The Lower School science program is designed to allow the students’ natural curiosity to flow through the development of process skills related to scientific inquiry. As students gain the ability to assess the world around them, they also grow in the ability to cherish it.
Kindergarten students are introduced to beginning skills and behaviors in science: observing, predicting, questioning, experimenting, and interpreting. They learn about relationships in nature, observing and identifying the parts and the whole. In the primary grades (1st/2nd), students are introduced to the inquiry process. They learn to form a hypothesis, test one variable at a time, record data, and analyze their findings to discover the answers to their questions. Sample units include Balance and Motion, Balls and Ramps, Five Senses and Sound, and gardening in the Trellis House.
Intermediate (3rd/4th) grade students explore the scientific method through programs such as “scientist of the week,” where students research, prepare, and perform an experiment for the rest of the class. Units of study include The Solar System, Insects, Plant Life Cycles, and Inventions and Inventors.
In the upper elementary grades (5th/6th), students utilize “cabbage chemistry” to explore changes in and properties of matter. Units studied include: “Geology of Iowa,” “The Human Body,” “Light and Color,” and “Simple Machines.” With the help of their parents, 5th and 6th graders plan, design, and build either a go-cart or a hovercraft.
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