Welcome to 4th Quarter. . . .ALREADY???

Well we’ve entered our final quarter for this school year and have 2 units left to go. For these final units we are diving into the arena of Biology! More specifically, we will be studying Heredity (or how genetic inforamation is passed down through generations) and Ecosystem (or how humans interact with ecosystems factors. In our genetics unit, we will look at how family traits can be mathematically predicted.  In our ecosystems unit, we will be debating a number of environmental issues to see how our Earth is able to handle impacts from those who reside here.   Let the final quarter games begin!cat

Welcome to 3rd Quarter!

We’ve made it halfway through the year now, can you believe it? Our second semester focuses on how we apply what we’ve learned about motion, forces, energy, changes, and waves!  Our upcoming units include: Astronomy, Weather/Climate, Genetics, and Humans in Ecosystems.  We will start by understanding what a scale model of the solar system is and then gain an understanding of how we have studied the Universe!  Ever look out at the night sky and wonder what’s out there? Well, this unit may provide more questions than answers, once you start to unravel the mysteries of our Solar System!  Check the Astronomy page at the right for MANY activities to pique your astronomy questions!


moon and mercury

MAVEN to Mars!!!

So this past week, I had the opportunity of a lifetime students!  I was able to see the MAVEN satellite launch on the Atlas V Rocket, launch to Mars. The awesomeness of this experience was basically indescribable! We were able to view the launch from about a mile away, while any closer we would have had a chance of damaging human tissues!  Feeling the energy from the liftoff was such a memorable experience and I hope that each of you may someday get to witness something even as cool as this experience was for me!  I will have lots to share in class about the MAVEN mission to Mars in the weeks to come!  Stay tuned!




So if you’ve ever thought about why your cell phone dies, why you only have service in certain areas, or why some cell phones heat up spontaneously, then you are an Energy Expert!  Energy is the ability of something to do work.  It’s all around us, constantly moving, transferring, and changing form. It helps us move, moves our stuff, lights our life, and we know it’s there, but often don’t remember that!  In this unit,  we will discover the difference between energy in motion, KINETIC ENERGY, vs. stored energy (or energy of position), which is known as POTENTIAL ENERGY.

Energy is constantly being transferred between the different forms of energy such as: electrical, stored gravitational, mechanical, and chemical, to name a few of them.

Check out some of the amazing Energy demonstration applications found in the “UNIT 2: ENERGY” tab on the right!

Check out this picture from our Barbie Bungee, where we figured out where Barbie has the most and least Potential and Kinetic Energy!

barbie bungee



Motion and Forces Final Project and Test

Our first test will be coming up on Friday, September 27th.

It will include topics covered in class.

To prepare for it, be sure to review the Motion and Forces Page (–> to the right, under pages), and review all work from your in-class notebook.

Test review questions can be found on the Motion and Forces page at the bottom.


Sign up for Class Text Alerts!

This is totally cool!  Be a great part of you or your student’s science experience! Sign up for text message alerts for this class. Texts will be sent to alert homework reminders, test and project reminders, as well as other pertinent class information. Thanks for being supportive of your student in 8th grade science. Students, you are welcome to sign up as well, with parent approval for your text service.


If you’d like to sign up for text message alerts for West Middle School  8th Grade Science:  

                                                please text: @8b3c3 to  720-606-4632

Text Alert Instructions



Welcome to 8th Grade!

Oh how exciting it is to be at the beginning of a brand new school year! Students and families, please use this website as a resource for learning throughout your 8th grade year here at West Middle School. There will be weekly updates on learning, student posts, class information, and much more! Take some time to familiarize yourself with the class site! Be sure to check out the important “CLASS INFO & DOCUMENTS” located on the right hand menu. It is going to be a great year and I look forward to learning with you all!

Mrs. Ragsdale

Check out some photos of your classroom here too!


Ecosystems Debates!

Who’s even heard of the Mountain Pine Beetle before? Well, if you are a Colorado resident, then this little bugger is part of our local ecosystems.  So, what shall we do about the Mountain Pine Beetle, and WHY is this even important to disuss? Those are the topics of conversation in class as we wrap up our Ecosystem unit!  Students will be debating the future of Pine Beetles as well as deciding on who shall receive water fromt the Colorado River!

Check out the resources on the  UNIT 7: ECOSYSTEMS page for more information to ready yourself to debate a classmate on these important Colorado topics!

Weather Projects and Test!

Weather Projects will be due on Monday, April 8th and Tuesday April 9th.

Please be sure to send me a link to your finished project, or save it to the J Drive at school.

TEST:  The Weather/Climate Test will be on Wednesday and Thursday, APril 10-11th.

Review some of the class websites to review the following ideas:

A) Weather Forecasting and technology

B) Weather vs. Climate

C) Weather Tools

D) Graphing Weather Data

WACKY WEATHER or NOT for Spring Break?

Well we’ve finished up all that we can learn about Astronomy and are quickly gaining up spring break!  And with spring break, part of being a Coloradan you may realize, is that there is not always predictable weather. Some years we can play outside in shorts, tanktops, and flipflops, while other times we’re prisoners in our own homes because of massive amounts of rain and snowfall. WIth spring we just don know what we’ll get.

So, what does this all have to do with science you ask, well then, let me tell you about our next unit: Weather and Climate!  This is one of my most favorite units for students!  There are some amazing events that can happen in our Atmosphere and they all have to do pressure. For this unit, we will begin learning about how pressure above us, leads to a variety of weather events and how that relates to the climate where a person lives.

To wrap up the unit, we will look at how severe weather events around the globe affect populations of people and why we need to stay safe under these conditions.

Check back soon for information on the Weather/Climate Homework assignment! And maybe by then, we’ll be able to forecast the weather for your spring break!

WEATHER TRIVIA TIME!:  What event  in Grand Junction in the summer of 2012 showed us the effects of a winter full of high humidity? Email Mrs. Ragsdale the correct answer for a fun prize! [email protected]