Our middle school earth science course was developed using both the South Carolina State Standards and the National Science Teachers Association’s Next Generation Science Standards. There are five main topics in this course: 1) The Nature of Science; 2) Maps 3) Earth’s Interior Structure and processes including plate tectonics with earthquakes, mountains, and volcanoes; 4) Earth’s surface systems including weather and climate with human impacts; and 5) Astronomy. Due to its importance and fundamental basis, the Nature of Science is cover as a separate unit and then revisited throughout the year as other topics are covered. A science fair experiment is a major project reinforcing The Nature of Science component.