In third grade, students visit the lower school science lab twice a week, observing the world around them, asking questions about what they see, and interacting in hands-on activities to answer those questions.
In conjunction with their classroom curriculum on local Native American history, children explore the relationship between water and the land in our Narragansett Bay watershed. They build wonderfully wet watershed models, trace the path of raindrops landing across our state, and test Narragansett Bay water samples for pollutants.
This leads to a discussion of the chemistry of water, and children use their boundless energy to become water molecules themselves and role-play phase changes. They connect with 3rd graders in Nepal to learn about how they obtain and use their water resources, giving children an opportunity to think beyond their own worldview.
Later in the year, the third graders become intensely focused and curious scientists as they explore the physical characteristics of six ‘mystery powders.’ They think it’s big fun (and it is), but it’s also a structured exercise to build their deductive reasoning skills. Lastly, they combine engineering, physics, and social activism to answer the question, “How can we help our family and friends understand the costs and benefits of offshore wind power?”Inquire