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Science Corner

Science is taught using place-based, experiential and environmental approaches as mandated by the Quebec Education Program. The three competencies for science and technology are strengthened and put into operation during hands-on labs and cooperative discussion. The three competencies of the QEP’s Science and Technology Program are:

1)To propose explanations for or solutions to scientific or technological problems.

2) To make the most of scientific and technological tools, objects and procedures.

3) To communicate in the languages used in science and technology.

We use the school grounds and the surrounding community in our explorations and count on parents as outdoor classroom volunteers and as science mentors in their field of expertise. We are fortunate at Willingdon to have parents with diverse academic and professional backgrounds and last year the students enjoyed several parent-led science classes on physiotherapy, geology and physics. This year I encourage you to sign up as an outdoor classroom volunteer or as a science mentor (on the tear-off sheet below).

SCIENCE CORNER

The science classroom is once again coming to life, both literally with plants, cocoons and of course Obie the classroom turtle, and figuratively with the energy and curiosity of your children! The students in Cycles 2 and 3 have one and a half hours of science per week. This is organized into a one-hour session and a half hour session every week. The technology lab is used several times throughout the year so that the students can complete some online research and the Smart Board is in constant use in the science classroom. The students are provided with a science notebook that will stay in the science classroom until December when they can take it home and share with you and return it after the holiday break. We are working on a homework website for science and we will inform the students and parents as soon as it is up and running. In the meantime homework will be assigned with a handout or in the agenda.

Deuxieme cycle / Cycle 2

In Grade 3 the focus is on plants, food production (the Willingdon food gardens will be used as learning sites for this in the fall and the spring), flight, introduction to the solar system, weather & climate and potions (intro to chemistry). Robotics is introduced in Grade 3 with WeDo Lego kits.

In Grade 4 the focus is on the needs of living things, life cycles, classification, geology (rocks and minerals), waste management and reduction, and simple physics (forces, work, gravity and simple machines). There will be several small projects assigned and class presentations, these will be well announced with both a handout and notification in the agendas.

Troisieme cycle / Cycle 3

In Grade 5 the initial focus is on solving problems as a group by working on a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) project where their group is tasked with conceiving and building a marble machine during science class. Following that, the focus is on adaptation and the human body. Students in Grade 5 will participate in The Human Body Expo where they will mount a workshop and presentation on one part of the human body system for students in Grade One (there will be a 4-6pm expo for the families as well) this takes place in May. Spring will see an exploration of our freshwater ecology including a pond study while at camp Bout-en-Train.

In Grade 6 the focus is on climate change, energy and ecology. Students learn about trees, their physiology, how to identify trees, the animals that are supported by trees, forest ecology and the role trees and plants play in the health of the planet. The water cycles and carbon cycles are explored in Grade 6 and the concept of the carbon footprint is introduced. Both renewable and non-renewable energy and energy conservation technologies and innovation will be explored as the students complete an energy, water and waste audit of the school building. In February the Grade 6 students will attend a high school Science Fair where they will be in charge of evaluating several projects after having been introduced to the scientific method in class. Students are also introduced to the water cycle. Water systems, water purification and sewage treatment are also explored along with international issues regarding access to clean water, ocean pollution and climate change’s effects on all of the above. Robotics and Coding will also be explored using EV3 Mindstorm and participating in Hour of Code activities.

Assessment

The three competencies will be assessed throughout the year with equal weight given to the labs / experiments (work will be assessed both anecdotally and by evaluating the science notebook / lab write-ups) and to the end of unit assessments in class. A smaller portion of the assessment will include the take-home projects and assignments. It is expected that as the students learn to think critically and test their problem solving skills in Term 2 that their grade may be slightly lower than in Term One where they are working mostly on competencies 2& 3 (generally the marks go up again in Term 3) please do not be alarmed by this but do feel free to communicate with me at any time. You can always communicate with me by e-mail: kusher@emsb.qc.ca please give me 24 hrs to respond on weekdays, 48hrs on weekends.

Classroom Projects

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