Beginning as early as Kindergarten, students are introduced to the scientific method of asking questions, conducting investigations, gathering and analyzing data and communication information. As they continue through each grade and into further divisions, this process becomes more refined as they integrate new techniques. Another hallmark of the Lower School science curriculum is the heavy use of the outdoors as an extension of the classroom and laboratory. Year-round, students utilize our 93-acre campus, which includes forests, a pond, windmill and solar panels to gather data and test hypothesis.
Every child is born instinctually as a scientific researcher, constantly figuring out the world by testing their own hypotheses. In the early grades, our curriculum continues to foster and support this innate curiosity by introducing scientific tools such as building predictions, gathering and analysis of data, and drawing conclusions. Topics of study are those that young children have experience and interest in, including wildlife, weather, insects, plants, the human body and oceans. Second graders begin to understand and operate simple machines.
Third graders study the world, geography, and the environment – including soil, water, and air studies. Particular attention is paid to sustainability. Students are active and engaged thinkers who begin to think critically about how the natural world operates, and their own opportunities to affect change.
The focus of the 4th- and 5th-grade science program is to expand and refine students’ abilities to use scientific skills and knowledge. Content includes topics in life, physical, and earth and space sciences. Methodologies include a variety of techniques, activities, and materials to stimulate scientific awareness and make science relevant and engaging for students. Hands-on investigations are designed to promote inquiry/process skills within the scientific approach. 5th graders also take part in Eyewitness, a year-long field biology and journaling study.
Major topics in these grades may include measurement, matter, work/energy, electricity/magnetism, light/sound, the human body, the classification of living organisms, solar systems, aeronautics and simple machines.