Tell me, and I will forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I will understand.”
Confucius, 450 B.C.
This ancient proverb sums up the philosophy behind the Lower School Science Program. Germantown Academy has established a “hands-on” program where students learn science by doing what scientists do, namely investigating the natural world. Faculty work with students to instill a sense of respect and stewardship for the environment. The campus has many natural resources, including woods, fields, and the Wissahickon Creek, and these resources are frequently used for environmental studies.
The program is designed to create a balance between process skills and content. At every grade level, process skills include observing, inferring, measuring, predicting, recording data, graphing, and problem solving. These skills can be applied to every other subject as well. Content areas include animal life, plant life, ecology, geology, astronomy, meteorology, dinosaurs and fossils, light, heat, sound, electricity, magnetism, simple machines, and the nature of matter. Most of the topics for Grades 2nd-5th are taught in units that last between two and three months. Units of shorter duration are more appropriate for Grades Pre-Kindergarten through 1st. In many cases, these units are integrated with other subject areas including Math, Reading, and Social Studies.
The program reflects Germantown Academy's commitment toward increasing the individual’s scientific literacy. Teachers are equally concerned about creating a positive attitude towards science.
The program promotes curiosity, problem solving, and high standards for effort and achievement. It is the goal of the program to have every student enter Middle School with a strong foundation in all three branches of Science and a solid grasp of scientific processes and procedures.