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Science Curriculum Overview, Upper Grades
Science in the upper grades at Plymouth Meeting Friends School expands on the framework created in the lower grades in developmentally appropriate levels as students’ cognitive abilities, abstract reasoning and critical-thinking skills increase. Students explore both overarching scientific concepts and detailed facts using cognitive hooks.

No matter what specific topics are being explored, students cultivate sound science process skills such as:
  • developing hypotheses
  • planning and conducting experiments
  • measuring and observing
  • collecting and recording data
  • analyzing data and making inferences
  • formulating conclusions
  • communicating findings
An important component of science in the upper grades is the development of academic strategies through the science curriculum. These prepare students with necessary skills for Middle School, including:
  • study skills
  • time-management skills
  • organizational skills
  • social skills / cooperative learning
  • information processing
  • verbal and written communication skills
  • note-taking
  • using a text book
  • assignments (journal writing and homework)
  • lab reports and science projects

In science we use a “hands on / minds on” approach to problem-solving, asking leading questions such as:
  • Why do you think that happened?
  • What do you think will happen if we change this and do it this way?
  • What can you do to make it work better?

Scientific subjects we cover include:
  • life science
  • chemistry
  • physical science
  • environmental science
  • earth science
  • emphasis on stewardship and sustainability 
  • the history of science
  • philosophical and social implications of scientific discoveries and how they are used
  • emergent topics based on student interests, current events, etc.

Technology is an important component in scientific study, and is incorporated into the program through:
  • topic-related web sites
  • instructional software and CD-ROMs
  • multimedia presentations
  • online research
  • spreadsheets and databases for recording data, making calculations, and graphing


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