Science Update May 2019

Grade 1

Students are starting unit “Structures and Behaviors in Living Things.”  They will develop through observations and reading and reading texts and understanding of how plants and animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs. They will build upon concepts from previous units to develop connections between light and sound and how they are essential for the survival of living things.

On May 1st, students will have an opportunity to observe and ask wondering questions about six different invertebrates and their defense mechanism (Blue Death Feigning Beetle, Glowspot Roach, Madagascar Hissing Cockroach, Walking Stick, Millipede, and Moon Crab).  This is done in cooperation with the Art Farm Program.


The rest of May and the first part of June (until the 27th Annual Schoolwide Science Fair where students of grade 1 will present what they learned during the school year 2018-2019) will be devoted to students’ observation of Bess beetles, mealworms, crickets, painted lady butterflies. Also, there will be discussions about the needs, defense mechanism and changes of development (from larvae to pupae, to adult; or from nymph to adult) of the above-listed insects.

Grade 2

Students are finishing the activity from the prior month related to the observation of the properties of the mixture made of Elmer’s glue and Epsom salt.  They will be able to conclude that they made something new (in this case plastic) and they cannot change it back.

Next, they will look at different change called rearranging.  They will use craft sticks for this type of exploration.  They will plan for and build different things from craft sticks.

As soon as they finish with rearranging, they will start a new unit called “The Changes to Land Over Time.”  Students will read about and observe photos of different types of landforms as they gather evidence that landforms are made rock.  They will investigate sand samples and see that sand is composed of tiny pieces of rock.  They will read a book about a scientist (Gary’s Sand Journal) who makes inferences about the rock that the sand originated from based on its size, shape, and color.  To show how landforms can change size and shape, students will make a model by shaking pieces of hard candy.

Grade 3

During the month of April, students were investigating magnetic force as one of the non-touching forces.  This time, they will investigate what makes objects fall, and find out about gravity, and second non-touching force.  They will conduct investigations, make observations, obtain and evaluate information from the following books: Forces All Around and Handbook of Forces (Amplify science curriculum). Students will discover that gravity is a non-touching force, attractive force, that like other forces acts between two objects.  Also, they will have opportunities to think and write explanations in terms of cause and effect, stability and change which represent crosscutting concepts in science.

Grade 4

Students will learn how to make an electromagnet and its real-world application as part of the study of the transfer of energy and information.  They will discover that when current flows through an insulated wire wound around a steel core, the steel core becomes a magnet.  They will find the relationship between the number of winds of wire around a core and the strength of the magnetic force. Also, they will learn that there are different ways to change the strength of an electromagnet, including tighter coils, number of D-cells, different wire gauge.

When making an electromagnet, the wire used to make an electromagnet must be insulated. All wire coils must be wound in the same direction.

Due to the upcoming Science Performance Part of the NYC Science Test, Grade 4 (May 22nd – May 24th), Students will conduct hands-on, minds-on activities that reinforce measurements (lentg=th, mass, volume) prior to the test.

  • Science Fair Projects  –  Updated for the Grades 3 and 4 

Parents, please make sure that your child is working already on his/her hands-on part of the science fair project (collecting data-evidence). Students are already informed about this as well as what are the next steps necessary to take in order to complete the science fair project report.

During the science lessons, there is time devoted to discussions about how to write different parts of the science fair project report.  Students have an opportunity to observe the structure of different reports from prior years and ask clarifying questions related to their projects. soon, they will see photographs of how to put together their display boards.

  • Upcoming Events

World Science Festival- 12th Annual Science Spectacular

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City of Science: Hands-on Science Activities, Interactive Demonstrations, and Exhibitions  

  • Manhattan: Sunday, June 2nd, 2019 @ 10:00 AM-5:00 PM at NYC/Washington Square Park  – Free Admission

This event represents an excellent opportunity that is provided to children as well as adults