Instilling a strong foundation for lifelong learning

Primary Science

A Sense of Wonder
Adjacent to the primary garden, the science classroom is more akin to a discovery center than a traditional classroom. Mrs. Zepeda displays an extensive selection of specimens at a “Please Touch” exploration table. The room boasts a science library to facilitate student research. A hands-on approach to science encourages students to enlarge their sense of wonder and discover answers to their questions. In a recent project, students were prompted to work together to create transportation of the future, in which many students explored alternative energy sources.

Below is a glimpse into a few of the themes explored in primary science.

Students discover that every seed has a tiny plant inside through hands-on experiments dissecting seeds. Students grow green beans, pumpkins, and lima beans during this unit, in addition to tending to the herb garden year round. Our chef even uses student-grown herbs in the cafeteria! Special plants have been placed all around campus to attract different species of butterflies, including a special area called Butterfly Lane.

Rocks and Minerals
From cooled lava to gemstones, student tables are covered in rocks and minerals during this unit. Shiny, dull, rough, smooth- students learn the characteristics of rocks, how different rocks are formed, and the layers of earth. After studying rocks, each student gets their own rock to keep to start their own collection.

After being exposed to an overview of space (including handling real meteorites), students are challenged to take on the role of teacher. After selecting a space topic of their choice, students conduct research in an open-ended creative project complete with a bibliography. Past student projects include e-books, models (like a lego model of the International Space Station), and posters. 

Matter Experiments
In this unit, students focus on weighing matter and they discover how much mass is in the object of their choice. They also explore the three states of matter (solid, liquid and gas) through various experiments. They have the unique opportunity to direct their own learning based on their interests.

Primary science challenges students to think out of the box, combining creativity and science. Less homework is assigned with an emphasis on student-dictated projects. Mrs. Zepeda strives to “ignite the spark that all students possess to flame the passion of science.”

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