Connections: bringing student lives into 8th grade science

The purpose of this action research study was to integrate middle school student concerns documented from a district wide survey (Natural Helpers® 1989) with the eighth grade physical science content standards. This study used action research as a theoretical framework. Three lessons were designed and implemented over a year. Data collection included lesson plans, student work samples, student reflections and teacher reflections. Each reflection rated the lesson based on student interaction and interest level. The student and teacher reflections revealed that integrating student concerns and science content is possible and can increase student participation, the student interest level as well as student understanding of the science material being presented. Recommendations include exploring ongoing concerns of middle school studeI1ts and looking for trends and methods to increase student motivation when connections are made to the content. Keywords: physical science, motivation, middle school, California standards