Lower School Science

First grade: Discovery Science

November brought the exploration of minerals and rocks. Students learned how minerals are formed and how, in turn, they are the main ingredent in the formation of rocks and fossils. The study of fossils was in conjunction with the fossil unit they were doing in their 1st grade classrooms. The students made petrified "paper" and imprint fossils. We moved from fossils to dinosaurs. what are the different type of dinosaurs and what do we know about them? We started with the basics of course - what did the dinosaurs eat? The students discovered that some dinosaurs ate plants (herbivors) while others ate meat (carnivors), but how could scientists tell the difference? Ah ha! It was their teeth! Students had a lot of fun discovering what their favorite dinosaurs ate.

In October the students spent 2 weeks discovering arthropods, insects to be specific. They compared insects, their body types and sizes, the number of legs they have and where the legs are located. They learned how insects affect life on earth, the positive and negative sides. We had a guest speaker from Terminex come in with lots of insects for our students to view, compare and measure. We all learned about the insects of Mississippi and what they are good for! You'd be surprised!

In September the 1st grade began studing ENERGY. They have so much of it ! We have focused on 2 main types of natural energy - Light and Sound. When exploring light energy the children discovered that it moves in waves and can be broken. We examined the idea that light reflects or bounces off objects using flashlighs and mirrors and sun light and mirrors. The children then discovered that light can break when it "refracts" through things like water and prisims. This week they examined how sound travels in waves too. They discovered that loud sounds have lots of energy while softer sounds have less. They also learned that sound moves farther through solids than liquids and even less through the air or gasses. Wow!

1st graders have been rediscovering their senses and how to use them when they observe objects for scientific investigation. The first time they came to science lab they were feelng, smelling, listening to and looking at everything possible - from rocks and bones to lobsters and magnafying lenses. Fun learning has begun! To observe well, students have to learn how to compare objects. The students had lots of fun comparing their height, weight, foot size and hand size. They understand the ideas better when we develop the concepts around them.

Second Grade: Exploring Science

In October our 2nd grade students spent 2 weeks discovering arthropods, insects to be specific. They compared insects, their body types and sizes, the number of legs they have and where the legs are located. They learned how insects affect life on earth, the positive and negative sides. We had a guest speaker from Terminex come in with lots of insects for our students to view, compare and measure. We all learned about the insects of Mississippi and what they are good for! You'd be surprised!

November brought in the study of minerals and rocks. Our 2nd graders love this unit it gives them the chance to discover the different types of mineral and rock formations in their own neighborhoods and at school. The 2nd grade students measured and mixed minerals to make their own mineral gardens. They watched them grow and change in size, hardness and color. then they were able to examine their minerals under microscopes, discovering the wild and unique hapes they grew into. These activities naturally flowed into how minerals allow us to know more about earth's history and DINOSAURS! The students get so excited with this conection, learning about new dinosaur discoveries and how the earth is always changing and minerals and rocks keep getting recycled through VOLCANOES! The learning just keeps on getting more and more exciting.

Our 2nd graders started off the year by practicing how to be careful observers using all of their senses. They discovered even our senses can trick us by examining some optical illusions and a few magic tricks. They practiced making predictions and testing them.

In September they JUMPED into energy. Our 2nd grades discovered energy comes in different forms and types. There are 2 main types of energy - Potential and Kinetic and we played with both. Students explored how energy can be transfered from one source to another by bouncing tennis balls and basketballs together. They realized that all energy on earth comes from the sun and how many different forms it comes in. They have been exploring magnet energy, heat energy, light energy, electrical energy and now we have just played with sound energy. This is an energetic group of kids and there is so much more to come!

Third Grade: Energy in Science

In October the students spent 2 weeks discovering arthropods, insects to be specific. They compared insects, their body types and sizes, the number of legs they have and where the legs are located. They learned how insects affect life on earth, the positive and negative sides. We had a guest speaker from Terminex come in with lots of insects for our students to view, compare and measure. We all learned about the insects of Mississippi and what they are good for! You'd be surprised!

In November our 3rd graders are learning about minerals by using the Periodic Table of Elements. They are introduced to the elements in game form. They are given concrete objects like tin, aluminum, helium filled balloons, copper, milk and bones. They know what these objects are and using the periodic table they hunt for the element. Then the excitement begins! They love taking turns finding an element they recognize and having their classmates find it and identify the symble and atomic number. As the students have already learned about the positive and negative sides of batteries in their energy unit, it is an easy step to talk about the positive and negitive parts of an atom. Then they start building them using paper. clay and plastic balls. This leads into crystals and compounds and our students have a concrete background for the periodic table of elements. Of course this leads into the wild world of dinosaurs and volcanoes. Learing is exploding all over the science lab.

Our 3rd graders dashed into the new school year exploring the forms of energy on earth. They have been discovering where energy comes from, why we need it and that life on earth couldn't exist without it. We have been focusing on light energy, heat energy, and chemical energy. Students have been having a ball discovering the differences between potential energy and kinetic energy and while we never "lose" energy, it changes all the time from one form to another. They explored this in detail when we examined batteries and electrical circuits. The students learned what batteries are made of - their structure - and how the chemical energy, stored in batteries is converted to electrical energy to run our project motors and propellers. we haven't gotten into complex circuits yet!

This coming semester we will be exploring chemistry, the make up of atoms, how they form compounds and crystals. We will be looking at the rocks formed by these compounds and how, just like energy , rocks keep changing form.

Fourth Grade: Energy and Robotics

In October the students spent 2 weeks discovering arthropods, insects to be specific. They compared insects, their body types and sizes, the number of legs they have and where the legs are located. They learned how insects affect life on earth, the positive and negative sides. We had a guest speaker from Terminex come in with lots of insects for our students to view, compare and measure. We all learned about the insects of Mississippi and what they are good for! You'd be surprised!

4th graders began November reviewing the elements, formation of atoms and how to read the periodic table of elements using games and concrete objects. They explored the 3 types of fossils, the ways they form and change. The students made petrified paper and compare it with non-mineralized paper and wood. They explored how the earth has changed over its 4.5 billion year life and the reasons for these changes; tectonic plate movement, climate change, astronomical impacts as well as the changes caused by the expanding animal life. They are exploring the earth's recycling of its crust through volcanic activity. Talk about exploding knowledge, 4th graders have it going on in Science lab!

Our 4th graders began the new school year exploring the forms of energy on earth. They have been discovering where energy comes from, why we need it and that life on earth couldn't exist without it. We have been focusing on chemical energy and electrical energy. Students have been having a ball discovering the differences between potential energy and kinetic energy and while we never "lose" energy, it changes all the time from one form to another. They explored this in detail when we examined batteries and electrical circuits. The students learned what batteries are made of - their structure - and how the chemical energy, stored in batteries is converted to electrical energy to run our project motors and propellers. we haven't gotten into complex circuits yet!

In conjunction with the computer lab, we began making our Lego Mindstorm robots. The 4th graders had to learn to read diagrams, measure parts, work as a team and do simple programming. The more complex programming will be continued in the Tech Lab. Fun, exciting learning is the way we keep our students engaged.

South Campus • Pre-K3 to 4th grade • 4120 Old Canton Road • Jackson, MS 39216 • 601-987-9300
North Campus • Grades 5 to 12 • 370 Old Agency Road • Ridgeland, MS 39157 • 601-853-6000

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