4th Grade Science
In conjunction with their studies on California history, 4th graders learn about the state’s natural resources and its four different regions. Students explore the scientific process in a project on testing and identifying the different types of rocks and decomposition, projects that are heavily tied to ecoliteracy.
A highlight of 4th grade, the multidisciplinary bridge project, is a vehicle for learning the key concepts of flex, tension, engineering, and balance of forces, as student teams design and build bridges from craft wood sticks and glue. Teams carefully keep track of their construction costs in order to maintain accurate expense reports, complete purchase orders, and write checks as payment for materials. The project culminates with testing the load-bearing capacity of each bridge: Each team hangs a bucket from the center of their bridge and fills it with sand, weighing it at each addition, until the bridge breaks.
- 4th Grade