Engineering Design Day

On Thursday, April 14 the entire school spent the day engaged in the engineering process. The 8th grade worked together to build Trebuchets.
The amount of teamwork as well as the level of engagement and critical thought students put into their project was exemplary.
Ask students about the engineering design process and their work for this day.
And, a special thank you to Dr. P for facilitating!


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What’s Happening in Art, Humanities and Science?

In Art students have begun sketching the concept for their memorials, which are based on research done in Humanities. Over break, ask your child:
– What are the stages of genocide and did you find examples of those stages in your research?
– What is your memorial concept and what symbolism will you use?

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As part of the study of chemistry, eighth grade students studied homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures. In this experiment students investigated why the slogan for M&M’s is “melt in your mouth not in your hands.” The most common hypothesis was verified as the dye and candy coating dissolved. Ask an eighth grader about the unexpected result. What doesn’t dissolve? What happened to the m&m?

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Eighth Graders in Action

IMG_2695 On January 6, our own George Piepgras was invited by Massbike to testify at the state house about the necessity of bike safety laws. George shared a personal story about a time when he and his father were biking in Boston and his father was almost hit by a bus.
George became involved with the organization, Massbike, while conducting research on bike safety for his investigative journalism project. George has additional plans to hold a bike race with peers in an effort to raise further awareness about the importance of bike safety laws.
Click on the picture to get the full story from Wicked Local Marblehead.

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Have a Wonderful Vacation

Thank youThank you for the generous holiday gift. We wish everyone a relaxing vacation and a wonderful start to the new year.
Sincerely, The Eighth Grade Team

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Distinction in the Essential Habits

Congratulations to 8th Graders Brooke, Liz, Tyler and Will for demonstrating our Essential Habits of Leadership, Problem Solving, Perseverance and Perseverance with distinction. We’re proud of you and all your hard work!

Photo courtesy of Michael Condon

Photo courtesy of Michael Condon

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Observations in Science

Convection currents (2)Students conducted an experiment to observe the movements of convection currents to better understand the convection currents in the earth’s mantle and how they affect the movements of the tectonic plates.



How does investigating a cupcake relate to chemistry and earth science? Students received a cupcake with a variety of objects hidden inside. Using probes, they attempted to drill through the cupcake. At some locations, the “drill” wouldn’t penetrate due to a obstruction. After mapping the inside of the cupcake, they then took core samples with a clear straw which enabled them to actually see some of the inside of the cupcake and to perfect their maps. This method simulates the methods earth scientists used to collect evidence about the inner makeup of the earth using core samples and earthquake waves. Scientists like Rutherford used the behavior of refracting and reflecting alpha rays to determine the inner makeup of the atom.


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Class Trip Update

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We are very excited to announce that this year the annual 8th grade trip will actually be taking place in Washington D.C! As we want to keep challenging your children academically and socially, the switch from Canada to Washington D.C. made so much sense as it has such a strong tie to the curriculum.

We will be leading the trip in May 2016 and this is open to all 8th grade students. This is a great opportunity for them to see their class lessons come to life. It is also a chance for them to discover more about the world—as well as themselves. We will again traveling with EF Explore America, the world’s largest private educational organization. With 50 years’ experience, their unparalleled resources and expertise have helped millions of students step out of their comfort zones and into the world around them.

There will be a more formal parent meeting coming up in the fall, however, we wanted to get all the information about the preliminary itinerary and enrollment information so that you can sign up now and start your monthly payments.

Please do not hesitate to reach out in the meantime if you have any questions and go ahead and enroll your child as soon as possible! (See attached enrollment information- link provided below!)

We look forward to seeing you at the start of school!

Meghan Hale
8th Grade Humanities

Joshua Klein
EF Program Director

Enrollment Information

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2015-2016 Supply List


The number of items listed are minimums to start the year. Filler paper, graph paper, pens, pencils, etc.

will have to be replenished throughout the year. There will be additional requirements for Exhibition projects

and teachers may ask for additional supplies during the year. Label supplies with permanent marker.

Please bring your supplies on the first day of school unless indicated otherwise below.


  • Book cover for Geometry textbook
  • 1 calculator- A graphing calculator is preferred and will be needed for high school. Most high schools recommend TI 83+ or 84+ because the majority of textbooks are based on them.
  • 1 package of graph paper that is punched for binders.
  • Compass and Clear protractor
  • 2-3 spiral notebooks for homework (lined or graph paper)
  • 1 pack of thin dry erase markers for individual white boards (these will belong to each student, not the class)


  • Books- Students are required to own the novels we will be reading this year in order to be able to mark up the text. Required books are To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Night by Elie Wiesel, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.


