In the science program at Phillips Brooks School, students develop science skills and explore diverse content through active inquiry. We ignite students’ passion for science – for understanding the world around them by asking questions and seeking answers – by offering engaging, meaningful, and practical experiences while also incorporating lab skills and analysis.
The scientific method is one foundation for our science program, as it helps students learn a variety of skills:
- Asking questions
- Constructing hypotheses
- Making predictions
- Testing with experiments
- Noticing, measuring, and making changes
- Collecting and analyzing data
- Drawing conclusions based on evidence
- Reflecting on the experience
- Communicating results
- Asking any further questions
Most classes include an experiment, simulation, or activity. Science concepts and ideas naturally emerge from these investigations, as students analyze the results of their inquiry. Beyond initial exploration, students are encouraged to develop their own experiments, as this can strengthen their understanding of a given concept. We seek to provide students with the skills, confidence, and experience to become independent investigators.
The science curriculum at PBS adheres to the Next Generation Science Standards published by the National Science Teachers Association. These standards “aim to eliminate the practice of ‘teaching to the test.’ Instead, they shift the focus from merely memorizing scientific facts to actually doing science – so students spend more time posing questions and discovering the answers for themselves.” The standards accomplish this by integrating three dimensions of learning:
- science disciplinary core ideas (the content, for example, biology);
- major practices (how science is conducted in the real world, such as through planning and carrying out investigations); and
- crosscutting concepts (science ideas, like cause and effect, that permeate all the sciences).