The Scoop From the Lower School - Clare King

| February 1, 2007

We are delighted to be back in a routine following the holidays. It took the children a few days to settle back into the structure of lessons, assignments, and homework, but all is going smoothly at this point and much is being accomplished.

This month I would like to put the spotlight on the Science Program in the Lower School. There are so many wonderful learning experiences happening for the students. As you know, we recently completed an excellent experience with COSI, the Columbus Science and Industry Museum. COSI brought their Program on Wheels to the Lower School on January 23. The title of this year’s program was the Science of Sports. Through the experience, the students discovered Newton’s laws of motion and explored the concepts of acceleration, elasticity, friction, velocity, and gravity. We are very grateful to the parent volunteers who assisted with the various hands-on activities with the students. It was such an exciting day, and the students gained so much through the experience.

The first grade science classes are continuing to focus on the systems of the body. Earlier in the year the students studied the general body systems as well as the skeletal system. Their most recent study introduced them to genetics and the concept of dominant and recessive traits. Science teacher, Sherry Schneider, used several library resources to explain Mendel’s experiments with the cross pollination of plants. The information gained will culminate with lessons on how and why family members look alike or different. Upcoming, on February 23, the students will be given a presentation by the Museum Center on Your Heart, Your Blood, Your Health.

In second grade the students recently studied astronomy and constellations which culminated in a visit to Summit’s portable planetarium: Starlab. They viewed the circumpolar and winter constellations and gained a better understanding of the earth’s rotation. The mythology of the circumpolar constellations was also shared with the students.

The Cincinnati Museum Center recently presented a Chemistry Program to the third graders. The students saw and felt the evidence of physical versus chemical change and performed experiments to deduce chemical changes. In addition, the naturalist from the Cincinnati Zoo gave a presentation on animal survival during the winter months. The children learned that animals survive through endurance, migration, and hibernation. The final unit for the second quarter focused on electricity, series and parallel circuits, conductors and insulators. The planets and solar system will be the main focus of study for the third quarter.

As the fourth graders studied light and color, they explored the concept of reflection, researched forms of light that are not visible (x-rays, microwaves, etc.), and observed light as energy. As a culmination to the unit, each student completed a project to demonstrate what they had learned. There were a variety of project choices; e.g., kaleidoscope, periscope, research on careers relating to working with light, reflection, etc.

Hopefully, the students are sharing the excitement of the Science Program with you. We are so pleased with all that they are learning.