  • 1 pack each of black or blue pens and red pens
  • Lots of pencils- Only pencils are allowed on all classwork and homework.
  • Eraser pencil tops and/or separate erasers
  • 1 zippered three ring pencil/pen pouch for binder(s)
  • 2 packs of college ruled punched filler paper for binder(s)
  • 2-3 packs of dividers for binders
  • Two 1 ½ -2 inch binders- one will be for math/science and one for humanities (not one giant binder)
  • Assorted magic markers
  • 3 boxes of tissues
  • Colored pencils
  • Glue sticks
  • 12” clear plastic ruler marked in both inches and centimeters
  • Post-it notes
  • Highlighters
  • Scissors
  • Plastic box or other container to hold extra materials in your cubby


  • CSL- 1 single subject spiral notebook
  • Art- One 8 ½ X 11” sketch book
  • French- French to English dictionary, Larousse Student Dictionary with illustrated vocabulary guide preferred
  • Spanish- a Spanish to English dictionary

EXHIBITION (Leave these supplies at home until asked to bring them to school. Additional supplies may be requested by various teachers before each Exhibition.

  • 2 tri-fold boards
  • 1 white foam core board 20 x 30”
  • 3 rolls of scotch tape that fit on dispensers (for use by the student for their own exhibition project, not the class)


  • An independent reading book must be in school every day.


The school is providing a Chromebook for 8th grade students. As described in our acceptable use policy, students are able to bring their personal devices as well. If your child is bringing a personal device, we recommend a Chromebook or another device with a physical keyboard as they are better equipped for writing.

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Science Exhibition II – Pedigree Project




Essential Question:

How are traits passed from one generation to the next to create unique individuals?

Project Description:

Using the information learned throughout the genetics unit, students will take a personal inventory of traits determined by simple inheritance rules. Students will then choose one of those traits to take an inventory of the expression of the phenotype of the trait in their extended family. Using that inventory, the students will create a pedigree chart tracing the inheritance of the trait and determining as many genotypes as possible.

Skills Learned, Expanded and Solidified:

  • Write a clear, concise analysis that uses proper scientific concepts and follows writing rubric
  • Use mathematical models to predict random outcomes.
  • Use deductive and inductive reasoning to determine genotypes of various phenotypes.
  • Express the scientific concept of a pedigree chart in a logical and creative manner.

Standards Addressed:

  • MS-LS1-5 Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.
  • MS-LS3-2 Develop and use a model to describe how asexual reproduction results in offspring with identical genetic information and sexual reproduction results in offspring with genetic variation. Compare and contrast advantages and disadvantages of asexual and sexual reproduction.
  • MS-LS3-3 Communicate through writing and in diagrams that chromosomes contain many distinct genes, and that each chromosome pair contains two alleles that can be the same or different from each other. Illustrate that each gene holds the instructions for the production of specific proteins, which in turn affects the traits of an individual.
  • MS-LS3-4 Develop and use a model to show that in sexually reproducing organisms individuals have two of each chromosome, and hence two alleles of each gene, one acquired (randomly) from each parent.
  • MS-LS4-4 Understand the concept of a ratio and use ratio language to describe a ratio relationship between two quantities. Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities.

Required Components:

  • Personal inventory of traits
  • List of family members and an inventory of the phenotypes of the studied trait
  • Draft of family tree in preparation to create pedigree chart
  • Written analysis of the genotypes of family members
  • Display board of completed family pedigree


  • Written analysis of genotypes of family members that includes a logical explanation of how the student determined, or did not determine, the genotypes of each family member.
  • Creation and display of a completed pedigree chart with appropriate symbols, genotypes, definitions and illustrations.
  • Oral presentation of family pedigree.


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Exhibition II- Memorial Project and Foreign Language Travel Journals

Memorialing World War II and the Holocaust

HoloMem WWII Mem

Essential Questions:

How do we remember the past?

How does can artistic expression help us understand an event?

How can individuals use art to express emotions and personal experiences?

Project Description:

In accordance with the study of the Holocaust and World War II, the eighth grade will create memorials to those deserving remembrance from this era.

Required Components:

  • The study of previously created memorials throughout the world (research questions and list of existing monuments)
  • Presentation of information based on this study (Sample Presentation)
  • Research an event from WWII to plan your memorial
  • The planning and creation of a three dimensional memorial related to WW II or the Holocaust including
  • The writing of a final draft which explains the thought, planning, materials, construction process and symbolism of the memorial designed
  • The writing of poetry based on the novel Night by Eli Wiesel
  • Through writing, reading, audio, singing, and playing instruments students will learn about music of the 20th century. As a band students will play the song, “Sing, Sing, Sing”, among others

Standards, Strands, Skills (Students will learn, do):

  • reading
  • writing
  • research
  • speaking
  • history
  • economics
  • art
  • singing and playing instruments

Major Assessments:

  • Memorial with Artist Statement
  • Poem
  • Memorial and Event Research
  • “Sing, Sing, Sing”

Foreign Language

Essential Question:  How can we express the past in French or Spanish?

Project Description:

Students will create a travel journal in French or Spanish that describes a trip to a region of France or a Spanish speaking country that was involved in WW II.  They will resource war memorials in that area and include the history of the memorials and the area as well.

Required Components:

  • Research of a French region or Spanish speaking country involved in WW II
  • Understanding of and ability to write in past tense in French or Spanish

Standards, strands, skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Writing in Past Tense
  • Exchange of Information and Knowledge
  • Understanding of Target Culture and History

Major Assessments:

French or Spanish travel journal

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