Learning Science in the Next Generation
How do we create scientists out of students? Children are natural scientists. They are curious about the world around them and how things work. They are constantly observing, predicting, testing, and making conclusions. At Mound, we build upon that natural curiosity by leading students through the scientific method and engineering practices as early as kindergarten, using the Next Generation Science Standards. The base science curriculum at Mound is FOSS (Full Option Science System), which emphasizes learning by doing and keeping science notebooks like adult scientists do. In addition, students experience engineering projects from EiE (Engineering is Elementary), UCSB's Sci-Trek program, and teacher-created curriculum.
How does Mound's science program help create Global Citizens? Whenever possible, students make global connections in science and engineering. These connections include designing water filters that could be used in a village in rural India and tracking weather patterns around the world. Learning also focuses on interconnectedness, which is the way living and nonliving factors affect each other. Interconnectedness is one principle of Global Citizenship. When students begin to understand how our actions affect the world around us, they will become better stewards of the world's ecosystems.
How do Mound's Learning Gardens support science? Each grade level has an outdoor area in which to learn firsthand about plants and ecosystems. In addition, agriculture, a vital local industry, ties together our dual themes of Science and Global Citizenship. Mound students will visit a farm or agricultural center every year to support their learning. During these field trips, they investigate life cycles of pumpkins and lemon trees, witness alternative forms of energy, and learn about the history of agriculture in Ventura County.