Animals That Adapt (3rd grade)
Standards of Learning: 2010 Science (3.1, 3.4)
If animals do not adapt, they do not stay alive. With that in mind, students will investigate the basic characteristics of living things which include the ability to adapt both physically and behaviorally. Students will explore camouflage and biomimicry via hands-on activities, and there will even be a creepy crawly to get them thinking and moving!
Cells of Power! (3rd grade)
Standards of Learning: 2010 Science (3.1, 3.11); 2009 Math (3.14)
Explore how the power of the sun is harvested by plants and humans alike to produce chemical energy and electricity. Students will calculate the area of a leaf and compare it to the area of a solar cell. Then they will test some solar cells as they check out the energy possibilities with these renewable resources!
Soil Isn't a Dirty Word - NEW! (3rd grade)
Standards of Learning: 2010 Science (3.1, 3.3, 3.7)
Dirt is just soil out of place. Soil is a living habitat all on its own, a home to our largest reservoir of biodiversity - within only a teaspoon of soil we can find billions of microbes. Join us as we dig into soil, getting up close and personal with the components of soil and investigating how different soils affect the plants that grow in them.
Did You Pollute the Water? (4th grade)
Standards of Learning: 2010 Science (4.1, 4.5, 4.9); 2009 Math (4.9)
Are you responsible for water pollution? Concepts of pollution and watersheds will be presented and explored. Students will participate in hands-on activities and learn about natural and man-made ways to clean up the pollution. Are you ready to answer the question, "Did you pollute the water?"
First American Environmental Circle (4th grade)
Standards of Learning: 2010 Science (4.1, 4.5, 4.9)
Explore the concept of an ecosystem in Virginia, focusing on forest, river, and cave ecosystems. Students will use their problem-solving skills as they connect food webs and chains found within Virginia's natural resources. Using hands-on materials and artifacts, students will see how the first Americans used the natural resources around them in a way that maintained the balance of needs and resources within an ecosystem and how we can continue to follow their example today.
Learning From Nature (4th grade)
Standards of Learning: 2010 Science (4.1, 4.4, 4.5)
Humans often look to nature for inspiration. By mimicking nature, engineers have designed products with the same properties of some plants and animals. Students will review their knowledge of the structure and function of plant parts and observe the properties of various plant leaves. Students will then be given a challenge in which they will be asked to think like scientists and conduct scientific investigations which will lead to the discovery of self-cleaning and water resistant nano products.
Classify This! (5th grade)
Standards of Learning: 2010 Science (5.1, 5.5, 5.6)
Get ready to dive into the classification system! In order for us to understand how all living organisms are related, organisms are arranged into different groups. The more features that a group of animals share, the more specific the group becomes. We will be focusing on the ocean ecosystem using dichotomous keys, preserved specimens, and lots of "hands-on" activities. Come on in the water is fine!
Keeping It Cool! (5th grade)
Standards of Learning: 2010 Science (4.3a, 5.1); 2009 Math (5.15, 5.16)
Research by environmental engineers is in full swing to produce effective insulation to save energy resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Students will test their engineering intelligence to design an effective cooling device. Their designs will be tested using temperature probes and computer software as they measure the effect of insulation on the temperature of water. Students will also practice math skills as they analyze statistical data to affirm their engineering success. Can your students "Keep It Cool?"
The Changing Earth (5th grade)
Standards of Learning: 2010 Science (5.1, 5.7)
Students participate in a PowerPoint presentation to see firsthand how the earth's crust is undergoing constant change driven by the forces of nature and human impact. Following this, a classroom lab is set up for students to conduct various investigations and experiments to further explore concepts of erosion, weathering, and other influences on the earth's crust. Concepts students learn include building up and breaking down of the earth's crust, erosion, weathering, rock classification, human impact, earthquakes, and plate tectonics. Room Requirement: Space around room for student investigations and lab experiments.