We first study science by raising an awareness of how it is all around us and investigating how things work. Students learn foundational science skills such as inquiry and observation and practice them through experiments, projects, and imagination. Teachers also connect science learning to what is being taught in our other programs, such as Humanities. We understand that scientific knowledge advances when young scientists observe phenomena, think about relationships, test their ideas in logical ways, and generate explanations that integrate the newly gathered information into a stronger understanding of the natural and designed worlds. From start to finish, our science program is designed to bring the natural curiosity within our students to life through engaging with this active participation in scientific practices.
Our science framework continually builds skills as students progress and gain knowledge about inquiry and the scientific method. In every grade level, we explore concepts of earth, life, and physical sciences and make connections to how they affect the world we live in. Our framework is based on a philosophy of teaching and learning that bridges research and practice by providing tools and strategies to engage students and teachers in enduring experiences that lead to a deeper understanding of the natural and manufactured worlds.
Science from Pre-K–Grade 6
Pre-K–1: For our youngest scientists, we often start with connecting science to stories. Books are carefully chosen to introduce scientific concepts (e.g., weather, environments, animals, motion, light, and sound) and initiate discussion about how they affect the characters. From there, students begin to explore how physical, earth, and life sciences affect their lives and those around them. They observe, question, and experiment with these phenomena to form a better understanding of how things work and fuel their curiosity.
2–3: Moving on from beginning scientific observations and inquiry skills, our emerging scientists begin to really investigate and analyze the world around them. They dig deeper into scientific concepts and make connections to prior knowledge and observations. The students also start working in science journals, keeping track of their research and investigations with pictures, charts, and notes.
4–6: Our oldest scientists spend their time honing their research skills and looking deeper into the effects of science on our lives. They explore real world concepts such as GMOs, cloud seeding, genetics, climate change, chemistry, engineering, and the solar system. With a strong foundation in the scientific process established, our elder scholars gain the ability to make connections and experiment in new ways. Using the design-thinking process, sixth-grade scientists explore every concept through the lens of the human experience and examine how we, as citizens of the Earth, can advocate for change and make positive rather than negative impact. They inquire, conduct interviews, share ideas, investigate, collaborate, and give feedback as true scientists.