• Physical Science Honors Syllabus

    Stephen Hamby

    Howard Middle School, Bldg. 15, Room 5



    Assignment weights:

    Tests, Project-related Assignments, Presentations:  40%

    Assessments (including Quizzes):  25%                

    Class Work:  25%; 

    Homework:  10%          


    Course Description:

    The third year of middle school science incorporates content from the disciplines of both chemistry and physics.  Students focus on thematic units about the properties of matter, the Periodic Table of Elements, atomic theory, energy, forces, motion, and waves.


    Within each unit of study, students will develop an understanding of scientific facts and concepts, methods and techniques of science, terminology, and applications of science to the real world. The focus throughout the year is to provide relevance and to enable the students to become more scientifically literate by exploring how various issues within the science content relate to the student individually as well as in a local, national, and global context. Students will be given opportunities to develop inquiry skills and apply critical thinking skills as they practice scientific methods and solve problems in science. The students will also be given opportunities to explore the ethics of science as it relates to topics in the third year curriculum. Throughout the year students will practice various modes of communicating scientific concepts they are learning as a class and are discovering through independent research.


    Class Supplies:  Please bring the following supplies to class each day:  your folder with plenty of paper, composition book, pencils and pens (blue or black ink for assignments and red for correcting), highlighter, and colored pencils.


    Class Expectations:  Be on time.  Be prepared.  Begin working when you arrive in class.  Write startups in your composition book.  Show respect to others and to school property.  Write the daily agenda in your planner each day.  Keep completed assignments/labs in a binder or folder.  No gum allowed.  Consequences for inappropriate behavior will be dealt with according to the discipline plan in the student handbook.


    Homework:  Assignments will be projected on the board in class and should be recorded in your planner.  Late assignments will receive a maximum of 50% credit.  Do not copy from another student.  It will result in a zero.  Even if written work is not assigned, you are still responsible for studying the material we are covering in class and working on mastering the objectives.  Successful students will be reading over notes, reviewing the text material, and studying the vocabulary for the unit a few minutes each night.  Do not wait until the night before a test to study.


    Absences and Makeup Work:  If a student is absent, then it is the student’s responsibility to check Microsoft Teams for the work that was missed and copy the class notes from a classmate.  Unless specified otherwise, work missed due to absences is due within the same length of time as the number of absent days. 


    Lab Activities:  It is extremely important to follow the rules and lab procedures properly to insure maximum learning and safety. Students who attempt to disrupt these activities or who cannot be trusted to handle equipment properly will lose the privilege of participating in the activities. Lab safety rules and procedures will be discussed in class.  Labs cannot be repeated for absent students.  A one page written summary of the lab’s scientific principles/results (or another teacher-approved assignment) will be submitted based on research and dialogue with classmates who completed the lab.