Westtown Lower School has an inquiry-centered science program based on hands-on collaborative learning, that enables young children to learn about the essence of science by asking questions and exploring to find the answers. This approach captures children's curiosity, stimulates their interest, and teaches them important science concepts, along with the critical thinking skills involved in scientific problem-solving.
We make frequent use of the abundant resources our magnificent campus has to offer and we give kids the opportunity to learn by doing. From the arboretum to the lake to the frog pond to the farm to the iLab, students have real spaces to study and research ecosystems, machines, water, principles of motion, electricity, plate tectonics - and so much more.
What's unique about our science curriculum is the opportunity for students to look for solutions to real world problems. For example, third, fourth, and fifth graders have been researching and developing solutions for the very real problem of stormwater runoff from one of the parking lots on campus. They recently presented their ideas for vernal pools (a temporary pool of water that can provide a habitat for distinctive plants and remediate soil erosion) to the Facilities Department. They also researched grants to help defray the costs.
This is but one example among many of students being able to apply design thinking skills and being empowered to effect change.