The Lower School science program seeks to encourage children’s natural curiosity about the world around them. Students are engaged in interdisciplinary, experiential activities that help them develop proficiency in the processes of scientific inquiry. They observe closely and ask questions, design ways to generate and test hypotheses, conduct experiments, and discuss what they have learned. Integration of science with language, math, social studies, and the arts provides a rich, meaningful experience that helps children understand concepts in greater depth, with stronger retention and increased enjoyment.
In addition, Lower School science teachers strive to plan flexibly in order to respond to and facilitate the pursuit of children’s interests. Often, science learning results from unplanned observations or experiments designed to answer spontaneous questions. Such opportunities are the lifeblood of genuine scientific inquiry, and they are welcomed in this curriculum. Thus, this curriculum reflects only part of the science learning that takes place each year. The following are the major science goals for each grade level of the Lower School. For clarity of explanation, they are divided broadly into two categories—life science and physical science—and by grade level.