Project-based Learning Updates: Lower School Science

IL1 student using toothpicks and gummy bears for a project focused on engineering and design.
Brandon Lee, Director of Experiential Learning

The following are some updates to our Lower School's project-based learning initiatives this Term that we shared with families in our Lower School Letter this past April 2021.


IL1 Science: Engineering & Design

IL1 Science has had an exciting Term 2 thus far! The students have been working on Engineering and Design, using their knowledge of force and shapes when building structures and conducting experiments.

Students have also been engaging in novel engineering, where students identify problems they find in stories they read and from read-alouds. They then enter the engineering design process to solve those problems.

Photo of a Lower School student using toothpicks and gummy bears for a science project.

IL2 Science: Farm to Pancakes

In IL2 Science, we have been working on an interdisciplinary ELA/Science project called “Farm to Pancakes,” where students learn about all the parts of a pancake and where they come from to make a pancake completely from scratch. Students will be harvesting their own salt, growing their own plants, as well as grinding their own flour!

We learned about the different types of edible seeds and how some of them are crushed into different types of flour. We then had everyone observe and describe the “mystery” seeds in their science materials, and then everyone in the class would guess what type of seed it was based on these observations!

Most recently, we learned about solvents, solutes, and solutions, in the context of an experiment about desalination (separating salt and water).

IL3 Science: The World of Mycology

This Term in IL3 Science, we have been learning about the world of mycology. They’re not quite plants, and they’re not animals, but something totally different but also in between. 

We’ve been exploring various mushrooms through field observations, mushroom hunts, and by growing our own mushrooms at home. Below, you’ll see pictures of our students mixing up our substrate to fill our grow bags, and below that photo, you’ll see one of our weekend Zoom sessions where we set up grow bags for those at home. 

Bag of growing mushrooms.

Shoutout to all the families to let a consistently damp mushroom colony grow inside your household for two months—mushrooms are starting to sprout and we will get to eat them soon!

Screenshot of students on Zoom engaging with a mycology project.
  • Lower School