Science, 8s – 10s
Beginning in the 8s, students at Greene Hill participate in a Science class taught by our Science teacher. Investigations are hands-on and exploratory, providing students with a solid foundation in content knowledge across the key fields of Earth, Life, and Physical Sciences. Students also acquire a strong facility with scientific process skills, learning how to conduct authentic research to make discoveries. An emphasis on stewardship and conservation is appropriate for this age group as children deepen their understanding of the interconnectedness of living things and the role of humankind.
Science class work begins by getting students acquainted with scientific thinking and concepts, defining the major fields, and then identifying important skills scientists have. Students practice making observations by isolating three of their senses (sight, hearing, and touch). They learn about the work of research scientists and review current research. They collect and organize data, making choices about the most appropriate way to represent their findings and looking for apparent patterns or relationships in data. As they get older, students take more ownership over the scientific inquiry process, pursuing topics and questions and constructing experiments more independently. Units of study in Science differ from year to year as students connect to all-school themes and studies and current events, and have opportunities to investigate interesting phenomena that spurs them to ask questions and make connections, developing deeper understandings of the world around them.
For example, Science work may take students on an exploration of the oceans of the world, starting with a curious event in 1992 when thousands of toy ducks and other plastic toys were lost overboard from a cargo ship crossing the Atlantic. Students examine ocean currents and their importance in the ocean ecosystem, and then dive more deeply into examining the ocean by studying various ecosystems: coral reefs, open ocean, estuaries, and tidal zones. Students will study the interactions between the living and nonliving entities of their ecosystem and create a hands-on project from what they have learned.
Physics studies may focus on forces in action as students plan and investigate phenomena in which objects stop and go. Students may explore and map energy transfers in toys to determine patterns and use the evidence they gather to explain how these transfers occur. They may investigate matter, using a variety of tools to identify whether materials are solids, liquids, or gases. Students investigate to provide evidence that gases have weight and are made of particles too small to be seen. The spring semester offers an ideal time to study patterns in life cycles and structures in living things. Students will have the opportunity to make observations of the natural world and plan experiments that will help them gain understanding of what living things need to survive.
Essential Questions: Science, 8s – 10s
What causes objects to move?
What is energy and what can it do?
What are things made of and how do they change?
How are plants and animals in an ecosystem interconnected?
What are the processes that shape landforms and bodies of water on Earth?
How can we formulate questions of scientific inquiry and construct scientific investigations to explore those questions?
Key Science Skills: 8s – 10s
- Describe and compare physical properties.
- Describe the basic life functions and life cycles of plants and animals.
- Develop reasonable hypotheses, and evaluate those hypotheses in light of data collected.
- Employ tools to gather, analyze, and interpret data.
- Formulate and communicate explanations using evidence.
- Identify dependent and independent variables.