The science program cultivates students’ sense of wonder. Students are continually learning how to be scientists as they ask questions about what they observe, and as they note the changes that occur around them all the time. With an emphasis on understanding through discovery and problem solving, students acquire the skills of observation, classification and collaborative and individual experimentation. They engage in scientific inquiry by making predictions; recording data through charts, graphs, drawings and writing; analyzing data and drawing logical conclusions.
Lower School science concentrates on the natural world, particularly Central Park, the rooftop garden, and other outdoor spaces, and promotes understanding of biodiversity and the relationships between humans and the earth. Classrooms contain accessible science tables, reference materials, block areas and living creatures that provide experiences observing life cycles. For older students, science is increasingly taught in a laboratory setting, supplemented by trips to museum exhibits and the Manhattan Country School Farm. During investigations, they research topics in literature and the field, design and conduct experiments, and communicate the knowledge gained from these experiences through discussion, presentations and laboratory reports.
One of our goals is for students to develop a dynamic view of science as a succession of changing theories. Another is to promote students’ awareness of ethical dilemmas in science and to empower them to act on the basis of scientific understanding.