Read all about how Caliber Beta Academy's Lower School: 3-5th grade science classrooms are engaging students in different ways of learning and exercising SMART:
For a Caliber graduate to embody SMART they need to be prepared for success without remediation. Proficiency in some subjects, but not all, will not be enough. So, over the past three years, new waves of energy and attention has been devoted to reimagining what science could and should look like for students at CBA. This has resulted in innovations through teacher created curriculum with distinctive experiments including comparative composting projects, cross grade collaborative labs, and student performed dissections. Read to learn more about how two fourth graders at CBA prepared for and performed their cow eye dissection, and what being SMART with science really means.
Read a recent interview with two 4th graders that participated in this science lab!
Tell me more about your experience with the cow eye dissection?
Pedro: "I was scared because a lot of people said it could make you sick and it smelled bad. I really wanted to know how our own eyes work. Some of the parts-- I didn't know what they were, but Mr. Powles helped us identify these parts. We practiced on a grape and that made the real thing easier."
Alajah: "We read about the cow eye before the lab and took notes about the different parts of the eye. We started to learn more about the eye and it’s different parts and then we practiced with different flowers and eventually with a grape. We prepared with a grape as practice using the tools like the scalpel and making observations."
Why is this important for students to experience?
Pedro: "This lets us know how the eye really works."
Alajah: "This is important because it helped us learn more about the parts of the eye and what they do. We learned how human eyes are similar and different to animal eyes."
Why is it important for students to do science labs?
Pedro: "I used to think science was just a lot of words I wouldn’t understand. It’s important to do science labs because we learn how stuff works. We dissected a body part in class and that’s something that not everyone gets to do."
Alajah: "Maybe if some students want to be scientist, this class will help them learn what it’s like and give them experience. Later on they will already know what it feels like to dissect things. Me and Pedro used to go to another elementary school and we never got to do this in our science class. It changed my perspective about science because I had not done it in other schools before, but here I got to do something cool!"
Why is doing science labs a SMART way to learn?
Pedro: "Learning about new things is important and doing something with our hands is better than learning by just hearing your teacher. If you only learn things one way and it doesn't make sense then you won’t get it. This class helps me learn more things about the way things work and the world around us."
Alajah: "Science is really important because you learn through interacting with stuff! If a teacher only talks about it, we don’t learn as much as we did with the dissection. We got to interact with a cow eye to learn more about it. In science we have steps like the scientific method. It shows us that there are a lot of different ways of doing things, we observe and predict and get a better understanding of things. I thought science was something I didn’t understand and being able to interact and touch the cow eyes helps me learn. Mr. Powles really helps us understand the process in a fun way!"
If you could share one piece of wisdom or insight related to this pillar with our community, what would it be?
Alajah: "There are a lot of different ways to learn about something, not just one way!"