HOW WE Explore
On our spacious, wooded Country Day School campus, second graders complete an Earth Detective unit in science class each fall, exploring the forest and collecting soil, seeds, rocks, sand and clay. They carefully examine these natural objects, along with specimens borrowed from the Carnegie Museum, to record clues and make inferences. For example, the stripes in sedimentary rock reveal how it was formed over time, while a skull’s teeth give clues as to what the animal ate and whether it was predator or prey. Students display their findings in the science room, creating an “Earth Museum” for parents and guests.
At both of our elementary campuses, the curriculum prioritizes opportunities for outdoor exploration because we believe children learn best when they are excited about the subject matter. Involving hands-on discovery allows them to do just that. As they experience nature firsthand, they connect their encounters with the concepts they’ve learned in the classroom.
By providing a curriculum that sparks students’ curiosity, Shady Side ensures students possess a positive outlook on learning and build a foundation for success in the academic challenges to come.