Kindergarten students explored the concept of force and motion. They conducted investigations to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object. Students observed how objects in contact exert forces on each other and how forces can be exerted without contact such as gravity or the magnetic force. They also gathered evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion. Using all the evidence collected, students were able to find connections to real life and share examples.
The first graders are learning how simple machines help accomplish physical tasks by providing mechanical advantage. Students identified the different types of simple machines and investigated the uses of simple machines in our daily lives. They used their problem solving skills to build different types of simple machines. In the coming days, the students will be learning about complex machines and gears.
The second graders explored the concepts of balance, counterweight, and stability. They observed various systems that are unstable and learned to modify them to reach equilibrium.The students balanced various two and three-dimensional objects and used key terms such as counterweight, center of gravity or balance point while recording their observations.
The third graders are investigating the structure of life. They are learning about the life cycle of plants and the various methods of seed dispersion. They identified the distinguishing characteristics of fruits and vegetables. Students enjoyed doing the seed soak experiment with lima beans where they carefully analyzed the collected data. They planted red kidney beans and are observing and recording it’s growth to understand the life cycle of a plant. To understand seed dispersion better, the students designed and built a wind dispersed seed structure for their engineering and design project. They tested their prototypes and measured the distance traveled.
Kindergarten students learned that senses help us experience our world. They conducted various experiments to compare different senses and discussed their observations. They were able to name the respective sensory organs. Students were introduced to scientific vocabulary related to this topic and were encouraged to use it as they shared their observations. They explored the topic by playing different musical instruments, experimenting with optical illusions and working with sensory bins.
The first grade students engaged in the engineering and design process to build a shadow puppet theater. They researched how shadow puppetry is used as a form of entertainment across the world. The students explored the “Wayang” form of shadow puppetry from Indonesia and watched a video for inspiration. They used their previous knowledge on light and shadows to understand the scientific concepts behind the shadow puppet theater and developed their language arts skills as they created a storyline. With great enthusiasm, the students developed a story collaboratively in groups, designed and created their characters and presented it to their classmates.
Second grade students learned about animal adaptations. They researched and collected information about the various physical and behavioral adaptations that help animals survive. The key terms discussed were hibernation, migration and camouflage. The students then engaged in an engineering and design project to establish themselves as problem solvers. They created animals that would adapt to the given environmental conditions. They included behavioral and physical adaptations in their creations.
Third graders have been busy exploring Earth science for the past few weeks, studying different types of rocks and their properties. They learned about the rock cycle and classified different rocks as igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary by identifying their distinguishing characteristics.
Students are also currently exploring the dynamics of planet Earth. They are learning about Earth’s structure, volcanoes, tectonic plates, and earthquakes. They also discussed the recent volcanic eruptions and learned about the two different types of volcanoes - shield and composite - as they explored the landscapes of Hawaii and Japan. Students concluded that Hawaii mainly has shield volcanoes and Japan has composite volcanoes.
Finally, third graders discussed the need to build stable structures in earthquake-prone areas. They brainstormed this idea before engaging in a STEM challenge to build a stable structure using clothespins and popsicle sticks.
Students conducted various experiments to explore the properties of light. They started by studying the phenomenon of light passing through different materials in different ways. While conducting experiments on this phenomenon, they familiarized themselves with the terms - transparent, translucent and opaque.
Students then investigated reflection, refraction, dispersion, illumination and scattering. They had a fun time working with prisms to study refraction and dispersion. Students enjoyed using the pinhole boxes to study illumination and discover the tiny surprises inside, waiting to be illuminated. They compared the results of their scattering experiment with the colors of the sky at sunset.
Science process skills they learned through these experiments were observation, prediction, classification and inference.
Kindergarten students are learning about the human body. The students investigated the different parts of the human body and learned about the major organs. They used a stethoscope to listen to their heart and lungs. While exploring the human skeletal system, the students looked at various X-rays and learned that X-rays are images of the human body.
In health and hygiene, the students focused on the importance of washing hands to prevent spread of infections. They also learned about the microorganisms that cause these infections and explored the different shapes of bacteria and viruses.