written exams. Students are evaluated by homework that is submitted and through oral discussion.


Scientific Inquiry
1: Design a controlled scientific investigation.
2: Recognize the importance of a systematic process for safely and accurately conducting
3: Construct explanations and conclusions from interpretations of data obtained during a
controlled scientific investigation.
4: Generate questions for further study on the basis of prior investigations.
5 Safely use appropriate tools and instruments (including convex lenses, plane mirrors, color
filters, prisms, and slinky springs) safely and accurately when conducting a controlled
scientific investigation.
6 Evaluate a student's understanding of different lab equipment through a Pictionary game.


Earth's Biological History
 The student will demonstrate an understanding of Earth’s biological diversity
through time.
1: Explain how biological adaptations of populations enhance their survival in a
particular environment.
2: Summarize how scientists study Earth’s past environment and diverse life-forms by
examining different types of fossils (including molds, casts, petrified fossils, preserved
and carbonized remains of plants and animals, and trace fossils).
3: Explain how Earth’s history has been influenced by catastrophes (including the impact
of an asteroid or comet, climatic changes, and volcanic activity) that have affected the
conditions on Earth and the diversity of its life-forms.
4: Recognize the relationship among the units—era, epoch, and period—into which the
geologic time scale is divided.
5: Illustrate the vast diversity of life that has been present on Earth over time by using the
geologic time scale.
6: Infer the relative age of rocks and fossils from index fossils and the ordering of the
rock layers. 
7: Summarize the factors, both natural and man-made, that can contribute to the
extinction of a species.


Earth's Structures and Processes

The student will demonstrate an understanding of materials that determine the
structure of Earth and the processes that have altered this structure. (Earth
1: Summarize the three layers of Earth—crust, mantle, and core—on the basis of relative
position, density, and composition.
2: Explain how scientists use seismic waves—primary, secondary, and surface waves—
and Earth’s magnetic fields to determine the internal structure of Earth.
3: Infer an earthquake’s epicenter from seismographic data.
4: Explain how igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks are interrelated in the rock
5: Summarize the importance of minerals, ores, and fossil fuels as Earth resources on the
basis of their physical and chemical properties.
6: Explain how the theory of plate tectonics accounts for the motion of the lithospheric
plates, the geologic activities at the plate boundaries, and the changes in landform
areas over geologic time.
7: Illustrate the creation and changing of landforms that have occurred through geologic
processes (including volcanic eruptions and mountain-building forces).
8: Explain how earthquakes result from forces inside Earth.
9: Identify and illustrate geologic features of regions of the world through the use of
imagery (including aerial photography and satellite imagery) and topographic maps.


The student will demonstrate an understanding of the characteristics, structure,
and predictable motions of celestial bodies. (Earth Science)
1: Summarize the characteristics and movements of objects in the solar system (including
planets, moons, asteroids, comets, and meteors).
2: Summarize the characteristics of the surface features of the Sun: photosphere, corona,
sunspots, prominences, and solar flares.
3: Explain how the surface features of the Sun may affect Earth.
4: Explain the motions of Earth and the Moon and the effects of these motions as they
orbit the Sun (including day, year, phases of the Moon, eclipses, and tides).
5: Explain how the tilt of Earth’s axis affects the length of the day and the amount of
heating on Earth’s surface, thus causing the seasons of the year. 
6: Explain how gravitational forces are influenced by mass and distance.
7: Explain the effects of gravity on tides and planetary orbits.
8: Explain the difference between mass and weight by using the concept of gravitational
9: Recall the Sun’s position in the universe, the shapes, and composition of galaxies, and
the distance measurement unit (light year) needed to identify star and galaxy locations.
10: Compare the purposes of the tools and the technology that scientists use to study space
(including various types of telescopes, satellites, space probes, and spectroscopes).


Forces and Motion
The student will demonstrate an understanding of the effects of forces on the
motion of an object. (Physical Science)

1: Use measurement and time-distance graphs to represent the motion of an object in
terms of its position, direction, or speed.
2: Use the formula for average speed, v = d/t, to solve real-world problems. (Basic Algebra will be useful.)
3: Analyze the effects of forces (including gravity and friction) on the speed and
the direction of an object.  (Basic Algebra will be useful.)
4: Predict how varying the amount of force or mass will affect the motion of an object.
5: Analyze the resulting effect of balanced and unbalanced forces on an object’s motion
in terms of magnitude and direction.
6: Summarize and illustrate the concept of inertia.
7. Learn the different basic types of energy and solve some basic problems.  (Basic Algebra will be useful.)


