Vernier Science Education - June  2024


Forums / Physical Science / Math in the middle school science classroom

Physical Science

Math in the middle school science classroom

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Sten Odenwald Sten Odenwald 10 Points

I am curious to know whether it is common to use math of any kind in the middle school classroom. Temperature conversions and metric conversions seem obvious, but do any of you have experience with more aggressive problems like working with linear trends (global warming), or volume formula for cylinders, spheres etc which is more algebraic?

Betty Paulsell Betty Paulsell 48560 Points

It is very common to use math in middle school because science cannot exist without math. But the main problem you will run into is the math knowledge level of your students. There will be a wide range in their abilities which may cause some problems with everyone understanding the more advanced math.

Lynnea Weissman Lynnea Weissman 300 Points

Hi, I teach 8th grade physical science. We solve density problems. We also solve for speed and acceleration. I have them look at force problems. But most importantly I emphasize data using different types of graphs and tables. So in short, yes, we use math every day, simple math.

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

There is a web seminar coming up soon that speaks to using math int he middle school classroom. Registration is open!! Web Seminar Web Seminar: Linear Equations: NASA Connect – Breaking Barriers, November 21, 2013 Grade Level: Informal Education, Middle School This web seminar for educators of students in grades 6–8 features the student activity “Breaking Barriers.” Web seminar participants will receive an overview of the activity and discover strategies for classroom implementation. Participants will learn how the lesson addresses national science, technology, and mathematics learning standards, including the middle school physical science performance expectations of the Next Generation Science Standards.

Karen Weir-Brown Karen Weir-Brown 25355 Points

I am in the same spot as Lynnea using math for density and acceleration calculations as well as graphing. For my 6th grade classes, we bring in a lot of ratios and equivalent fractions for various lessons. I've been trying to get our math and science departments to work together using data collected in lab or continuation of graph analysis between the classes but I'm not having much luck. Does anyone have a lesson that worked well or had success in a similar activity? Another big area for math in my 6th grade classes is teaching conversions within the metric system.

Molly Duffield Molly Duffield 2945 Points

I teach 7th grade physical science and we use math a lot! We have graphed ramp height vs. distance traveled for a golf ball rolling down hill and found the relationship. Students know how to draw lines of best fit, and extrapolate. We found final temperatures when mixing two different temperatures of water, and just finished calculating heat transfers. We also will use math for density, solving speed equations, and acceleration. We also focus on what position vs time graphs look like based on scenarios and then draw velocity vs time graphs based on them. This is a hodge-podge of examples, but in short, we use math daily!

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