In science classes, student curiosity is directed into hands-on investigation and experimentation. Instruction is inquiry-based and follows the STEM approach to education. The curriculum includes biological, earth, and physical sciences, with a strong emphasis on sustainability. Specific content ties into grade-level themes and is driven by essential questions.
Patterns in nature are a central focus. Through classroom investigations and exploration as part of the outdoor science program, students explore life cycles and make observations of plant life and live organisms.
They learn to collect and organize data and begin to use the scientific method to go step-by-step through the stages of research and experimentation. 1st grade
Plants and animals live together in nature, but what’s their relationship to each other and to their environment? Both inside the classroom and through the outdoor science program, students engage in observation and research to find out.
They study habitats and learn more about the attributes of animals and plants and what they need to survive and thrive.2nd grade
With a unifying focus on structures, 2nd graders explore how Earth processes produce observable differences in rock properties and formations; how the structure of matter impacts its behavior; how the universe can be understood as a series of overlapping systems; and how various plant structures perform essential life functions for those plants. Students apply their new understanding to solve problems, including preventing erosion, helping astronomical instruments return safely back to Earth, and designing packaging to transport plants while also providing for their essential life needs.3rd grade
Third graders investigate a range of topics including weather and climate; waste, force, motion, and simple machines; and diversity of life with a focus on animal diversity. In harmony with the 3rd grade theme of change and changemakers, students have opportunities to make direct measurements of environmental changes, are empowered to be change agents for waste reuse and reduction, and learn about how species change over time. Along the way, they tackle a variety of engineering and design challenges, including creating model floodwalls to block a simulated storm surge, considering ergonomics as they build a factory subsystem, and mimicking diverse animal pollinators in designing their own manual pollinator devices. 4th grade
Fourth graders begin to conduct more complex investigations and record more detailed observations as they continue to develop their inquiry skills. They investigate the interrelated phenomena of electricity and magnetism before comparing and contrasting two types of waves in their light and sound studies. The 4th grade theme of perspectives is interwoven with the science curriculum, as students learn more about the structures and functions of the human body and the broad range of human experiences related to dis/ability, neurodiversity, and physical changes across the human life span. Students also explore different perspectives in their interdisciplinary Bay Studies unit as they consider all of the parties whose actions contribute to the health of the watershed, examine the interconnectedness of food webs in the Bay, and make first-hand observations of habitats and living organisms.5th grade
Students gain proficiency in lab skills and safety measures as experimentation becomes an increasingly important part of their scientific studies. In addition to conducting experiments, students, create models to demonstrate their understanding, and solve problems. Units include, robotics, chemistry, and microbiology.