The student will demonstrate an understanding of the properties and
behaviors of waves. (Physical Science)
1: Recall that waves transmit energy but not matter.
2: Distinguish between mechanical and electromagnetic waves.
3: Summarize factors that influence the basic properties of waves (including frequency,
amplitude, wavelength, and speed).
4: Summarize the behaviors of waves (including refraction, reflection, transmission, and
5: Explain hearing in terms of the relationship between sound waves and the ear.
6: Explain sight in terms of the relationship between the eye and the light waves emitted
or reflected by an object.
7: Explain how the absorption and reflection of light waves by various materials result in
the human perception of color.


The Chemical Nature of Matter
The student will demonstrate an understanding of the classifications and
properties of matter and the changes that matter undergoes. (Physical Science)
1: Recognize that matter is composed of extremely small particles called atoms.
2: Classify matter as an element, compound, or mixture on the basis of its composition.


Basic Chemistry
1: Compare the physical properties of metals and nonmetals.
2: Use the periodic table to identify the basic organization of elements and groups of
elements (including metals, nonmetals, and families).
3: Translate chemical symbols and the chemical formulas of common substances to
show the component parts of the substances (including NaCl [table salt], H2O
[water], C6H12O6 [simple sugar], O2 [oxygen gas], CO2 [carbon dioxide], and N2
[nitrogen gas]).
4: Distinguish between acids and bases and use Indicators: (including litmus paper, pH
paper and phenolphthalein) to determine their relative pH.
5: Identify the reactants and products in chemical equations.
6: Explain how a balanced chemical equation supports the law of conservation of
7: Compare physical properties of matter (including melting or boiling point, density,
and color) to the chemical property of reactivity with a certain substance (including
the ability to burn or to rust).
8: Compare physical changes (including changes in size, shape, and state) to chemical
changes that are the result of chemical reactions (including changes in color or
temperature and formation of a precipitate.)
I am a Secondary Certified Teacher with a lifetime certification in Education. My major is Biology and my minor is Art. I've been teaching Health, General Science, Physical Science, Chemistry, Biology, Advanced Biology for over thirty-five years to middle and high school students worldwide. I've taught in public, private, Montessori, and home school groups. I also am ESL and CPR certified.
I also took the AMNH course The Dynamic Earth: A Course for Educators provides students with an overview of the origin and evolution of the Earth on in 2018. 
Further background information can be found on my LinkedIn: 
Students will be responsible for reading the required reading assignments prior to each lesson. Reading is from various online textbooks that are available to the student in pdf format or the web. If there are any handouts or diagrams, they are to be completed prior to or during class time upon the teacher's instructions. There will be optional online quizzes.
Students will need a notebook, compass (that draws circles), paper, pencil, colored pencils, or markers. Please have plenty of printer ink on hand so that handouts may be printed. There may be one or two sheets a week that need to be printed. Lab supplies will be listed on a weekly basis prior to class. Most lab supplies can be found in the home. If there is something that needs to be purchased and cannot be found due to current situations, students may just observe. I do my best to offer substitutes so that all students can do the lab.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
Students are orally assessed and graded by the completion of homework assignments. The teacher will ask students various questions to see if they retained the information that was to be studied prior to each lesson. Homework is reviewed during class time so students need to complete the assignments in order to participate in class discussions. Assignments must be uploaded or emailed to the instructor so that they can be recorded as having been completed.


If a parent needs a letter grade at the end of completion, I will be glad to assess them and give them a final grade. This may come either as a multiple-choice test or written evaluation. This will not occur during class time.
50 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 2 - 4 hours per week outside of class.
I do use Youtube to help students further understand the material. Please note that there may be some ads that I have no control over.
All websites will be submitted on a weekly basis prior to class time. Students should find these links in the classroom.


Patricia Valdez
Lives in the United States
Energetic and Engaging!
150 total reviews
177 completed classes

About Me

Hello, My name is Patricia Valdez. I love teaching! 

I am a wife. I have four sons (who were homeschooled all the way thru to high school) and seven grandchildren. Recently, we now have a foster grandchild. I am bilingual. I speak both English... 
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