Science Solstice

images-5Save the date: December 16, 2016

8:00 am – 1:40 pm.

Every December, Driscoll School celebrates “Science Solstice”: a day when the whole school suspends its regular routine to do science. Our goal is to increase students’ enthusiasm and interest in science and technology as well as in becoming scientists.

We boost students’ interest with the “wow” approach: scientist do cool things (the “Mythbusters” or “Magic School Bus” approach to science). And we give kids chance to practice scientific methods. We offer a glimpse of the careful, detailed work that leads to scientific discovery and a taste of how scientific knowledge is created.

Grades K to 5 stay in the building and are ‘wowed” by science with presentations of live animals, robots, or the “Sounds of Science.” They learn about the scientific methods as they build electric circuits, practice on a medical simulation mannequin, or build geodesics domes with straws. At the end of the day, they respond through writing and drawing about the question: “What do scientists do?”

Middle schoolers (6th – 8th grade) leave the building to explore local research labs or facilities. These field trips both peak students’ interest in science and expose them to different careers in science and technology. In a small group, each student has the opportunity to visit a lab, such as an engineering facility, a bio-tech start up, or a university research lab. In many tours, students participate in a hands-on activity. At the end of the day, students write reflections about their lab’s main research questions, the ways in which math and writing skills are used in the research, and how the research connects to the larger world.

All in all, it’s a great day of learning and discovery!

Sara Stoutland: sara@stoutland.net