Third graders measure and observe unknown substances as part of the new STC Science program.

It’s a new school year, and new things are happening in science at Campbell Elementary School. The Science Technology and Concepts investigative science program is being introduced this year in third grade. The program was developed by science education researchers at the National Science Resources Center, with the support of the Smithsonian Institute. It is based on up-to-date research on how students best learn science. Students will learn scientific concepts and principles much the same way real scientists do – through direct observation and experience. The third graders will be studying Plant Growth and Development, Rocks and Minerals, and Chemical Testing.

To launch the program, the third grade teachers participated in a full day of training. The teachers are enthusiastic about the new program, commenting, “I think this will really work well!” and “My students are very excited to try this.” “We’re very excited about making a good science program even better”, said Kathleen Henn, the Science Supervisor. “This program offers us the opportunity to have students experience science as scientists do, yet in an age appropriate way. That’s one benefit of selecting a program based on science education research. Another benefit is the excitement children experience with a well-designed program. It’s so rewarding to see young students eagerly rushing in on Monday morning to see how their plants have grown over the weekend, or to discover what their mystery substance is. We’re looking forward to a great year in science.”