In each year of Middle School at MIS, students cover the same three branches of Science in increasing depth and complexity, each branch with one or more units including:
- Life Science
- Earth Science
- Matter and Energy
- Energy Resources (plus transfers and transformations)
Although our curriculum is based on the Next Generation Science standards, it is actually a hybrid of these and the Texas standards (TEKS) for a number of reasons.
- The Next Generation standards provide deeper and richer standards and are used in conjunction with the Texas standards to provide more rigor.
- When students leave Magellan, most attend a Texas high school, most of which teach the Texas standards and we want them to be competitive in any school they attend.
While at Magellan, students are provided multiple opportunities each year to carry out scientific investigations on their own, something not possible in the larger classes at large schools. This repeated practice over the years enables students in our program to deeply learn the fundamentals of the scientific method and processes of science; the research, the observation, the repetition, the communication; the analysis of data, the evaluation of reliability and validity, and that when you get results that are not supported by your hypothesis, you are not wrong. Our method of assessing students values analysis and original thinking about complex real-world problems, not just a telling back of facts they remember.
While students may not cover all the small facts their public school counterparts do, they are taught to access information from multiple sources they have evaluated for accuracy, and synthesize and communicate that knowledge in their own way. Students can always look up facts, but deeply learning to gather, organize, evaluate and analyze data and then communicate it with originality in a meaningful way is one benefit of Science at The Magellan International School.