Week of October 17 Layers of the Earth

earth-layers-27140980This week we begin our study of the

Layers of the Earth.

Earth has several layers.  Many geologists believe that as the Earth cooled the heavier, denser materials sank to the center and the lighter materials rose to the top. Because of this, the crust is made of the lightest materials (rock- basalts and granites) and the core consists of heavy metals (nickel and iron).

The Inner Core is a solid sphere of metal, mainly nickel and iron, at Earth’s center. The Outer Core is a layer of molten metal, also mainly nickel and iron that surrounds Earth’s inner core. The Mantle is the layer of rock between Earth’s outer core and crust, in which most rock is hot enough to flow in convection currents.  It is also Earth’s thickest layer.  The Crust is a thin outer layer of rock above a planet’s mantle, including all dry land and ocean basins. Earth’s continental crust is 40 kilometers thick on average and oceanic crust is 7 kilometers thick on average.

The Lithosphere is the layer of Earth made up of the crust and the rigid rock of the upper mantle, averaging about 40 kilometers thick and broken into tectonic plates. It is cracked, and makes up the Tectonic Plates of the earth’s surface.  Tectonic Plates are  large, moving pieces into which Earth’s lithosphere is broken and which commonly carries both oceanic and continental crust.  Look at the diagram below to see the various layers.

Layers of the Earth

The Asthenosphere is the layer in Earth’s upper mantle and directly under the lithosphere in which rock is soft and weak because it is close to melting.  The lithosphere ‘floats’ on the asthenosphere.

Notes we took in class on the SmartBoard!

















Click on the picture below to take you to an interactive animation describing


Earth’s Structure!

Click on the pics below to look at the animations we used in class.

See the Layers of the Earth in Detail

 See How Geologists Study the Inside of the Earth.

Week of Sept 26 – Mapping the Earth

Having Fun with the

Topographic Rock Activity

Topographic Map Activity
Topographic Map Activity

Contour (or Topographic) Maps

Finding the Gradient

 Introduction to Topographic Maps

In class this week we are reviewing maps, and beginning our study of Topographic Maps.  Below is a video that demonstrates the activity planned for this week.  If you missed the activity, you can view below and see what we did!



Mountains are a great way to use and show the use of elevation maps.  Back at Nature’s Classroom they hiked the hills behind the camp.

In class this week we will start to study Maps and their uses. 

 TOPOGRAPHY shows us the shapes and features of the earth’s surface, and TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS use CONTOUR LINES to represent the changes in elevation.  In class you are learning the vocabulary of contour lines, index contours, and contour intervals.

Below is a topographic map of the hiking trails and the elevations around a past Nature’s Classroom location.

Silver Bay Topographic Map


Click on the map to make it bigger.

Look at the contour lines and then answer the following questions:

1.  What is the elevation of Jabez Pond?

2.  What is the distance between the Index Contours? Remember, these are the darker lines.

3.  How many contour lines are there between the darker Index Contours?

4. Therefore, what is the Contour Interval?

5. Challenge Question: What is the approximate elevation of the top of No 108 Mountain?


Week of September 19 CSI, The Scientific Method and The Gum Lab


 Questions for the Week

What is DATA?


What is meant by the word EVIDENCE?

How do you write a CONCLUSION?

This week we begin our studies with a review of the Scientific Method, an organized approach to defining, thinking about and developing a process to explore a problem statement and to conduct a lab investigation.  These steps were taught in the earlier grades, and we began our year with a review of the processes…and did an activity called CSI Bourne to understand the difference between Evidence (Data) and a Claim (Conclusion). 

You can also look at a clip of MYTHBUSTERS – HOT or COLD BASEBALL to see how the students used the Scientific Method to conduct their experiment on how temperature may affect a baseball. 

Click HERE to see the video!

This will lead to the Gum Chewing Lab where students will design their own science investigation to answer the question:

What Happens to the Mass of Gum

as you chew it over time?



See link for the LAB REPORT RUBRIC under Class Notes

Welcome to Grade 8 Science

Welcome Back to BMS and

Welcome to 8-2 Science!

 Glad you found this website
….we’ll be using this a lot as the school year gets underway!
There are many tools and links on the classroom website that will allow you to always stay in touch with what we are doing, where classroom handouts and notes will be, and dates of important events like projects and tests.  In fact, this school year you will also be creating your own websites for your own work!
Class Policies
Even though no one is perfect, we must all try to do our very best in whatever we do. To be your best in Mr. Ruggiero’s class, the two most important things to do are stay focused on your class work and to keep a cooperative attitude with your classmates and teachers at all times.
Click on the link below to take you to the Classroom Overview for the school year. Understanding how our classroom works will help you to always stay focused and keep a cooperative attitude.

Class Materials

  • Covered Textbook
  • Composition Book (Cow Book)
  • Pens or Pencils
  • 3-Hole Punch Folder or Binder for Handouts/Papers
  • Pencil Sharpener


Click to see printable version of

Overview of Grade 8 Science