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Science

By Grade Band

Preschool

Science in preschool is woven throughout the school day as students explore and experiment with the world around them. Their classrooms, the playground, and the school garden all represent learning laboratories where children can play out the scientific method. They observe, hypothesize, test, consider outcomes, and adjust their thinking on a constant basis. SPARK projects are units of study that give teachers and children opportunities to think more deeply about a scientific concept, and its connection to justice in the world, in a developmentally appropriate way. An example of this in preschool would be a study of how plants grow from seeds. From this SPARK project, students develop scientific understandings, as well as experience nurturing another living thing.

Prekindergarten

Science in preschool is woven throughout the school day as students explore and experiment with the world around them. Their classrooms, the playground, and the school garden all represent learning laboratories where children can play out the scientific method. They observe, hypothesize, test, consider outcomes, and adjust their thinking on a constant basis. SPARK projects are units of study that give teachers and children opportunities to think more deeply about a scientific concept, and its connection to justice in the world, in a developmentally appropriate way. An example of this in preschool would be a study of how plants grow from seeds. From this SPARK project, students develop scientific understandings, as well as experience nurturing another living thing.

Kindergarten and First Grade

Science in prekindergarten is fueled by a 4 year olds curiosity and adventurous spirit. Science is woven throughout the school day as students explore and experiment with the world around them. Their classrooms, the playground, the school garden, and the wider neighborhood all represent learning laboratories where children can engage with the scientific method. They observe, hypothesize, test, consider outcomes, and adjust their thinking on a constant basis. SPARK projects are units of study that give teachers and children opportunities to think more deeply about a scientific concept, and its connection to justice in the world, in a developmentally appropriate way. An example of this in prekindergarten would be a study of animal homes. From this SPARK project, students develop scientific understandings, as well as awareness of the importance of shelter in health and safety.

Second and Third Grade

Science in Second and Third grade gives each student the opportunity to apply their knowledge of the scientific method to deepening their understanding of the world around them. Students work with their peers to question assumptions as they actively explore the concepts in life science, physical science, earth science, and engineering. These concepts are presented through hands-on SPARK projects, units of study that give teachers and children opportunities to think more deeply about a scientific concept, and its connection to justice in the world, in a developmentally appropriate way. An example of this in a Second and Third grade classroom might be a study of weather patterns across different areas of Washington State and how those patterns impact the people living in those areas. This context give student’s the opportunity to learn important meteorological concepts, while exploring the impact that weather has on the economics, health, and social opportunities in a region.

Fourth and Fifth Grade

Fourth and Fifth grade scientists apply their knowledge of the scientific method independently and with increasing complexity. They are able to design, implement, and reflect on experiments that deepen their understanding of the world around them. They explore topics designed to meet grade level standards in earth science, physical science, life science, and engineering while building the habits of mind that will support future scientific learning. Through SPARK projects, units of study that give teachers and children opportunities to think more deeply about a scientific concept, and its connection to justice in the world, the fourth and fifth graders are able to use their scientific knowledge to better the world around them. An example of an experiential project at this age level might be a study of landforms in the United States and how these geographic formations have influenced the economies of various areas.