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Syllabus for Mr. Nackerud Science Class

Sixth Grade: Science

Fall 2012



Focus is on earth’s physical processes. Students will be introduced to concepts in plate tectonics, topography, weathering, thermal energy and other energy as it impacts the earth’s environment. In the spring we will move on to study the solar system and processes beyond our local system.

This class is designed as a multiplayer game.

Class time will be divided between fighting monsters (Quizzes, Exams etc.), completing quests (Presentations of Concepts, Research etc.) and crafting (Personal Study Tools, System Analysis Papers, Earth Processes Concept Document, and Science Fair Project etc.).

At the beginning of the semester everyone in the class will choose and name their avatars. The first task is to craft the premise of an inquiry-based experiment you would like to design. Guilds to craft these experiments will be chosen, balanced as closely as possible by l33t skillz and interests. Guilds will choose their names. There will be six guilds of six-seven members each depending upon final class size.

Grading Procedure
You will begin on the first day of class as a Level One avatar. Level Twelve is the highest level you can achieve:

Level XP* Letter Grade
Level Twelve 1860 A
Level Eleven 1800 A-
Level Ten 1740 B+
Level Nine 1660 B
Level Eight 1600 B-
Level Seven 1540 C+
Level Six 1460 C
Level Five 1400 C-
Level Four 1340 D+
Level Three 1260 D
Level Two 1200 D-
Level One 0 F


*Your level will be determined by experience points (XP) on a 2000 XP scale. You gain XP by defeating mobs (quizzes and exams), completing quests (sharing learning) and crafting (experimenting and developing new resources).
  • Solo: Craft your own experiment proposal. (Written, 50 pts.)
  • Solo: Present your experiment proposal to the class. (25 pts.)
  • Solo: Sell your experiment proposal to the class. (Extra credit. 25 pts.)
  • Raid: Guild reading presentation (75 pts. each person, 1 of these per guild)
  • Pick-Up Group: 2-Player reading presentation (150 pts. each person, cannot team with fellow guild member)


  • Solo: 1-Player reading presentation (150 pts. but easier than above)
  • Solo: Craft 3 page report on a scientific article (Written, 75 pts.)
  • Solo: Craft 3 page analysis of physical science-based research topic (Written, 100 pts.)
  • Solo: Craft 5 page analysis on physical science topic of your choice (Written, 125 pts.)
  • Solo: Defeat Five Random Mobs (5 written reading quizzes, 250 pts. total, 1 extra credit question per quiz)
  • Solo: Defeat Level Boss (Midterm Exam, 400 pts.)
  • Guild: Experiment Prototype Presentation (50 pts. each)
  • Guild: Craft Final Project: Science Inquiry Experiment (Written, 400 pts.)
  • Solo: Class attendance (300 skill pts. total, 10 to start. 290 additional pts. at 10 pts. per day of attendance)
  • Extra credit for early completion of final experiment (10 pts./Monday; 5 pts./Tuesday; see calendar)
  • Solo Camping: Glossary Building (Extra credit. 1 pt. per entry. 50 pt. cap per player. Each vocab-mob only spawns once.)
  • Group: Peer Review Secret Ballot (Extra credit. 0-100 possible XP as follows:


Badges for Peer Review Ballots

1.     Guild Leader 100 pts.
2.     Raid Leader 75 pts.
3.     Solid Guild Crafter 50 pts.
4.     Needs Rez 25 pts.
5.     Leroy Jenkins 0 pts.


Grading is rigorous. Spelling, grammar and punctuation must be proofed. Points will be deducted otherwise.

Attendance and Conduct

You are expected to attend every class. Assignments are due at the beginning of every class.

Plagiarism, submitting assignments written by others, and other forms of academic misconduct are governed by school policy. In a word: DON’T.

Classroom conduct: Participate with civility and an abiding appreciation for the power of words. Respect others, even those who hold opposing views.

Required Text
CK12 Physical Science – Online and Printed

Suggested Reading
Science Fair Ideas –

Science Inquiry Ideas –




Based on observations and science principles propose questions or hypotheses that can be examined through scientific investigation. Design and conduct a scientific investigation that uses appropriate tools, techniques, independent and dependent variables, and controls to collect relevant data. (ODE 8.3S.1)


Organize, display, and analyze relevant data, construct an evidence-based explanation of the results of a scientific investigation, and communicate the conclusions including possible sources of error. Suggest new investigations based on analysis of results.(ODE 8.3S.2)


Explain how scientific explanations and theories evolve as new information becomes available. (ODE 8.3S.3)


Define a problem that addresses a need, and using relevant science principles investigate possible solutions given specified criteria, constraints, priorities, and trade-offs. (ODE 8.4D.1)


Design, construct, and test a proposed engineering design solution and collect relevant data. Evaluate a proposed design solution in terms of design and performance criteria, constraints, priorities, and trade-offs. Identify possible design improvements.(ODE 8.4D.2)


Explain how creating a new technology requires considering societal goals, costs, priorities, and trade-offs. (ODE 8.4D.3)


Describe and compare the properties and composition of the layers of Earth.(ODE 6.1E.I)


Describe and evaluate the environmental and societal effects of obtaining, using, and managing waste of renewable and non-renewable resources. (ODE 7.2E.I)


Describe the processes of Earth’s geosphere and the resulting major geological events.(ODE 8.2E.2)


Explain how landforms change over time at various rates in terms of constructive and destructive forces. (ODE 7.2E.4)


Analyze evidence for geologic, climatic, environmental, and life form changes over time.(ODE 8.2E.4)


Describe the properties of objects in the solar system. Describe and compare the position of the sun within the solar system, galaxy, and universe. (ODE 6.1E.2)


Explain how gravity is the force that keeps objects in the solar system in regular and predictable motion and describe the resulting phenomena. Explain the interactions that produce Earth’s seasons. (ODE 8.2E.I)


Explain the water cycle and the relationship to landforms and weather. (ODE 6.2E.I)


Describe the composition of Earth’s atmosphere, how it has changed over time, and implications for the future. (ODE 7.2E.2)


Evaluate natural processes and human activities that affect global environmental change and suggest and evaluate possible solutions to problems. (ODE 7.2E.3)


Explain the causes of patterns of atmospheric and oceanic movement and the effects on weather and climate (ODE 8.2E.3)

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