Laura Koerner, 8th gr. Science

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7th & 8th Grade Science Teacher

2013-2014 will be my 5th year teaching science for COA Middle School. I am also the mother of 2 teenage boys who recently graduated from middle school. I hold a Master's In Ecology from UC Davis. I love to cook and bake. I love day-hiking and camping, and I also love to read.

Educational Philosophy: I'm basically a constructivist, which means that I believe people learn best by doing. Whenever possible, I like to set up learning situations that lead students to make discoveries of their own.

"Tell me, and I forget. Teach me, and I remember. Involve me, and I learn."

Benjamin Franklin

Here is what we cover in 8th grade Physical Science class:

· Motion, including position, speed, velocity, acceleration, and interpreting graphs displaying these parameters over time

· Forces, including Newton's Laws of Motion, gravitation, and friction

· Density and Buoyancy, including the calculation of density and Archimedes' Principle

· Structure of Matter, including atoms and their components, molecules, states of matter, and the periodic table of elements

· Chemical Interactions, including conservation of mass, conservation of energy, chemical and physical reactions, and acidic, basic or neutral solutions

· Chemistry of Living Systems, including the central role of carbon in living organisms, as well as the other five elements (and macromolecules) important to life

· The Structure and Composition of the Universe, including the solar system, stars, galaxies and measurements for the vastness of space

· Investigation and Experimentation, including utilizing the Scientific Method to ask testable questions, collect data and display meaningful results, evaluating data, distinguishing between variables and controlled parameters, and recognizing linear relationships