Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

kristin0713

why physical science in 9th grade?

Recommended Posts

My daughter is in 8th grade this year and I'm looking into her science sequence for high school.  A lot of programs that I'm looking at do Physical Science in 9th grade.  I don't see the point of this if they will do chemistry and/or chem and physics later?  Our local high school does earth science in 9th grade, which I thought was pretty standard, and gives more exposure to different science topics.  

My daughter right now is saying that she wants to be a marine biologist, but to be honest, she's not really a math and science person.  I think that with a lot of work and commitment, she could definitely be successful in it.  Either way, I want to give her the right courses for high school that will not limit her later on.  So I'm wondering what the best science sequence is for her?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think many schools used to do physical science because the kids didn't have the math for physics & chem yet. My high school did Bio in 9th for that reason.

The best science sequence for her is whatever the best science sequence is for her interests & path.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our local high school used to do physical science in middle school and then start biology in 9th. A few years ago they changed it and now all students are required to have physical science in 9th grade. Some of the other local schools do physical science in high school now too. I wonder if they did that because not enough students get to chemistry or physics.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, RootAnn said:

I think many schools used to do physical science because the kids didn't have the math for physics & chem yet. My high school did Bio in 9th for that reason.

The best science sequence for her is whatever the best science sequence is for her interests & path.

 

8 minutes ago, mom2scouts said:

I wonder if they did that because not enough students get to chemistry or physics.

 

I am planning for her to do bio and chem for sure.  She's not "mathy" but she is doing fine in math, and will do algebra 1 in 9th grade.  I could see her hating physics honestly.  So...if she were to do bio in 9th, chem in tenth, then a semester of marine bio and a semester of zoology--how would that look on a transcript?  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, kristin0713 said:

I am planning for her to do bio and chem for sure.  She's not "mathy" but she is doing fine in math, and will do algebra 1 in 9th grade.  I could see her hating physics honestly.  So...if she were to do bio in 9th, chem in tenth, then a semester of marine bio and a semester of zoology--how would that look on a transcript?  


It would look like 3 credits of Science with labs, which is fine for a non-STEM student. Most non-selective/competitive colleges are absolutely fine with that. Only a few colleges require specific Science credits, and even then, it is usually Biology and Chemistry. I've not seen Physics required for entrance to college (unless possibly heading into a STEM degree/department).

On the transcript it might look like this:

SCIENCE, with labs = 3.0 credits
 9th = 1.0 credit = Science: Biology
10th = 1.0 credit = Science: Chemistry
11th = 0.5 credit = Science: Marine Biology
12th = 0.5 credit = Science: Zoology

Edited by Lori D.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no reason to do physical science in 9th if your student is going to do chemistry and physics later on.  While it is not ideal to do biology first, it does alleviate the problem of not enough math for chemistry and physics.  I recommend doing biology, chemistry, and physics in that order and then picking an advanced elective for the senior year.  

Under no circumstances would I label your daughter as "not really a math and science person."  I was also not really a math and science person in high school.  Math was a disaster (Ds and Fs), and I took only biology in high school (biology, marine biology, botany, and AP Biology).  After much mucking about, I ended up majoring in biochemistry, and I now teach other people's children math (and am considering getting a second bachelor's degree in math).  Given my own experience, my advice is to prepare your daughter as best you can while allowing her to remain true to her strengths and interests.

Edited by EKS
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did it differently for one of mine. She did physical science in 7th, biology in 8th, chemistry in 9th, advanced biology (physiology and anatomy) in 10th, astronomy in 11th leaving 12 for physics, which in the end she decided not to do. She took this route because she took whatever co-op was offering at the time and was capable of high school work from middle school on. She won't get credit for the physical science year.

My next did physical in 9th, biology in 10th, will do chemistry in 11th. That leaves 12th for physics as well, but since she's only required three lab classes to fulfill the college prep program she's enrolled infir tuition waivers through our state, my guess is that she'll choose not to take physics either. I felt her physical science book included some topics that overlap into earth science, but not all. A great deal of it was intro to physics and chemistry with only a little math. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Lori D. said:

Only a few colleges require specific Science credits, and even then, it is usually Biology and Chemistry. I've not seen Physics required for entrance to college.

