The Eighth Grade Georgia Standards of Excellence for science are designed to give all students the necessary skills for a smooth transition from elementary physical science standards to high school physical science standards. The purpose is to give all students an overview of common strands in physical science including, but not limited to, the nature of matter, conservation of energy, energy transformations, conservation of matter, kinematics, and dynamics. These standards are not intended in any way to take the place of the high school physical science standards. At the same time, these standards set a maximum expectation on what will be assessed by the Georgia Milestones Assessment System.
Eighth grade students keep records of their observations, use those records to analyze the data they collect, recognize patterns in the data, use simple charts and graphs to represent the relationships they see, and find more than one way to interpret their findings. They develop conceptual understanding of the laws of conservation of matter and conservation of energy, are able to explain the characteristics of the motion of an object (speed, acceleration) and the way that forces may change the state of motion of an object. They use what they observe to explain the difference between physical and chemical changes and cause and effect relationships between force, mass, and the motion of objects. Students in eighth grade construct explanations based on evidence on the difference and similarities between electromagnetic and mechanical waves. Eighth graders plan and carry out investigations, describe observations, and show information in graphical form. The students replicate investigations and compare results to find similarities and differences.