• Mrs. Vaughn’s

    Seventh Grade Science/STEM Syllabus



    Course Description:

    Welcome to my class! This year, students will explore areas of science using inquiry-based discovery.  Some major focal points include the scientific method, measurement and observation, the history of science and various social perspectives of science while improving reading, writing and math skills.


    Yearly Plan of Action: This is a guideline of the topics we will be covering this year:

    • Nature of Scienceand Science Fair (Quarter 1)

    Scientific Method, Inquiry Process, Measurement, Types of Observations, Science Fair

    • Astronomy (Quarter 2)

    Moon Phases, Tides, Planets, Stars, Constellations, Seasonal Rotations

    • Geology (Quarter 3) 

    Composition of the Earth, Plate Tectonics, Minerals and Rocks, Rock Cycle

    • Physics (Quarter 4)

    Matter, Particles, Forces, Energy Transfer




    Course Description STEM:

    Welcome to my class! This year, students will experience the Engineering Design Process through project based inquiry.  Some major focal points include the engineering design process, measurement, 3D computer based design, as well as VEX Robotics builds and programming. Students will work collaboratively in rotating groups.  Students will present their findings at the end of each project.

    Yearly Plan of Action STEM: This is a guideline of the topics we will be covering this year:

    • Engineering (Design and Modeling) 1st quarter/3rd quarter 
      • What is an Engineer?, Engineering Design Process, Design Briefs, CAD models, Presentations
    • Robotics (Automation and Robotics) 2nd quarter/4th quarter
      • Mechanisms, Testbeds, Vex Kit Builds, ROBOTC Programming, Presentations

     Classwork and Homework:

    • Students will have a variety of assignments throughout the year including note-taking, reading, marking the text, problem-solving, summarizing, lab investigations, etc. Work to be completed at home should be recorded in their planners.
    • Most homework assignments are due 1 to 2 days after they are assigned. On the day the assignment is due, work should be turned into the correct period box to be checked by the teacher for completion/correctness.
    • All work should include student name and class period. Work not containing this information may be discarded.

     Late/Incomplete Work:

    • Assignments that are incomplete will NOT be accepted and will be considered late when completed. Late work cannot be resubmitted for a better grade.
    • Completed assignments will be accepted up to 3 days late. If a student continues to have missing work after 3 extra days, he/she will be issued a lunch detention to call home and notify family to make up that work AFTER SCHOOL. If students do not complete their work, their grade will remain a zero.
    • Turning in late work and work completed after school is the student’s responsibility!                        

    Absent Work:

    • If a student is absent, he/she will have the opportunity to make up missed work. It is the student’s responsibility to find out what needs to be made up and when the make-up work is due by checking with me as soon as he/she returns to class.
    • A pocket folder holds all missing work and is labeled by week.


    • Need a 1" 3 Ring Binder (dedicated solely for science), everything will be in a packet that will be placed in the notebook
    • Pen & Highlighter
    • Positive attitude and willingness to try everyday

    Grade Distribution SCIENCE: 

    Final grades will be determined by a percent-based scale for various types of assignments.

    Projects/Labs 30%

    Assessments 30%

    Classwork 30%

    Homework 10%

    -  Lab Reports

    - Article Analyses

    - Multi-day Assignments

    - Unit Tests

    -Vocabulary Quizzes

    -Final Exams

    -Follow-up Questions

    -Notes & Video Work

    -In-class Assignments


    - Warm-Ups & Review questions

    - Worksheets

    -Practice Problems

    -Note Summarizing


    Grade Distribution STEM ELECTIVE:

    Projects 50%

    Assessments 20%

    Classwork 20%

    Homework 10%

    - Reports

    - Multi-day Assignments

    -  Unit Tests

    - Vocabulary Quizzes

    - Final Exams

    - Follow-up Questions

    -  Notes & Video Work

    -  In-class Assignments

    -  Reflections

    - Warm-Ups & Review questions

    - Incomplete Classwork

    -Practice Problems

    - Note Summarizing

    The grade scale used to calculate the science grade is as follows:






    100% – 90%

    89% - 80%

    79% - 70%

    69% - 60%

    Below 60%

    Restroom Passes:

    • If a student needs to leave class to use the restroom, he/she must get the teacher pass and fill out the classroom sign-out sheet.

     Tardy Policy:

    • Students are required to be in the classroom when the bell rings. If a student comes into class late without a pass, he/she will be marked tardy. Excessive tardies will result in disciplinary action determined by the administration.
    • Students need to be in their seats, ready to work, as soon as the bell rings. Proper entry includes unpacking all needed materials, stowing backpacks neatly and being quietly attentive.                 

     Lunch Detentions:

    • Students can earn lunch detentions for poor behavior or for excessive missing work and must be in class by the time the first lunch bell rings. During this time, students will reflect on their behavior and/or call home. Lunch detention is only for the first half of the lunch period allowing time for students to have lunch. Skipping a lunch detention will result in a phone call home and a referral to the office.

    Science Fair

    • This year all 7th grade students are required to participate in the science fair. The bulk of the project will be done in class, with the experiment needing to be done outside of school. This is a semester 1 project; due in its entirety before Winter Break. There will be an informational night held, in early September, in the MPR. We will also talk about the field trip to Catalina Island Marine Institute coming this February.

    Classroom Pets:

    • The science classroom may contain live animals. At this time, we have an African Pancake Tortoise, names Sheldon. All students should show respoect and care for any pet animal in the science classroom. If students have allergies to animals or pet care products lie their bedding or hay, please notify Mrs. Vaughn immeditately so appropriate precautions can be taken.                                                             


    Reminders about SCIENCE Assignments:

    • Along with planner usage, Mrs. Vaughn will be using the app “Remind” to help students keep track of due dates.. These “reminds” will come either as text messages or notifications. Both parents and students are welcome to sign up! To sign up for reminder send a text message to 81010 with @avaughnsci in the text body.

    Reminders about STEM Assignments:

    •  To sign up for reminder send a text message to 81010 with @crossstem in the text body.

    Receiving Help from the Teacher:

    • Mrs. Vaughn is available to help students on assignments and labs, but a student MUST request help BEFORE the due date of an assignment. Asking for the help the day an assignment is due shows poor planning and will still follow the penalties for late assignments.
    • Vaughn will be available afterschool from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays and during lunches by request. This is subject to change.
    • Remember, you can also email Mrs. Vaughn if you having problems on an assignment for immediate help. The email address is avaughn@amphi.com.            

    Progress Reports/Report Cards:

    • This year, grades will be posted online and can be accessed through Parent Portal.
    • School-provided progress reports are issued the 4th week of each nine-week grading period.
    • Every student is able to receive a classroom report that includes specific assignments and grades upon request. Progress reports may also be requested from parents by contacting the teacher.
    • The ending dates for each grading period is as follows:

                First Quarter: October 11th 2019

                Second Quarter: December 19th 2019

                Third Quarter: March 13th 2020

                Fourth Quarter: May 21st 2020 – Includes the final grade for the course

    Parent Resources/Conferences:

    • Conferences are available:
      • By appointment (Contact Mrs. Vaughn to schedule)
    • Student-led parent conferences will be held in October
    • Retention conferences will be held following Winter Break
    • For any other questions or concerns throughout the school year, I can be contacted through email at avaughn@amphi.com or by phone from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM. My class phone number is 520-696-5975.                                                                                                

    I am looking forward to a successful year working with all of my 7th Graders in Science!

    Mrs. Vaughn