Students in these grades learn about the scientific processes
already introduced in the earlier grades and then take things
even further. Not only do they learn by observing and identifying,
classifying, measuring, sequencing or ordering, inferring, predicting
and communicating, they learn to interpret data, control a variable,
formulate a hypothesis and can formulate and use a model.
Through their studies they learn that they may need to repeat observations
to ensure accuracy and even though they may try to do everything
the same way, results may vary due to inaccuracies of the person
doing the experiment, the things being tested may be slightly
different or members of the team may do things differently. Students
will note the difference of evidence versus opinion and find that
scientists only claim something as fact if it can be confirmed
Third grade science students may study sound and light energy
for their Physical Science lesson or they may take the study of
energy and matter further than the earlier class could take it.
Energy is the focus of the lesson either way and students use
the scientific processes to be able to predict the outcome of
an experiment and compare their actual results to that prediction.
They learn the properties of light and learn that the energy comes
from the Sun to the Earth in the form of light. In fourth grade,
students take the concept of energy storage and conversion and
through experimentation learn how the conversions take place.
They study magnets and electromagnetic fields and study electric
current. Throughout the experimentation, students use scientific
processes to take down measurements, predict outcomes of experiments
that are then proven true or found to be false. They collect that
data and analyze it to come to a conclusion they can back with
In studying Life Science, students in the third grade may concentrate
on animal adaptations to the environment and then the next year
study the need for all organisms to absorb energy and matter to
exist. These lessons are natural progressions from the simplest
lessons learned in kindergarten science in which students made
a scientific determination as to whether an object was living
or non-living. In addition to building on knowledge gained in
Life Science studies, these students use important lessons from
across the curriculum to make their projects work. They use numerical
data to describe and compare objects and events and make graphs
using that data. They may make charts and they try to predict
outcomes based on probabilities, all aspects of mathematics curriculum.
In communicating their results or by reading and following instructions,
students are putting to practical use the lessons learned in Language
Earth Science lessons for the third grade can be the study of
the movement of the objects in the night sky. Students learn why
the stars appear to move in the sky and why different stars and
constellations can be seen only in certain seasons. In fourth
grade, students learn about rocks and minerals, geology and how
the Earth's surface can change over a long period of time or overnight.
The power of the water on the Earth's surface has the ability
to shape and alter the world we live in. The rapid movement of
a land mass in the event of an earthquake or landslide can have
a massive effect on mankind. Data collection, the ability to control
or not control a variable, and modeling are important aspects
of this branch of science. In real world applications, these lessons
matter. According to the National Science Teachers Association,
these early experiences in science develop problem-solving skills
that open the door to participation in an increasingly scientific
and technological world.