by Elementary Science Teacher: Lori Phillips
Kindergarten Scientists have continued their exploration of trees. They reviewed the term property by going on a tree hunt. They were given a variety of photos that were taken from our school yard trees. Each pair of kindergartners had to identify which tree their picture was of by observing the properties in the photograph as well as the real trees. This week we also began discussing the life cycle of a tree.
Some of the adventures the students will have before the year is through are: observing the inside of seed to see how a plant begins, gain an understanding of trees being a renewable resource, as well as making their own piece of plywood and particle board.
After the First Grade Scientists discovered that salt water has more matter and is therefore denser, they saw that this density enables objects to float easier in the ocean than in fresh water. The students are now discovering general properties of water, such as it is adhesive and cohesive, it can be absorbed, and it can climb up. After observing these properties in action with a drop of water and a paper towel, they are conducting an experiment to find out how this relates to plants.
Second Grade Scientists continued their exploration of some human body systems. A model of the heart was constructed after learning its role in the circulatory system. The next system they focused on was the respiratory system. After learning the parts of the respiratory system, the students were amazed to find out that breathing occurs because of air pressure (which they learned about earlier in the year). They made a working model of the respiratory system so that they can actually see this concept in action. The final system the second graders will explore will be the digestive system.
Third Grade Scientists have held discussions, done some reading and some planting as they explore the functions of plants and what they need to grow. Grass seed is currently growing, and the students will be using these plants to experiment on the needs of a plant. There have been questions about how cacti survive with little water, so we will also be exploring that.
Fourth Grade Scientists have returned to circuitry as they learn the difference between a series and a parallel circuit. They will be problem solving a fictional scenario of a string of lights next week, where they will employ their understanding of what they have learned about circuits. The students will end the year by working with electromagnetism.
Fifth Grade Scientists have been exploring the human muscular systems (striped, smooth, and cardiac). They have made leg and thumb models to better understand how skeletal muscles work (contract), tendons attach muscle to bone, and ligaments hold tendons and bones in place. The current focus is the heart and circulatory system. We are concluding that portion of our unit with a pig heart dissection! We will conclude our unit with an introduction to the nervous system, where they will be conduction experiments that focus on stimuli and responses.