Sixth grade science is interdisciplinary in nature; however, much of the content focus at this grade level is on physical science. A complete description of the middle school science Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills can be found at the Texas Education Agency web site. Some of the knowledge and skills emphasized in sixth grade are described below.
In the area of matter and energy, students will know an element is a pure substance represented by chemical symbols; differentiate between elements and compounds; and compare metals, nonmetals, and metalloids. They will calculate the density of a known substance and research and debate advantages and disadvantages of fossil fuels.
In the area of force, motion, and energy, students will compare and contrast potential and kinetic energy; calculate the speed of an object; identify and describe changes in the position, direction and speed of an object when acted upon by an unbalanced force; and investigate methods of energy transfer including conduction, convection and radiation.
In the area of earth and space, students will identify major tectonic plates and classify rocks; describe the physical properties, location and movements of the Sun, planets, Galilean moons, meteors, asteroids, and comets; and understand that gravity is the force that governs the motion of our solar system.
In the area of organisms and environments, students will understand that all organisms are composed of one or more cells; recognize that the presence of a nucleus determines whether a cell is prokaryotic or eukaryotic; recognize that the broadest taxonomic classification of living organisms is divided into currently recognized Domains; describe biotic and abiotic parts of an ecosystem; and be able to diagram the levels of organization within an ecosystem.