The Meaning Behind Inquiry
Our Kindergarten students blew me away this week. I had the pleasure of joining a class in our new science lab. Our Dragons learned about the scientific method and then applied the process to a magnetism experiment.
Our Dragons learned the basics of this fundamental process:
- They ask a question.
- They make an educated guess, or hypothesis.
- They collect their data to see if their guess was correct.
The students stacked varying numbers of magnets to explore how the height of the magnets affected the strength of the magnetic force produced.
Our Dragons exhibited strong scientific thinking as they conducted their experiments–beyond what one might expect from such young students. And as our students grow older, they continue to learn new concepts and deepen their thinking.
Tomorrow our Grade 8 students will also apply the scientific method as they use water rockets to observe projectile motion in their current unit on Newton’s laws of motion. They will be asked to predict how long it will take the water rockets to go up and to come down. Next, they will collect their data as they launch the rockets. They will then graph their data, using the graphs to analyze their hypotheses and draw conclusions about the accuracy of their predictions.
Learning how to make observations and then ask questions based on those observations is a skill that extends far beyond the science lab. As students build knowledge, they start to become more curious, wondering about the implications of that information. Engaging in meaningful inquiry, across subject areas, builds critical thinking and reasoning skills that will serve our Dragons well as they transition into high school, college, and adulthood.
Head of School