The first five chapters in part 2 of Resources for Teaching Middle School Science include annotations for an extensive selection of currently available print curriculum materials, produced between 1987 and 1998, for teaching hands-on, inquiry-centered science in grades six through eight. These materials were selected for inclusion in the guide on the basis of a set of evaluation criteria, developed by the National Science Resources Center, that incorporate the goals and principles defined in the National Science Education Standards.

The five chapters and examples of the topics they include are—

  • Chapter 1, "Physical Science," which includes materials on such topics as the chemistry of matter, heat energy, electricity and magnetism, and sound and light.

  • Chapter 2, "Life Science," which includes materials on topics such as cells, plants and animals, heredity, human biology and health, and biodiversity.

  • Chapter 3, "Environmental Science," which includes materials on topics such as acid rain, global warming, and pollution. (These materials may approach their subject from the perspective of the life, physical, and/or earth sciences, but the overall topic is of an "environmental" nature.)

  • Chapter 4, "Earth and Space Science," which includes materials on topics such as the earth and other planets, earthquakes, rocks and minerals, weather, and oceanography.

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