The purpose of teaching science at the Lower School is to instill in students an appreciation for the process and content of science. Students study science using a hands-on, inquiry-based approach. This approach allows students to develop and use process skills in order to gain a scientific body of knowledge. Such skills include observing, comparing, classifying, measuring, predicting, inferring, communicating, formulating hypotheses, designing investigations, collecting and interpreting data, and recognizing variables.
In Beginners, science is taught by the classroom teachers and is integrated into social studies, language arts, math, and art activities.
In Kindergarten through Grade 4, students meet with science specialists in small groups and balanced attention is given to following the main branches of science: life science, earth science, chemistry, and physics. Sample topics from these grades include acids and bases, insects, magnets, geology, electricity, bones, and growing seeds.
In Grades 5 and 6, science classes include lectures, discussions, hands-on activities, and labs. In Grade 5, students explore the major principles of Ecology including: biotic and abiotic characteristics of ecosystem, human interactions with ecosystems, and how scientists study these systems. There is a special emphasis on the place of water in our world as it relates to access for human needs, climate change and severe weather events. In Grade 6, the science program includes an introduction to cells and a survey of elementary human anatomy and physiology. This curriculum provides students with a comprehensive overview of the human respiratory, circulatory, digestive, and reproductive systems and addresses health issues affecting these body systems.