Grade 8 Cells Chapter 5: Cells in Their Environment

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Course Description

Cells are the smallest unit of life, and each cell is a system nested within a system. In Grade 8, students will continue to develop their knowledge of organisms by focusing on the structure and function of cells in plants and animals. Our knowledge of cells has increased enormously since the middle of the twentieth century, and students will examine the implications of this knowledge for individuals, society, and the environment.

Course Objective

At the end of this course, children will be able to:

  • Follow established safety procedures for handling apparatus and materials (e.g., wash hands after preparing materials for slides) and use microscopes correctly and safely (e.g., carry the microscope with both hands, place it near the center of the desk, ensure that the sun cannot be directly focused through the instrument when sunlight is used for illumination, keep both eyes open when viewing to avoid eye strain)
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the postulates of the cell theory (e.g., the cell is the basic unit of life; all cells come from pre-existing cells; all living things are made up of one or more cells)
  • Identify structures and organelles in cells, including the nucleus, cell membrane, cell wall, chloroplasts, vacuole, mitochondria, and cytoplasm, and explain the basic functions of each (e.g., the nucleus holds all the information needed to make every cell in the body)
  • Compare the structure and function of plant and animal cells
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Technology comprises an entire system of people and organizations, knowledge, processes, and devices that go into creating and operating technological artifacts, as well as the artifacts themselves. Modern technology is a product of science and engineering, and technological tools are used in both fields
Science is the study of the natural world, including the laws of nature associated with physics, chemistry, and biology and the treatment or application of facts, principles, concepts, and conventions. Science is a body of knowledge that has been accumulated over time.
Engineering is both a body of knowledge—about the design and creation of human-made products—and a process for solving problems. Engineering utilizes concepts from science and mathematics as well as technological tools.

Magic Milk Experiment

When dish soap is dropped into milk, there is a swirl of activity of soap molecules finding and bonding with fat molecules in the milk. With millions of molecules swirling around looking for mates, the colors in the milk get all mixed up!

Dry Ice Experiment

Dry Ice is a fun and cold experiment. There’s many things you can create, so what can you make with dry ice?
Dry ice is a cool and a fun outdoor experiment. Have you ever worked with it? The big caution is that you don’t want to touch it less it burns your skin. Got that? So it has to be handled with tongs and/or insulated gloves.

DIY Lava Lamp Experiment

With this project, you can make your own (temporary) DIY lava lamp with household materials! It’s easy and safe, and it looks very cool.
This lava lamp experiment is super cool! Your kids will love exploring colored water and oil, but a surprise ingredient will make this science activity even more exciting! It’s always a hit with the kids. So grab a few household supplies and give this lava lamp science activity a try!