6th Grade Science


Van Meter Community Schools

Joel Bartz


Course Description

The purpose of this class is to learn the basic concepts common to the disciplines of Earth, Life, and Physical Sciences as well as to understand and apply the skills of scientific inquiry.  In this method of inquiry, students will gather and analyze scientific data and conduct scientific investigations. Students will develop an understanding of scientific concepts pertaining to the Earth and it’s origins, life and its interactions with Earth, matter, and the forces that govern it, and how scientific knowledge develops and changes over time.

Units of Study:

  • Earth Science:

    • Minerals, Rocks, and Soil
    • Earth's Changing Surface
    • Earth's Resources
    • Plate Tectonics
    • Forecasting Catastrophic Events
  • Physical Science

    • Atoms and Molecules
    • Physical and Chemical Changes
    • Energy and Particle Motion
    • Conservation of Mass
    • Thermal Energy in Chemical Reactions
  • Life Science
    • Cells
    • Organelles and Cellular Function
    • Body Systems
    • Sexual and Asexual Reproduction
    • Stimuli and the Brain
  • Engineering
    • Criteria of Design Problem
    • Evaluating Design Solutions
    • Analyzing Data to Improve Design
    • Developing Model for Testing

Classroom Rules

These rules exist for the following reasons:

  • To insure respectful treatment of others.
  • To prevent the disruption of learning.
  • To provide an environment in which all students learn and excel.

Students should…

1) Come into the classroom on time and ready to learn. 

Bring your computer and necessary items to class every day. This will include your computer, pencil, and paper. These items are all you will need most of the time. PLEASE LEAVE ALL OTHER ITEMS (BAGS, COATS, ETC. IN LOCKERS).

Other materials may be needed from time to time. I will let you know in advance if you should bring anything else.

Assignments and description of daily activities will be posted on the class calendar. If you are absent, you are responsible for checking the calendar to get the necessary information. Time missed for unexcused tardiness will be made up daily.

2) Be respectful (face to face and virtually).

3) Complete the assigned work on time.

4) Refrain from using cell phones during class. 

The use of cell phones during class time is prohibited unless special permission is granted. Cell phones used without permission will be taken for the remainder of class and/or until the end of the school day.

5) Use computers appropriately. 

Computers will only be used for class purposes. Games, YouTube, etc. during class time is prohibited unless permission is granted by the teacher.

6) Use appropriate language. 

The use of profanity and innuendos will not be tolerated.

7) Be honest. 

Cheating/copying/plagiarism will not be tolerated and immediate disciplinary action will occur.

8) Papers/projects that are lost or deleted must be redone in order to receive credit. 

Make sure to back up files to prevent computer problems at the time of the due date.

9) Use time wisely and appropriately. 

There will never be free time during class but there will be work time. During this time, students are required to work on projects, reading or writing for this class only.

10) Use proper Netiquette

While using the Internet, all students should remember they are part of an online community of learners. The students you are collaborating with are real, and therefore, you must remember to interact with them in a dignified manner.

Here are some guidelines to protect the sanctity of our learning environment:

* Sarcasm, though extremely entertaining and delightful, is difficult to decipher in print. Use humor cautiously, for it may be difficult for the recipient to infer the humor you are using.

* Write clearly. Using the rules of English will help you get your message across more accurately, and it will provide a more positive image of yourself.

* Respect others. While it is acceptable to disagree with someone, be sure to keep responses on the subject, and not on the person. We can further discussions through disagreements, but not through attacks on each other.

* Don't post anything inappropriate. If you cannot say what you write to your grandmother- or mine- then you probably shouldn't write it.

* Don't use 'text' language.

Assignment/Late Work Responsibility

All assignments and projects are due the date assigned. However, all assignments will be completed whether they are on time or not. Points will not be deducted for late assignments, but all assignments will be tracked to identify whether or not they were turned in on time.

If you have any questions about assignments the best way to contact me is by email (joel.bartz@vmbulldogs.com). I check this quite often throughout the day as well as at night and will get back to you as soon as possible.


This is a standards-based class. The school-wide standards based grading system on Infinite Campus will be used. Grades will be updated on Inifinite Campus regularly (following each assessment). Semester tests will be given and will count for 20% of the final semester grade.


Students who fail a standard MUST reassess in order to meet every standard. If a student fails an assessment he/she will be required to meet with Mr. Bartz at an assigned time during seminar or before or after school to get help with whatever is needed. Extra practice/review assignments will likely be required before the student will be allowed to reassess. When the student is ready, he/she will reassess and the grade earned on the reassessment will replace the original grade.

Students who pass an assessment but wish to reassess in order to raise their grade will need to do so IN A TIMELY MANNER. Multiple reassessments in the last two weeks of a semester will not be allowed. It is the student’s responsibility to set up a time with Mr. Bartz to get whatever help is needed and to reassess. Seminar time may be available if Mr. Bartz is not working with other students. Extra practice/review assignments may be required before a student will be allowed to reasssess. Before and after school times may be available on a limited basis. IT IS THE STUDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO SET UP THESE TIMES AND TO COME PREPARED TO WORK.