Students at the sixth grade level are able to sustain focus for longer periods of time, thus allowing for investigations or design challenges that are more long-term in nature. Increased ability in logical reasoning allows them to apply that logic to more abstract and hypothetical situations and ideas.
 
Increased verbal and language skills allow them to continue to refine their abilities to discuss and explain concepts or experiences, and also to engage in argument from evidence. Students at this level should be encouraged to use concise and precise vocabulary and language in all written responses or journal entries.
In Life Science 1 students differentiate between living things and nonliving things that have characteristics similar to living things. Students learn about different types of cells, their structures and functions. They deepen their understanding of how sensory receptors gather information and send it to the brain.
Students make connections between energy requirements of living things and human made devices. Finally, they further explore recycling in nature; the water, carbon, and nitrogen cycles.
In Earth and Space Science 1 students learn about our Solar System and the planets as well as begin to appreciate the immense scales of distances and diameters. Earth Processes are covered by having students experiment with weathering and rock recycling. The erosion process is simulated with sand and water and various types of rocks are studied.
The Physical Science 1 unit covers Forces and Motion in depth with an emphasis on equilibrium. Experiments with the force of gravity are conducted. Energy and waves are explored with a review of definitions and concepts and connections are made between energy and motion with various student activities. Waves are introduced in elementary school and are now covered in depth. Structures and Properties of Matter are studied with investigations and design challenges.
 
Other highlighted experiences in Grade 6 are as follows:
 
Life Science 1 (LS)
 
  •  Grow crystals in the classroom to illustrate differences between living and nonliving things
  •  Create models to represent the specific structures of different types of cells
  •  Observe the nitrogen cycle in a classroom aquarium
  •  Design a model of a water filtration system
 
Earth Science 1 (ES)
  • Draw elliptical orbits using the Knowing Science Orbit Tracer
  • Use scale models of planets
  • Measure relative distances with a ten foot measuring tape
  • Use table top model of the Solar System
  • Conduct erosion experiments
  • Work with Liquid Crystal Displays piezoelectric materials, neodymium magnets and Integrated Chips
 
Physical Science 1 (PS)
  • Motion is measured
  • Use of the average speed formula
  • Forces are measured experimentally
  • Non calibrated scales are used to study forces