True. Some are completely unspecific; others might say x credits total with a minimim of one credit each of biological science (Bio) & physical science (Physics or Chem).

My DD didn't find that any of hers required biology. Certain majors can require extra. My alma mater still requires both Chemistry AND Physics (with absolutely no mention of Biology) for entrance as an engineering major. But for all the rest, it just says 3 science credits with at least one lab science. So, YMMV. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Lori D. said:


 I've not seen Physics required for entrance to college.

 

I have, but it's a STEM/ engineering focused school.

Edited by MamaSprout
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, EKS said:

Under no circumstances would I label your daughter as "not really a math and science person." 

I would never tell her this.  I'm just trying to be realistic for her as we think about high school.  Her strengths are definitely in Language Arts.  She is doing fine in math with a lot of consistent work, but she doesn't like putting the work in and it doesn't come naturally to her the way it does to my son who is very math and engineering minded.  Again--not something I would ever say to her.  I definitely want to provide her with the right opportunities and classes to pursue her interests and help her succeed in whatever path she chooses.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, kristin0713 said:

I would never tell her this.

I think it is best to not even think in terms of STEM and not-STEM people.  Other than raw intelligence, there is no essential quality that makes a person good at math and science; there is only skill development and interest, and these can change over a lifetime.  If she is interested in marine biology, she can develop the skills necessary to get there.

9 hours ago, kristin0713 said:

Why is it not ideal to do biology first?

Modern biology is built on chemistry and chemistry is built on physics.  So in order to fully understand chemistry, you must understand physics, and to fully understand biology you must understand chemistry. 

The problem is that in order to fully understand physics, you must understand math at a level that most 9th graders don't.  So to do physics first it is necessary to dumb it down--and that need has given rise to what is called "conceptual" physics, which, while helpful for making physics more accessible to larger numbers of students, also loses the power and clarity that math brings.  It is also the reasoning behind doing physical science in 8th or 9th grade--give an introduction to physics and chemistry so that that knowledge is in place before taking biology.  But physical science suffers from the same problems that conceptual physics does, in addition to the fact that it is generally looked down upon as a lesser/middle school course.

In my view, physics first may be nice, but at the high school level, it just isn't necessary to take the bottom up approach, especially if you must dumb down physics to do it.

Edited by EKS
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, EKS said:

  I was also not really a math and science person in high school.  Math was a disaster (Ds and Fs), and I took only biology in high school (biology, marine biology, botany, and AP Biology).  After much mucking about, I ended up majoring in biochemistry, and I now teach other people's children math (and am considering getting a second bachelor's degree in math).   

Do you see anything in particular as a turning point? Like do you think your brain needed to be ready for abstract thinking, or you had to mature enough to put in the work, or it was a question of being interested enough to do the math? 

Also, that is a hilarious amount of biology 😂 I've never known anyone who took four bio classes in high school!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, katilac said:

Do you see anything in particular as a turning point? Like do you think your brain needed to be ready for abstract thinking, or you had to mature enough to put in the work, or it was a question of being interested enough to do the math? 

I never learned arithmetic properly because I found it boring and not worthy of my attention, so that made learning everything else difficult.  I really wish my parents had insisted that I learn math properly starting in early elementary school, but they didn't, and instead wrote me off as a "humanities type."  In spite of my terrible record, I did reasonably well on the math portion of the SAT, and in college I was somehow able to pass two semesters of calculus--the requirement for the biochem major.

What helped was homeschooling--learning math from the beginning thoroughly enough to teach it well and then progressing in this way through calculus.

Edited by EKS
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our district starts with bio in 9th, chem in 10th and then those wishing to take APs can go on to take AP Chem and AP Bio in 11th and 12th. 

Physical Science is done in 8th grade here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, daijobu said:

You are a homeschooler.  You can do whatever you want.  

I live in NJ so I'm well aware that I can do whatever I want.  What I want to do is prepare my kids the best that I can so that they are not limited by what I didn't offer them.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my local high school the 9th graders who are not going to progress far in science take integrated chemistry and physics (basically physical science), then they take biology in 10th grade. The more advanced students skip ICP and go straight to biology, chemistry, and physics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...